Don’t be a one Trick Pony. Get some Experience!
If your already in school for your A and P license, or still thinking about getting it, now is a good time to get some related experience. Getting relevant experience is always a challenge no matter what the career field. Every employer wants experienced employees. My method for gaining experience does take some time so it should be started as soon as possible, preferably while still enrolled in aircraft maintenance school. My technique gains experience by finding jobs in other aviation related industries. Some of the best industries to look for jobs in are;
- Nondestructive testing. There may be companies in your area that provide NDT services to a variety of different industries. The NDT field is broken down into different methods of inspection. Those methods are; Ultrasonic,Eddy current, X-ray, Magnetic particle, and Dye penetrate. Each one of those methods has Level 1,2 and 3 technicians. It is possible to get hired into a NDT firm and start training for a level 1 NDT inspector. The benefits of gaining experience are an increased knowledge of flaw detection. As an aircraft mechanic, detecting irregularities is part of the inspection process. NDT training on the resume is a huge advantage, even if the parts being inspected are not aircraft parts.
- Airfield services, fueling and baggage handling. I know it’s not everyone’s dream job, but throwing bags does have its advantages. Working on the airport means you have knowledge of who is doing the hiring and firing at the various companies. Start by performing your original duties well. Take on extra responsible when possible. Build a positive reputation. Just as you will learn about the other companies on the airfield, they too will learn about you. It is a small world in aviation.
- Repair Station. Most repair stations do not require the employees to have an A and P license. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door. Find companies that overhaul components or provide some other kind of service to the aviation industry. It is possible the repair station would hire either a helper or apprentice.
- Aircraft parts manufacturing. There are tons of small companies scattered throughout the United States that manufacture parts for aircraft. While manufacturing isn’t the same as wrenching on aircraft, it can still be looked at as relevant depending on how it is worded on the resume. This is another job that adds valuable knowledge for aircraft mechanics. Witnessing how the parts are built pays dividends during difficult troubleshooting times.
Get it on paper
This list is not complete, but just meant to give you some ideas on where you can start working today even before you get your A and P license. Probably the most important part of my experience building technique is how it ends up looking on the resume. Take the time and create your resume to accurately describe your job duties. Always slant your resume to highlight any aircraft related work. This is the time to be creative within the boundaries of honesty. Ultimately the experience gained will pay off once you get your A and P license and are working in the field. Employers tend to look favorably upon a well rounded individual that can bring multiple skills to the table.
Job search Tip:
To help find relevant jobs, use broad search terms in job searches. Searching for the keyword “aircraft” will show related jobs that could help build a well rounded resume. Use the search box below for some examples.
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