Find an employer willing to pay for your training, as A&P schools cost a fortune. When you do land a job build your resume at that company as much as you can, utilize all training to the fullest, volunteer for "special projects," and set yourself apart from other techs as history has shown this will not be your last job in this industry and your resume and your tools are all you'll be leaving with.
Forget technical colleges, vocational schools and other two-year programs. Go for the four-year degree program. That's the only way you have a chance of receiving all the necessary skills required for your whole career.
Get a good business education, learn to communicate verbally and written, and have great listening skills.
Get all the education possible and attend as many trade shows and training workshops as possible. Never stop looking for ways to improve work habits and what is new in the aviation world. Communications and avionics are always lacking in the work force so get training in these areas.
Get an A&P license and keep it current. Some jobs do not require one, but the fact that you have one will give you a leg up on other applicants.
Get as much avionics and or composite training as possible. Mechanics wages have taken a real beating since 9/11.
Get as much experience on all aircraft and systems that you can. Get as much training as possible via safety seminars and company-provided training. Take any additional training from local colleges to advance management training to better understand business operations.
Get your education first. It helps you to get your foot in the door. Listen to the technicians, what they know you will not learn in school. Experience is the best professor.
Go for it. This is a field where we do what we love. Study all forms of manufacturer info you can get your hands on and the FARs.
Hard work and good ethics will get you as far as you want to go.
I enjoy working in aviation, and I have found the following to work for me and those I observe and work with. Learn as much as you can about as many areas as you can. I firmly believe we are hardwired to be questing for knowledge. Keep your mind on what you are doing. Learn to communicate what you are doing to those around you. Don't be afraid to share your knowledge with those you work with. When you build up those around you, it is easier for you to move to the next level. When documenting maintenance performed, read what you have written, and ask yourself, "will I understand what I did if I read this a year from now?" If the words you have written can't do that, add detail.
I think you should have a passion for working on aircraft and not look at it as just a job. Take pride in the work that you do. There are a lot of pilots that depend on it.
It's a great career for young people, because people have the chance to live and work in an industry with the ultimate technology and high stressed but interesting job.
Keep abreast of new technology by reading aviation magazines and get as much school courses, hands-on, and training as you can. Be willing to relocate if the opportunity to advance is presented to you.
Keep on studying more because being involved in the aviation industry is a continuous learning process. We should be professional enough to comply with the need for competence in doing our job for the sake of safety. Cooperation and communication are the keys for being in a team. Each and every one of us, whatever role we are doing, is very important for the completion of a job.
Learn everything you can about aviation maintenance and aviation business; seek specialized training and type-specific training; join PAMA; participate in government [vote, write, and follow]; participate in the FAA AMT awards program; and read AMT magazine!
Learn how to adapt to change, and how to lead others through the "change" process (denial, anger, rationalization, acceptance).
Look at all the possibilities that aviation can lead to. Aircraft maintenance is not the only aspect of our work. The new composites are an avenue to look into, along with possibly working for certification in the NDT field.
Obtain a degree in aviation and find a sense of humor.
Participate in all career and personal development seminars that you can. Continually work on self-improvement and develop pride in what you do based on your self-improvement strategies. If you don't like your job get out of the business.
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