Here is what it takes to become qualified and why aviation maintenance technology is a great choice for an aviation career.
Do you find aircraft and airplanes interesting? For those who love aviation and get a real sense of reward from solving problems, there are careers in aviation that offer more than simply flying. Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics are as crucial to successful flight as the pilots. They are the ones who keep airplanes in the air! Here is what it takes to become qualified and why aviation maintenance technology is a great choice for an aviation career.
A working airplane is a sum of all its parts. It is the same for any aviation organization. Simply put, if it is missing parts, it does not fly. That is how crucial qualified Aviation Maintenance Technology Personnel are. Some benefits include:
It’s a Fully Certified FAA Recognized Qualification
Airplane maintenance technology roles are highly regarded, and also highly regulated. Just as many professions require a license, so must an A&P mechanic. It is a very technical career field and your signature is a sign that an airplane is airworthy. It is a position of trust.
The Federal Aviation Administration oversees the approval of each and every license, with stringent requirements. The good news is that completing an approved course satisfies every single criterion required by the regulator.
A Huge Variety of Opportunities
By earning your certification as an A&P mechanic, you will open doors to a wide-ranging world of job opportunities.
Maybe you have a love of light aircraft and seek to work at a local flying school, ensuring that it continues to run like clockwork?
Perhaps you have bigger ideas and would like to get your hands on the largest airliners in the world while working for a major international airline, keeping thousands of people traveling every day?
Corporate and executive aviation relies heavily on A&P mechanics to oversee the maintenance of luxury jets, costing tens (and sometimes hundreds) of millions of dollars.
All of the above are possibilities. As careers in aviation go, good aviation maintenance technicians are a sought-after commodity. Not bad for a course that takes around 17 months!
Day to Day Variety
Aviation is a 24/7 enterprise; if airplanes are flying (and they are), they will need around-the-clock maintenance.
Twinned with the above is the possibility for genuine variety. No two days are the same as an A&P engineer. One day could be spent changing a turbine blade on a Boeing 747. The next could be spent sitting on a jump seat in flight, troubleshooting the pressurization system.
Variety is the spice of life, with no two days the same, this is far from a boring job.
You Will Learn a Lot | It Is ‘Big Brain’ Time
To achieve an Aviation Maintenance Technology Diploma, the course takes around 17 months of full-time study. In that time, you will learn a massive spectrum of topics all relating to aviation. Airplanes are complex beasts (even the little ones), and there are a vast amount of systems that work (or sometimes do not work) together.
You can expect to learn all about systems while pursuing an Aviation Maintenance Technology Diploma such as:
- The powerplant (the ‘airplane engine’ to us non-tech types)
- Navigation systems
- Electrical theory
- Composite structures
- How radios work
- Hydraulics systems
If you are technically minded or interested in ‘how things work,’ you are in the right place. Having an understanding of these systems and how they work together is crucial to being a successful A&P mechanic.
If the above list is daunting, that is a good thing! To learn it successfully, you will want to pick a training school that has proven and effective teaching methods.
Aviation Maintenance Technology Is Rewarding!
Have you ever stood in front of 200 people whose once-in-a-lifetime trip depends on your being good at your job? When you emerge from the flight deck with hundreds of anxious faces waiting for you to give the thumbs up, it can be a great feeling when you have fixed a problem.
Problem-solving, procedure, and analytical thought are crucial to being a successful technician. If you are the kind of person who asks ‘how can I fix it?’ instead of ‘oh no, what has gone wrong?’ then this is definitely a career that you will find rewarding.
You Can Earn a Degree
The good news is that by completing your Aviation Maintenance Technology Diploma, you will can be well on the way to opening the door to a degree too.
The path to a degree takes an additional 5 months, however, this does not mean going over the same material, nor will you miss out on any theory. The degree course covers all of the same elements as the Diploma, plus additional courses in English Composition, Algebra, and Group Dynamics, among others!
An FAA-certified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic and an Associate of Science? Pretty amazing!
An aviation career can go well beyond the cockpit. With Aeronautical Universities offering a range of paths, qualifications, and career opportunities, often in a relatively short time-frame, there has never been a better time to put your skills and intelligence to good use.
Tamu Smith-Kohls serves as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing for California Aeronautical University. She has worked in the aviation industry in various roles for 24 years. As a United States Air Force retired veteran, she has a unique appreciation for the aviation industry. Tamu has served in Information Systems as a Network Administrator, Aerospace Flight Medicine as a Health Services Manager, and Air Force Recruitment and Marketing. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology; a Master’s in Business Administration and is a Certified Neuro Linguistic Practitioner. Her passion is motivating, training, coaching and serving others to reach their best potential.