How To Begin/Build Your Career as an Aircraft Mechanic

Getting Started

It doesn't matter if you are a recent high school graduate, a transitioning military service member, or a seasoned professional looking to make a career change, the first thought is “where do I begin”. If you have focused in on building an aviation career as an aircraft mechanic there are a few key steps to take to secure a job.

To start with the basics, proper training and schooling to work on an aircraft is what companies look for when reviewing applicants. It doesn't matter if you want to work on the structures of an aircraft or wire the electrical workings, good training is a must.

There are countless FAA-approved programs and schools around the country that range from two to four-year degrees, and certificate programs where you can gain the necessary knowledge and skills to work on an aircraft.

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warehouse with aircraft shell being assembled

Types of Opportunities

There are multiple career opportunities in the aircraft maintenance area of aviation

  • Avionics Technician
  • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic
  • Sheetmetal Mechanic
  • Inspector
  • Aircraft Engineers
  • Painter
There are various types of employers that would look for these skills including but not limited to:
  • Airlines
  • MRO's
  • Manufacturing
  • Corporate Flight Departments
  • General Aviation
  • Military

Skills & Certifications

It is not required to have a license to be an aircraft mechanic, but it is highly encouraged and often something employers look for when reviewing a candidates qualifications. Most certificate courses take on average 12-24 months to complete.

To be a successful aircraft mechanic, you need to be able to work accurately and timely, with strong attention to detail often meeting tight deadlines and budgets. Not all locations are aviation hot spots, so one should be willing to travel for a job. Other sought-after skills are problem-solving, ability to comprehend engineering blueprints, prior military experience, and the ability to follow procedures and policies.

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The opportunities are endless with different jobs within the field, but all of them will require hard work, travel, and dedication. There is becoming a shortage of aircraft professionals so starting your career today will secure your future. A quick online search for maintenance programs/schools near you will help you get started.