Career Advice: From our readers

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

Well, go where the aircraft are. Buy good tools and try to adjust your life style to the industry. People depend on what we say we do.

Some negative responses

Absolutely not. I wouldn't even recommend my worst enemy! Sad but true. I love aircraft maintenance but management feels they could do more w/less and cut our pay and benefits. Needless to say, with the recent cuts I'm going backwards in the company.

Don't do it. I have friends that are automotive mechanics making $30-35 per hour after just 10 years experience. General aviation mechanics are not respected for what we do and are not paid enough for the level of responsibility we take. After being in aviation for more than 20 years I would have expected to make more than $100,000 per year. The aircraft I work on are $10-50 million business jets. The company charges around $80-90 an hour to work on it which I find to be quite low when you consider that car dealer service shops charge about the same. Owners of these business jets can spend the kind of money it takes to buy and operate them but not to pay what it takes to have an experienced technician on their staff to maintain safety. What's with that?

Automotive mechanics are in higher demand and higher paid.

Aviation is currently in a down cycle. Choose another career.

Become an electrician, and stay out of this trade until people that run these companies become liable for their word.

Do not get into this. Find something else to do with your life, as all we do is wonder if we will have a job the next day or if all maintenance will be done overseas.

Don't! Get out if you're young enough to find something in another line.

Find a different career. I'm glad to be leaving the airline industry after 25 years and two airlines. I will miss working on the airplanes, but with the current environment in the airlines, it's just not worth it.

Get out of the business before your career and your retirement pension goes down the toilet.

I would advise against seeking a career in aircraft maintenance. The airlines are very unstable and you can plan on spending the majority of your career on graveyards. The general aviation sector does not pay well enough or have the benefits that I believe it should. The airlines are willing to outsource maintenance as long as the price is cheap, and do not really care about the lack of quality. It hurts me to not recommend becoming a mechanic, but unless things start to change, I think it is the most honest advice.

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