How to Become an Aircraft Mechanic
If you know something about fixing cars, perhaps you might want to consider moving up into the even more lucrative field of becoming an aircraft mechanic. You don’t have to be an auto mechanic to work in aviation, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Yet, whatever your background, there is simply no avoiding the three primary ways required to enter the aircraft mechanic field.
Don’t know what to do with a gas turbine start up? Don’t really know the first thing about avionics? The complex world of aircraft maintenance equipment requires specialized knowledge that can be obtained either by direct experience or in an academic setting. There are 170 Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools in the United States, and you can be accepted to most of them if you have a high school diploma or GED (General Education Diploma). The typical course runs for two years. At the end, you will be prepared to take the necessary FAA exams and your degree will make you eligible for a higher starting pay.
On the Job Training
Another way to become an aircraft mechanic is to work under someone who is already certified. You must work for a minimum of 30 months, which means it takes half a year longer than the typical academic route. You will also need full documentation such as pay receipts, a log book and notarized statements from your employer as proof that you have sufficient experience to take the exams.
The Military Option
You can get both experience and training in aircraft maintenance through military service. The military will give you an official letter when you leave certifying that you worked in the field, for how long and the types of aircraft on which you received your practical experience. Time spent training for the work cannot be counted, only the period in which you actually worked as an aircraft mechanic.
Once you have achieved enough experience either through schooling, on the job training or the military, you will still have to pass the FAA’s oral and practical tests. That means you will have to pass an in depth interview by an airworthiness inspector. However, once you pass that final hurdle, finding a secure, high paying job should be easy to find in a labor market where aircraft mechanics are in high demand.