How to become an Aircraft Engineer
Aircraft Engineers are some of the most highly skilled practitioners in the aviation industry. The role can often incorporate multiple disciplines and skillets in areas such as: aircraft aerodynamics, navigation communications, electrical or electronics engineering etc.
As a result engineers can often be expected to work on the development of new equipment as well general maintenance. Ultimately their role is relevant to every part of an aircraft's life, from development to maintenance.
What qualifications will I need?
Aircraft Engineer, or as they are sometimes referred to, Aircraft Technician roles require practitioners to possess a wide range of skills and relevant qualifications. Typically, the aviation authorities state that in order to become a licensed Aircraft Engineer, candidates must have at least a foundation degree or higher national diploma in engineering or an equivalent subject.
Having a qualification such as this will allow you to progress within your career to gain practical experience and attain an industry recognised qualification. A category B license is a common qualification that almost every Aircraft Engineer must attain. This qualification is awarded by the Civil Aviation Authority CAA. Qualifications such as these are industry recognised and are important to have for when you want to progress within your career.
What are industry recognised licenses?
‘Part 66’ refers to European legislation for certifying licensed aircraft engineers in EASA member states, including the UK. It consists of three categories:
Category A – this basic license allows the holder to carry out basic inspections and maintenance to identify simple rectifications. This is a standard qualification typically attained at the early stages of an Aircraft Engineers’ career.
Category B – the category B qualification is arguably the most important qualification to attain for industry practitioners. The standard licence for practitioners consists of two categories:
B1 (mechanics – engines, air-frames etc.) and B2 (avionics – instrumentation, electrical/ electronic equipment).
Category B licences require more in-depth aircraft maintenance knowledge than category A.
Category C – this license is typically awarded to senior engineers or engineers who hold a B1 or B2 license. It allows the holder to issue certificates of release to service following base maintenance on any aircraft (when the aircraft is stripped down for complete service and overhaul).
How will I progress within my career?
As the role of an Aircraft Engineer can be so varied, many engineers choose to specialise in one aspect of the role and become specialists in that area later in their career. Focusing on a certain area can sometimes make it easier to progress within your career.
Here are some common specialist careers:
- Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
- Aircraft Engineering Technician
- Aeronautical Engineer
- Airworthiness Engineer
- Electronics Technician
- Weapons Technician
Average salary of an Aircraft Engineer
The average salary of an Aircraft Engineer in the UK can vary depending on level of experience and area of specialisms. For entry level engineers or apprentices, the average salary in the UK is around £20,000 whilst for more experienced engineers the average salary is around £30,000 - £35,000.
For specialist engineers with around ten years’ experience, the average salary is around £50,000 - £60,000.
Apply for Aircraft Engineer Jobs today
At Morson we specialise in recruiting for some of the UK's most exciting Aerospace Engineering jobs, we ensure that every candidate we place is best suited for the role. Our wealth of experience and expertise has allowed us to build strong working relationships with many organisations, enabling us to recruit for a variety of exciting and exclusive Aircraft Engineering jobs.
Whether you are just starting off in your Aerospace career or are an experienced engineer who would like to progress, at Morson we can help find the right role for you. Search all of our available Aerospace jobs here.