Career Advice: From our readers

What would you recommend to someone wishing to advance in an aircraft maintenance career?

What would you recommend to someone wishing to advance in an aircraft maintenance career?

No. 1. Safety first. No. 2. If you don't know the answer, find someone that does and don't be afraid to ask them!

Absolute integrity, never trust another mechanic's work and ask for (get) help when you need it, and give 100 percent in every task you perform.

Accept any training your company will offer.

Always show an interest in improving yourself. Be willing to learn in an ever-changing industry. Invest in yourself and know when to take the initiative. Lead by example and don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't know something.

As difficult as it is in the digital world, focus on troubleshooting and problem solving. This requires good logic and especially understanding the basics and systems.

Aviation is a beautiful life but very demanding, know that everything has to be just right! You have to be able to develop a passion for aviation to make it right with self-satisfaction rewards.

Be dedicated to your job and always seek to learn more.

Be goal orientated, even if the job you have doesn't suit you at this time. Take all the knowledge you can from it and make the opportunity to move on to another job. Study and qualify early in your career for the best opportunities.

Become fully engaged in the industry and belong to organizations to promote the field of aviation maintenance, such as PAMA and the new AMTSociety organization. It is vital to stress the importance of our facet of the industry and enhance the image of the AMT from a necessary evil to a required necessity.

Care about the people. Think about the job you are doing no matter how trivial. We are all originally fascinated with the equipment, but when you begin to care about the flight crew and passengers, it helps your growth. Get a pilot's license or at least solo as it helps us have empathy for the crew and passengers. All of this helped my career and developed a partnership in our business of aviation.

Come in with an open mind conducive to learning as much as you possibly can, always looking to learn from the experienced technicians. Respect the career field and the responsibility that comes with it and never settle for a job done "good enough".

Do it by the book each and every time you work on an aircraft and don't get caught up in compromising your integrity. Base your decisions on facts and don't assume someone else has completed an inspection you are responsible for, always double check. Lastly, read aviation related documents daily: maintenance manuals, ADs, ASBs, ACs, NTSB reports. This will increase your knowledge and give you the confidence to make hard decisions.

Do it! Starting out is difficult but if you are really into aviation there is nothing like it. Flying is great but you can never understand how an aircraft works without working on it.

Continuous reading and learning. Keep yourself interested to hone your troubleshooting skills and patience in work.

Decide early how far you wish to go up the corporate ladder. Work toward that end daily. Be extremely flexible with your personal life and have a very understanding family.

Do quality work. Get as much knowledge of your profession as you can, even if you have to pay for it yourself. Pay attention to details. That's the difference between average and excellence.

Do what you love. It you choose any career in the hopes of easy money you will surely be disappointed.

Don't settle for the basic license. Get all of the specialized training you can, emphasizing the areas you have added aptitude in. Sheet metal is a neglected area these days. Extra electrical/electronic training is almost mandatory. NDI and composite repair are a couple more that are needed.

Experience is invaluable. Going to work every day is not the way to get ahead. You have to be aggressive and learn what you can on your own.

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