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Aviation mechanics are responsible for keeping aircraft safe and in working condition. These types of mechanics must keep all flights and related operations on schedule. As a fully functioning airplane is required to transport travelers from one destination to another, aviation mechanic jobs are necessary and a critical link in the chain of airline activities.
An airplane mechanic must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), although an assistant mechanic does not need this license. The license allows the aviation mechanic to work on the plane’s frame, engine, propellers, radio and various flight instruments. Most aviation mechanic jobs are given to individuals who are certified in both airframe and power plant maintenance. Training for aviation mechanic jobs includes a two-year program with 30 hours of course instruction per week. Upon completion, the FAA test must be taken and passed before a flight mechanic can become certified.
Aviation maintenance jobs require a good driving record, the ability to drive trucks, hangar vehicles and other large motorized equipment, and experience working on jets. Additionally, communication skills are essential, as are the abilities to work well with a team and under pressure. Physical skills are crucial as well, as aviation mechanics must often lift as much as 50 pounds (22.68 kg) at a time. Aviation mechanic jobs also require long hours and evening or weekend work, so those who choose this profession must be flexible and willing to adapt to a demanding schedule.
Aviation maintenance falls into a few different categories, and aviation mechanic jobs are present in all of them. Maintenance departments include airframe mechanics, powerplant technicians, instrument repairmen and avionics technicians. Technicians repair aircraft systems, while airframe mechanics work on a plane’s frame, and powerplant mechanics specialize in engine repair. In the mornings, aviation mechanic jobs require the team to work together to get the aircraft prepared for its daily journeys. During the day, aircraft maintenance must take place, and at night, multiple calendar control inspections are required.
More than half of aviation mechanic jobs are in air transportation and support, while the remaining positions are held at aerospace facilities and the government. Additionally, flight mechanics can work for smaller companies that use their own airplanes. Since most aviation mechanics work at airports, they usually live near large cities. Downsides of a career in aviation maintenance include exposure to danger, loud noise and harsh weather conditions, but advantages include good pay, extensive benefits and free travel for mechanics and their families.