Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Did You Know? An A & P licensed aircraft mechanic makes more money than a Junior Pilot
An aircraft mechanic with an A&P license makes more money than a junior pilot.
An A&P license, which is an abbreviation for Airframe and Power plant license, is issued to technicians who have the proper training and meet all the requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration. Once certified, an A&P mechanic can perform routine and complex aircraft inspections and repairs that ensure aircraft are properly maintained and in peak condition.
In 2013 there were an estimated 20,000 airplanes on the planet. In the next 20 years, that number will quickly climb to 35,000. Each airplane must be inspected and all maintenance must be done by a certified aircraft mechanic. In general aviation, there is the annual or 100-hour inspection. Repairs can only be done by an aircraft mechanic. The number of mechanics required to maintain all of these airplanes, several times a year or constantly, cannot be counted. Just as the number of pilots retiring is leading to a pilot shortage, there is the same need for aircraft mechanics. To be certified by the FAA to actually work on an airplane, the mechanic must be A&P certified.
This highly sought after skill requires a few years of study, often completed through a two-year course or an Associate’s Degree. Many in the business start with military aviation, which is excellent paid-for training. Not every mechanic can become an airplane mechanic, but every A&P licensed aircraft mechanic can choose the best positions in almost any field requiring maintenance. That certification is highly sought after, and those who earn it receive respectable pay. A certified mechanic can expect to earn $30,000+ starting pay and quickly increase to $45,000. More senior Airline Mechanics can expect $24/hour to $80,000+ per year. This line of work is hourly based and is often subject to increased hourly pay through overtime. A junior pilot at a regional airline, after years of training, building up of hours, and completion of certificates, may begin at $22,000, with a slow climb to $50,000.
Aircraft mechanics quickly take on supervisory positions, as all types of training are closely supervised and signed completion inspections are required every step of the way. A mechanic who holds an A&P license is certified to inspect, perform, and supervise maintenance on aircraft and their systems. A&P mechanics work on all parts of the aircraft except for the instruments. An A&P mechanic is certified for both commercial and private aircraft.
Before you take on the job of Aircraft Mechanic, check your integrity. Passengers depend on it. Any lapse in judgment or work ethic will cause problems for your reputation, your fellow mechanics and the traveling public that depend on you. This is one industry in which quality control and safety are top priority. Redundant checks and balances support a safer environment.
The mechanic skill set can prove to be a quality, satisfying job for the worker and their family. Because they are highly sought after, you can choose to live anywhere, and you will find a position available. Also, there are many industries outside of aviation that will hire someone with their A&P such as industrial turbines or wind power.
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