Happiness and The A and P License – Busted Knuckles & All
Many of you that have been following me know that I am a mechanic for a EMS helicopter. I come from a military background but I also attended a part 147 maintenance school. I have held my A and P License for about 8 years now. My job is very rewarding and I feel privileged to be able to do what I do. It is not very common that we get to enjoy our jobs. Don’t get me wrong, there are some days I wish I had a desk job some where, but those days are few and far in between. I have been called out in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures to fix a no-start condition, but hearing that turbine spool up after being returned to service is a great feeling and almost worth freezing my butt off for. The break downs and late night calls usually go in waves. In most cases these calls can be avoided by keeping up with any maintenance and replacing things early before they actually fail.
Top 5 Reasons I Love My Job
- It’s always something different. I enjoy mechanical things and working with my hands. More importantly, I enjoy learning how things work. An aircraft is a engineering marvel and I feel lucky to be able to work on them. I enjoying being challenged and I believe it is what keeps my job interesting and fresh.
- I get to work with awesome people. People that are in the Helicopter EMS industry generally love their jobs. These individuals are in the top of their field, whether it be the pilots, medics or nurses, I am honored to work with each and every one of them.
- Flexible work schedule. My work schedule is pretty flexible which is great because I have kids. I can come in late or early so long as the aircraft is being maintained to the high standards that are required. The downside to this flexible type schedule is that it means I am on call a lot. It is still worth it to me however, I get to spend a lot of time with my kids. The aircraft will go through periods which it requires a lot of “attention”, but I offset those times with quality time spent with the family.
- This is a rewarding career. Every time a patient gets transported in my helicopter, I take great pride in being a part of an organization that routinely saves lives. Sometimes my helicopter will show up on the local TV news and I feel honored knowing that I play a small role in making that aircraft available for those life savings tasks.
- Good Salary and Benefits package. My health insurance can be frustrating at times but the overall package is good.
- The biggest downside to being an aircraft mechanic is excepting the huge amount of responsibility that goes along with wrenching on airplanes. This should not be taken lightly. Peoples lives are in our hands. The pressure exists because there is always pressure to meet tighter flight schedules. This is the reality of the world we live in. To be a good aircraft mechanic, you must be safe first and fast second. At the end of the day, it is YOUR certificate on the line.
Is Aviation for You? Considering the A and P License
If you are a safety oriented person who enjoys working with your brain as well as your hands, look into becoming an aircraft mechanic. I would highly recommend getting the FAA A&P license if you are serious about becoming an aircraft mechanic. In fact, most jobs will require having this certification. Find the ways to get the A and P license here. It is possible to make great money doing this kind of work, in fact it is even possible to make a 6 figure income being an aircraft mechanic. Jobs like that however will probably require you to travel far away from home.
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