Is The Aviation Industry Dead?
is the Aviation Industry Really Dead?
There is lots in the news recently about American Airlines bankruptcy. If you are attending one of many aviation mechanic schools located throughout the country, you may be somewhat nervous. The airline industry has been under economic pressure for quite some time. The end result in many cases has been farming out maintenance inspections to foreign entities. This is not only good for aircraft maintenance technicians in the United States, but the question of safety also comes up. How close is the oversight in these overseas operations?
For aircraft mechanics, all news is not bad news. There are some sectors in our industry that are still performing quite well. The smaller regional airlines are still doing quite well although the high paying airline jobs of the past have seemed to all go away. These are great places to start however, and build up some experience.
Another area still seeing moderate growth despite the threats of government cut backs is government contracting. The government owns lots of aircraft and all those aircraft require maintenance.The Homeland Defense agency operates aircraft all over the country both fixed wing and rotorwing. These aircraft are maintained by private contractors. The pay is pretty good and the work load is not difficult, I mean come on, it’s a government job. There are government contracting jobs all over the world and they tend to pay well. One downside to this type of work is that you are subject to government cut backs which could spell the end of your job rather abruptly.
EMS helicopter (HEMS) operators are still seeing solid growth into 2012. The great thing about these types of jobs is that you do not have to necessarily be in an area that has lots of aviation activity. EMS helicopters provide a service in rural areas of the country that ground ambulance operators cannot compete. Many of these jobs are salary based which means you may be getting lots of time off. The again, being responsible for a EMS helicopter is not something to be taken lightly. Many base mechanics are on call often in case of a mechanical difficulty.
Setting Yourself Apart
If you are still attending aviation mechanic school, I would suggest you start looking for work before you even graduate. With this economy getting an interview can be a challenge let alone getting hired. My advice to any new mechanic starting out is to start your job hunting early. If you can get your foot in the door as a baggage handler or aircraft fueler, you will have a leg up on your classmates who you will be inevitability competing against. The best part of this method is that you will get a chance to meet people in the industry and hopefully start making friends. Working at any airport means you will soon find out who is hiring and firing. Use this to your advantage to get yourself a great entry level aircraft mechanic position.
Job Searching Tips
Getting that first job as an aircraft mechanic is one of the more difficult challenges you will face as a new aircraft mechanic. It seems that all companies are looking for experienced aircraft mechanics to add to their ranks and without experience how are you supposed to get experience. This is the age old problem that new aviation maintenance technicians have faced.
This industry is still very much a “who you know” type club. Meeting more people and building up a reputation will help you out in the long run. Using social media like linkedin can also help you make connections and get good information on who is hiring. Get connected to the groups in our industry. Do not get discouraged if you routinely send out resumes and never get calls for an interview. It takes sending a LOT of resumes before someone will call you back, even for seasoned aircraft mechanics. After sending your resume, do not be afraid to reach out and make contact with companies. In most cases, you will be talking to HR departments. Always be polite and ask them if they have taken time to review your resume. Sometimes all a company needs is a little push from an applicant to get the ball rolling. Stay positive and keep at it, eventually you will be picked up and hopefully at a great firm.
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