Aircraft Technician Jobs FAQs
1. What do aircraft technicians do?
Aircraft technicians inspect, service, repair, and overhaul aircraft and their mechanical, hydraulic, and electronic systems. Their job is to diagnose faults or malfunctions and ensure aircraft are airworthy and safe to fly. Responsibilities include routine maintenance, testing systems, interpreting diagnostic reports, troubleshooting issues, replacing defective parts and components, and performing repairs.
2. What kind of education or training do I need?
Most aircraft technician jobs require at least an associate's degree or certificate from an aviation maintenance program. These programs provide the technical skills and CAA certification needed for employment. High school graduates can begin as apprentices. On the job, continuous training is essential to learn new systems as technology evolves. Many technicians get licenses in specialisations like welding, hydraulics, or avionics as their career progresses.
3. What does the day-to-day work look like?
During inspection, technicians follow maintenance manuals and checklists to examine aircraft components for wear, breaks, corrosion, leakages, damage or other issues that need fixing. Using diagnostic equipment, they then troubleshoot problems, trace faults in systems, and test functionality. The next phase involves repairs, part replacements, overhauls etc. to get the aircraft back to standards. Documentation and logging of all activities is a crucial responsibility. Longer term projects involve upgrades, reconfigurations and installing new components. Technicians also address pilots' mid-flight fault reports.
4. What kinds of specialisations exist in this field?
Some key aircraft technician specialisations include airframe mechanics who focus on the aircraft body and wings, powerplant mechanics who work on engines and avionics technicians who handle communication systems, radars and navigation tools. Other areas focus on component specifics like hydraulic, pneumatic, or landing gear. Senior level specialisations include service engineers, production coordinators and lead technicians.
5. What are the working conditions like?
Technicians work in loud, busy hangars with some physical demands like climbing, lifting heavy machinery, bending and kneeling. Most airline and regulation agency jobs involve shift work as aircraft require maintenance round the clock. Independent contractors may get more flexibility. There is also work involving exposure to dangerous equipment, hazardous chemicals and weather extremes on runways and flight lines. Proper training on safety processes is provided. Experienced professionals may get roles that are less physically intensive.
6. What is the job outlook and salary range for aircraft technicians?
The job growth for aviation maintenance roles is projected to be over 7% from 2021 to 2031, faster than average across occupations. Salaries range from £30,000 for entry level mechanics to £45,000 for senior avionics and powerplant specialists. With additional licenses and clearances, technicians working on corporate jets and specialised aircraft can earn six figure salaries. Experience brings not just better compensation but also opportunities to advance into quality engineering or fleet manager roles.