Aircraft mechanics undertake maintenance and repair of avionics and mechanical equipment. It is their responsibility to ensure that planes and helicopters are safe for operation. Routine checks for worn out parts are also carried out. Following these assessments, the aircraft mechanic will determine if the parts are repairable or if they should be replaced.
The most basic requirements to be considered are you must be over 18 years old with the ability to speak, write, read and understand English. For those who do not speak English, a “valid only outside of the US” stamp will be put on the certificate.
Important personal traits that come in handy include attention to detail, troubleshooting and the ability to work with your hands.
Many people think you have to go to college to become an aircraft mechanic. This is not true. In many cases you don’t have to have a college education first. Most of the training required to advance in the career can be gotten in other ways. There are two main ways, you can either through the Aviation Maintenance Training (AMT) to get a certificate or through the military.
There are two main routes to get AMT training;
First, attending an AMT training school that is approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). With this option, one gets a complete package that includes avionics training and A & P certification.
Secondly, you can get Airframe certification by completing 18 months on the job training. This has to be done under the supervision of a mechanic who is qualified. In order to get both Airframe & Power plant certifications, 30 months of training under a mechanic who is FAA qualified.
A & P (Airframe & Power plant Mechanics) licenses and certificates are issued by the Federal Aviation Administration issues.
The required tests:
To get the certificate, one is required to take an oral exam, a written exam as well as a practical exam.
The written AMT-General Test covers both airframe and power plant. It consists of sixty multiple choice questions that should be completed in 2 hours. In order to pass the test, a minimum score of 70 percent should be attained. The AMT Airframe test is only different in the number of questions which is one hundred.
The Practical test is meant to show that you have the ability, skills and knowledge that are needed to be an aircraft mechanic. It is done in two parts, the practical part which is a demonstration and the oral part which is a discussion. It takes approximately 8 hours to complete each test. In the test, administered by a Designated Mechanical Examiner from the Federal Aviation Authority there are forty three subject areas.
The Military Option:
All service branches have aviation units with specific aircraft mechanic jobs. Choosing what service to join is a matter of personal choice. In making the choice, you should consider the experience to be gained, the types of aircraft used and the service’s mission. Military trained aircraft mechanics are allowed to use work experience gained in the military to apply for certification.