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Aircraft Mechanic

(aka: Flight Technician)

As long as we continue catapulting seated humans across the globe in metal tubes, there will be a need for competent Aircraft Mechanics. A 2012 Boeing report forecasts that commercial airlines will require a stunning 601,000 new aircraft mechanics and technicians in the next 20 years to maintain the estimated 34,000 new airplanes that will be built. Talk about a career where the sky's the limit...[ducking].

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What do Aircraft Mechanics do?

  • Inspect airplanes and aircraft parts for safety. One of the most critical duties of an Aircraft Mechanic is ensuring that your plane is airworthy, which requires examining parts for defects and running diagnostic safety tests.
  • Diagnose problems with aircraft. Ever been stuck at the gate because of unspecified mechanical issues? Chances are there's an Aircraft Mechanic under the hood, communicating with the flight crew to figure out what's going on.
  • Perform and document routine maintenance. All commercial aircraft need to undergo scheduled maintenance and pass regular FAA inspections. Aircraft Mechanics oversee this process, and carefully document any required repairs.
  • Repair defects found in airplane components. Hurtling through the air at 500 miles per hour takes its toll on even the sturdiest planes. Aircraft Mechanics perform necessary repairs to both electrical flight systems and aircraft bodies and parts.

How much do Aircraft Mechanics make?

A critical responsibility such as keeping our skies safe is rewarded with pay that's well above average. The median national wage of an Aircraft Mechanic in 2012 was $55,210, with the top 10% earning over $76,600.

How do I become an Aircraft Mechanic?

Education Requirements. While some aircraft maintenance positions require only a high school diploma, completion of an FAA-approved training program substantially enhances opportunities for career advancement and higher wages. Moreover, with flight instruments and control systems becoming increasingly automated, some positions now require an associates degree or higher.

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