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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