Earning Six Figure Income as an Aircraft Mechanic?
Absolutely! Yes that’s right, six figure income working on aircraft. Yes this is possible and you probably have already heard stories of people making big money. Sure, I know, you have heard nothing but bad news on the TV about the airline industry laying off mechanics. Guess what?! That’s the airline industry, not the entire aviation industry! Other areas are doing just fine, in fact, they are growing and in need of mechanics!
One sure way to make great money is working overseas as an aircraft mechanic. Now granted, the places might not be the greatest places on earth, but hey, I’m there for the money, not sightseeing. You can learn all about overseas contracting on my blog, so read up because you have a lot to learn. Some jobs do not even require an A&P license! But, the jobs requiring the A&P license are typically much better jobs. For instance, you may only have to work a 40 hour schedule versus a 84 hour schedule without the A&P license. It all depends on the contract and which aircraft you will be working on. There are lots of tricks to getting into these great jobs. Read my blog to keep current on all the latest news.
There are lots of opportunities all over the world working on airplanes. This is a kick-ass industry and there is TONS to learn and frankly, the learning never stops. But do not let that slow you down. I personally know people who will retire before they are the age of 30! Do you want to be stuck in a dead end job your whole life? Of course not! You have heard the stories of people making big money, now its your turn to start making some real dough!
Locate Aviation Mechanic Schools Here
What is the A & P License?
The Airframe – Powerplant or A and P license is a certificate or rating issued by the Federal Aviation Administration which allows a mechanic to legally work on aircraft unsupervised. There are 3 ways to gain the experience to be eligible to take the A & P tests.
- Traditional training from a FAA approved Part 147 A & P School. This method usually takes about 2 years. After graduating, one can take the tests to become an A & P. This is generally fastest way of obtaining the certificates.
- Military Training.Depending on the military occupational specialty code, one may be eligible to test for either the airframe or powerplant and sometimes both. Visit the local FAA FSDO office to get cleared for the test. Complete MOS list is here.
- Work Experience. Working under a FAA approved repair station or FBO under the supervision of a certified mechanic. This takes 18 months per certificate or 30 months for both. All experience must be thoroughly documented with pay stubs, log book entries signed off by the supervising mechanic, a notarized letter from the employer or other proof that the work was actually performed. Visit the local FAA FSDO office for an interview.
After meeting one of the 3 experience requirements, it is now possible to take the tests. The tests are broken down into 3 areas- General, Airframe and Powerplant. Each one of those is then broken down further into 3 more areas;
- Written.This test is taken at one of many computer testing centers around the country. Passing is 70% or better. One must answer 100 multiple choice questions for each the airframe and powerplant tests and answer 60 questions for the general test. If the test is failed, one must wait 30 days to retake which means paying the 70-150 dollar fee again.
- Oral.This test is admisitored by a Designated Mechanic Examiner or DME. Find a DME here. This test is taken at the same time as the hands on or practical test. The oral test is a series of questions that must be answered correctly in order to pass.
- Practical. This is a hands on part of the test. The good part about the practical test is that all required documents and supporting material is available to use. This part of the test can take up to 8 hours to complete per certificate.
Technically an A and P is not needed to work on aircraft. A mechanic can work under a repairmans certificate which is issued to the repair facility by the FAA. However, statistically a non certificated aircraft mechanic will be paid less than a certificated one.
Why Get The A and P License?
For the money! Also, aviation is a kick-ass industry that has a shortage of skilled mechanics. You have to love aviation and be safety oriented as well.
This chart was taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now do not get turned off by the low hourly wages, this chart is from 2000. Pay has definitely increased since then, but the point is still the same, the A&P is a worthwhile endeavour.