Career Development

Paging through a recent Sunday newspaper I came upon an article titled “The Industries That Are — and Aren’t — Hiring.” Given I was about to write this column for our annual AMT career development focus I felt compelled to read on.

No surprise, aviation was not on the list of six industries as either those that are — or aren’t — hiring. The industries mentioned as hiring were restaurants and bars, computer systems, and fabricated metals. The first two were no surprise, but I did stop and read again the paragraph on fabricated metals; I’ll come back to this.

Those industries on the list not hiring were telecommunications, construction, and printing. These were again no surprise but being part of a business-to-business media company I cringed a bit when I read about the printing industry. Like aviation, the media world is also changing with greater emphasis placed on the Internet, digital, and social media.

Back to the fabricated metal industries, one comment stated was “Companies that cut and shape metal for cars, airplanes, and other products generally have had a rebound in jobs and orders over the past year.” OK, the correlation to aircraft maintenance jobs seems distant and small, but still it’s a positive sign and it has been reported that most aircraft OEMs are experiencing orders; especially those building airliners and business aircraft.

This issue of AMT contains a diverse group of articles focused on hiring trends, career development, and specialized skills training. Bryan Maloney of Jet Professionals talks about current maintenance technician hiring trends at corporate flight departments and business aircraft MROs and OEMs. John Gamble from Snap-on Industrial describes how academia and industry partner together to provide third-party credentials for specialized skills training. Lea Schellhorn describes the development of virtual training systems and how this technology also provides specialized skill training with a positive environmental impact. Aviation student Samantha Fowler provides her thoughts on how being part of the FAASTeam can enhance your career.

A topic heard regularly these days is the need for technical employees with the right skills and potential to move into leadership roles. Traditionally many of these roles are filled from within and at some point you may be faced with making this decision. Whether moving from technician to crew chief or supervisor, or manager to a senior level position they all require new or additional skills. I recall clearly taking this path at the airline and it resulted in a sometimes challenging yet very rewarding journey.

Earlier this year I hosted a webinar on the subject of moving from a technical to management role. In this issue Charles Chandler expands on this subject by offering his perspective on how to prepare when making this decision. Join our Aug. 24 AMT webinar when Charles, John Rahilly contributor to the AMT Management Matters feature, and myself continue the discussion on this subject.