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Is Aircraft Mechanic a Good Career?

Aircraft Mechanic Careers

When you think about joining the aviation industry, you're probably picturing the job of piloting a plane. But there are actually many other routes you can take to succeed in the field—including getting your hands dirty while working under the hood, wings, and flaps of an actual airplane as an aircraft mechanic.

Aircraft mechanics (sometimes also called aviation mechanics or aviation technicians) are trained experts who work to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair airplane engines, systems, and technology.

As a matter of fact, if you've been around the airline industry, you may have seen some of these individuals at work and know how important their work is—especially to the passengers and crew.

But is aircraft mechanic a good career? Is it a reliable field to work in?

Five Reasons Why Aircraft Mechanic Is a Good Career

The travel industry, and air traffic in particular, may have hit a slump in 2020, but it's expected to rebound—and job opportunities with it. The multi-billion-dollar airline industry is likely to offer quality aircraft mechanic jobs for years to come, no matter how technologically advanced aircraft become.

Here are five reasons why aircraft mechanic could be the right career for you:

 

1. Being paid like a professional.

Let's start with salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians was close to $67,000 in 2020. Even the lowest 10% in the field were paid nearly $40,000, and the highest paid topped six figures. These are impressive numbers for a hands-on career path!

2. Solid growth projections.

Aviation careers in general, including the airplane mechanic role, are increasing in both prospects and pay. In fact, the BLS reports that jobs for mechanics and technicians are expected to grow about 5% by 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Mechanics who have training and a certification will have the best job prospects.

3. Specializations and focus.

Creating career options for yourself in this field can be as simple as pursuing certain licenses or specializations. Many aircraft mechanics build on the general skills they've learned to service the most common aircrafts—this allows them to become specialists in particular areas of a plane. To become a specialized mechanic, you must earn higher qualifications in order to focus on the engine, hydraulic, or electrical systems on a given aircraft.

4. Regular maintenance.

If you've ever seen an airplane engine, or even just the vast number of gauges in a cockpit, then you know that airplanes are complicated machines. In order to function properly, safely, and reliably, airplane mechanics must perform regular maintenance, conduct repairs, and lead inspections before a plane is ready to take off—as mandated by the Federal Air Administration (FAA).

5. Pursue certifications.

By acquiring Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certifications, you can increase your prospects of future work and take your career in different directions. An A&P mechanic carries out maintenance and alteration jobs on airplanes, which typically involves the engines, landing gear, brakes, and air-conditioning system. Additional certifications can authorize you to take on these different areas of the plane, which means you can shift your career to where the work is.

Let it fly!

Becoming an aircraft mechanic could be your way into the aviation field—without having to train for years to sit in the cockpit. A career as an aircraft mechanic can help you find great prospects for your burgeoning career ahead. With your passion for flight and state-of-the-industry hands-on learning, you can achieve the necessary certifications and join the leading mechanics in the industry!

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4 Comments

  1. Kit Hannigan November 16, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Wow, it sure is nice to know that aircraft mechanics can be paid as much as $85,000! My son has shown interest in airplanes at a young age. As a teenager, he spends some of his free time tinkering with engines and broken toys in our basement. I will be sure to advise him that a carer as an aircraft mechanic pays well so that he can start thinking about his future as early as now.

    1. Imagine America November 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Kit- We are glad you found the post interesting! If your son is interested in receiving more information on this, or at taking a look at some of our scholarship participating aircraft mechanic schools – have him become an IAF member at: https://iafportal.org/user/register

  2. Aaron lal January 21, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Nice post ever! Very well written in an easy-to-understand manner. I appreciate your sincere efforts you have made in writing the article. Keep sharing!

  3. Jesse Ford June 27, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    I like how you mentioned that piloting an aircraft isn’t the only role in the aviation industry. My cousin is thinking of looking for an aircraft engine overhaul specialist because he noticed the other day when turning on his plane that the propellers weren’t spinning at maximum speed. It seems like a good idea for my cousin to think about hiring a reputable professional to help fix his aircraft engine so that he can start flying again.

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