If you want a hands-on role working up close on an aircraft then Aircraft Maintenance jobs are for you. With Commercial airlines requiring 601,000 new aircraft maintenance technicians/ engineers in the next 20 years to maintain the increase in fleet, aircraft personnel are in high demand.
An Aircraft Maintenance Engineer is a licenced and fully trained engineer who carries out and certifies aircraft maintenance. Basically they inspect, service, repair and overhaul civil aircraft and specialise in either mechanical or avionics engineering. The mechanical engineering side includes engines and airframes (they cover the structure and fabric of an aircraft) with some specialising in either engines or airframes, while others work on both. Whereas, avionics engineering covers instruments, electrical and electronic equipment, automatic flight control systems, radar and radio navigation/communication systems.
To maintain the enviable safety standards that have been established, people working within the aerospace industry must be licensed, which in the UK are awarded by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and issued under Part-66 which provides a common standard across EASA member states.
Traditionally, the entry route to aircraft maintenance has been through apprenticeships in industry, with companies sponsoring the preparation for qualifications such as the EASA approved licences. Not only this but BSc (Hons) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering degrees are also now available at universities.
Licence: Category A – Permits the holder to provide limited certification of inspection and maintenance tasks or detect simple rectification
Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
At this point, with 1 year’s training you can then decide which route to go down, whether it’s avionics or mechanical.
Licence: Category B1 or B2
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
With 5 years’ service you will be experienced in either avionics or mechanics – View jobs.
Licence: Category B1 or B2
Senior Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
As a specialist in a particular field, it may be worth obtaining a Category C licence which permits the holder to issue certificates of release to service following base maintenance on aircraft, so when the aircraft is stripped down for complete service and overhaul.
Licence: Category B1 or B2 plus Category C
Important Skills for Aircraft Maintenance Jobs
In the aerospace industry, some skills are key, see below the attributes which can help get you where you want to be.
Accurate: Be able to use precision tools, measure accurately, and perform to exact specifications.
Adept: Obtain the dexterity to manage and manipulate parts and tools with fingers and hands.
Agile: Be able to will climb ladders, stretch, reach, and squeeze into narrow spots.
Alert: Candidates should be observing and recognizing problems, breaking down mechanical parts, and repairing problems.
Analytic: Always able to diagnose problems, evaluate options, and implement solutions.
For some more advice on careers in aerospace, check out our blogs and guides.