Are all the Overseas Contracting Jobs Closing Down?

aircraft mechanic jobs overseas
a much younger me. Working phase inspections in Afghanistan

With conflicts ending in Iraq and soon to be Afghanistan, you gotta ask yourself, are all the contracting jobs going away? The short answer is no. While it is true, that many of the contracting jobs in Iraq has since closed down for good, some have merely shifted to Afghanistan. Also, there are still aircraft mechanics in Iraq performing maintenance on the Iraqi aircraft.  The real question is, what will happen to all of these contracting jobs when Afghanistan closes down? Personally, I think there will always be a need for aircraft maintenance overseas and frankly, leaving Afghanistan would make me quite happy. I don’t feel the Afghanis deserve or want our help anymore, but now I’m getting side tracked.

There are still lots of opportunities to work on aircraft overseas in war-zone environments.  Mechanics can earn a very good salary and take advantage of big tax breaks by doing this. Also, you can take pride in the fact that you are aiding out military by providing a much needed service.

But are These Jobs A Good Idea?

The best reason to go overseas as an aircraft mechanic is for the money. Yup, plain and simple. There is no faster way to make a 6 figure income especially as an aircraft mechanic. Hell, I know doctors that make less than some aircraft mechanics when you consider all the tax breaks that are available for overseas contractors. Trust me, because I’ve done it. I have worked multiple contracts in multiple countries each time making great money. So much money in fact, that I was able to change my life. Plus, anytime I want to go back and make some great money, I can. My point here is that If I can do it, so can you. Where else can I earn 6 figures without a college degree? Not only is the money to good to pass up, working overseas have these benefits as well;

  • Great tax breaks for overseas contractors
  • Most contracts provide free food
  • Most contracts provide free housing
  • Most bases have gyms, movie theaters and PX stores for shopping.

Plus, as an added money saver, you can lower your car insurances because you will not be driving. You will save a ton of money by not buying gas for your car, food or housing. Your whole check can literally get deposited into your account without spending a dime. Now tell me when the last time you were able to do that?

aircraft mechanic jobs overseas
Mi-17s operated by the Iraqi Air-force

But isn’t it Dangerous?

Sure it is. But in all honesty, everything is dangerous. You are more likely to get killed in your car on your way to work tomorrow. So should you quit to save your life? I know I did. Then I worked overseas and walked to work. But seriously, there is an amount of danger that you must be willing to accept. In all the places I worked, the biggest danger from “bad guys” was from mortar fire. This is random and infrequent. The shots are un-aimed but do occasionally hit things or people.  I can only tell you from my personal experiences that I have only been mildly concerned on a couple occasions  but everyone’s threshold is different.

While working on a contract, you will know a head of time what the working conditions are like. I now have kids so I am not willing to accept unnecessary risks as I once did. I would only work on established military bases which would have proper security. I am always leery of foreign armies providing base security.

A&P mechanic jobs overseas

Best Place to Find Jobs

Jsfirm is a great website for finding good jobs. Just use the search function and filter “international” jobs. Also indeed.com pulls from major job posting sites including jsfirm. Just type in OCONUS jobs or something similar. Most jobs will require experience on a particular airframe or airframes.  Also, if you are having problems meeting the requirements for aircraft mechanic jobs, try searching for UAV positions or other overseas positions. I knew some guys working on MRAPS (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) trucks that were making over $500.00 a day.  One of the best ways of getting into the really good contract job is by knowing someone.  If you have friends working overseas now, contact them and see if they can provide a reference or know any companies that are looking for mechanics.  Websites like Danger Zone Jobs are designed to help people find overseas contracting jobs.  Danger zone jobs has a nice forum feature which aids in networking and meeting new people.

Most jobs will require an A&P license. Some jobs will not require it. If you are maintain a military aircraft, more than likely you will not be required to have an A&P license. In my opinion, it seems that the better jobs require the A&P. Those jobs typically work less hours and have a better rotation for vacations.  It sure makes attending those aviation mechanic schools worthwhile.

Benefits to working overseas

Some of the coolest benefits to working in a war zone is that the housing and food is free for contractors. This can end up being quit a savings to deployed contractors.  Mechanics overseas can basically live for free without spending a dime. It is a challenge being away from home for so long but at least the decent salary makes it worth while.

With military conflicts winding down in Iraq and soon Afghanistan, the window of opportunity may be closing soon. If you are considering working overseas, now might be the best time to get started.

 Communicating with home

Communicating with your loved ones back home is very important. If you are single with no kids, this is not as critical but you should reach out to your loved ones and let them know you are alright. The fact that you are gone makes them worry about you. The time change can also make it difficult to find time to call home, as sometimes this means waking up in the middle of the night to call home. This is one of the reasons I enjoyed working the night shift while overseas. I could easily contract home and keep up with what was going on back in the real world.  It vitally important to keep in touch with your family while gone.

aircraft mechanic jobs overseas

 

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