Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians maintain airplanes and their components to keep flight travel safe and on schedule. Airframe and power plant mechanics repair and maintain most parts of an aircraft, including the engines, landing gear, and brakes. They use special equipment to check for cracks and corrosion in the plane’s exterior, then repair and recheck to ensure soundness. Avionic technicians take care of the plane’s electronic instruments and systems, such as testing navigation and weather radar to keep flights safely en route, or fine-tuning radio communications to keep pilots in touch with the experts on the ground. This is one of the highest paid technical professions, and it’s easy to see why. These workers analyze complex problems and develop safe, workable solutions quickly to get aircraft back up in the air, often in a matter of hours. Exposure to noise and vibration is part of every shift. Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians work in hangars, repair stations, or on airfields. Most work full time on rotating 8-hour shifts; overtime and weekend work is common. Typically, workers have a high school education and obtain training at technical schools certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, although some learn on the job or enter the field after military experience. Certification by the FAA increases job opportunities and wages, and is required for some positions. This is a job where safety can never take a back seat to schedule.
What they do:
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.
On the job, you would:
Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment
repairing machines or systems using the right tools
Hand and Finger Use
put together small parts with your fingers
hold or move items with your hands
read and understand what is written
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Facilities management software
Access Software AIRPAX
Maintenance information databases
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Analytical or scientific software
Engine analysis software
certificate after high school or associate's degree usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include: