The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
Sample of reported job titles:
Aircraft Maintenance Technician (Aircraft Maintenance Tech), Aircraft Mechanic, Aircraft Restorer, Aircraft Technician, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A and P Mechanic), Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT), Aviation Mechanic, Helicopter Mechanic
Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.
Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
Modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.
Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.
Measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.
Obtain fuel and oil samples and check them for contamination.
Maintain, repair, and rebuild aircraft structures, functional components, and parts, such as wings and fuselage, rigging, hydraulic units, oxygen systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, gaskets, or seals.
Replace or repair worn, defective, or damaged components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.
Read and interpret pilots’ descriptions of problems to diagnose causes.
Test operation of engines and other systems, using test equipment, such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers, or ammeters.
Measure the tension of control cables.
Spread plastic film over areas to be repaired to prevent damage to surrounding areas.
Remove or install aircraft engines, using hoists or forklift trucks.
Assemble and install electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hydraulic, and structural components and accessories, using hand or power tools.
Locate and mark dimensions and reference lines on defective or replacement parts, using templates, scribes, compasses, and steel rules.
Fabricate defective sections or parts, using metal fabricating machines, saws, brakes, shears, and grinders.
Reassemble engines following repair or inspection and reinstall engines in aircraft.
Service and maintain aircraft and related apparatus by performing activities such as flushing crankcases, cleaning screens, and or moving parts.
Clean, refuel, and change oil in line service aircraft.
Trim and shape replacement body sections to specified sizes and fits and secure sections in place, using adhesives, hand tools, and power tools.
Accompany aircraft on flights to make in-flight adjustments and corrections.
Remove or cut out defective parts or drill holes to gain access to internal defects or damage, using drills and punches.
Install and align repaired or replacement parts for subsequent riveting or welding, using clamps and wrenches.
Inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts, materials, and equipment.
Clean, strip, prime, and sand structural surfaces and materials to prepare them for bonding.
Communicate with other workers to coordinate fitting and alignment of heavy parts, or to facilitate processing of repair parts.
Examine engines through specially designed openings while working from ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from an aircraft.
Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.
Disassemble engines and inspect parts, such as turbine blades or cylinders, for corrosion, wear, warping, cracks, and leaks, using precision measuring instruments, x-rays, and magnetic inspection equipment.
Cure bonded structures, using portable or stationary curing equipment.
Listen to operating engines to detect and diagnose malfunctions, such as sticking or burned valves.
Clean engines, sediment bulk and screens, and carburetors, adjusting carburetor float levels.
Determine repair limits for engine hot section parts.
Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.
Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.
Accounting software — DatcoMedia EBis
Analytical or scientific software — CaseBank SpotLight; Engine analysis software
Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
Data base user interface and query software — Mxi Technologies Maintenix; Pentagon 2000SQL
Facilities management software — Access Software AIRPAX; Maintenance information databases; Maintenance planning software; Maintenance record software
Information retrieval or search software — Computerized aircraft log manager CALM; Technical manual database software
Internet browser software — Web browser software
Inventory management software — Supply system software
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Detailed Work Activities
Inspect mechanical components of vehicles to identify problems.
Interpret blueprints, specifications, or diagrams to inform installation, development or operation activities.
Inspect completed work to ensure proper functioning.
Maintain repair or maintenance records.
Read technical information needed to perform maintenance or repairs.
Inspect structural components of vehicles to identify problems.
Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
Test fluids to identify contamination or other problems.
Read work orders or descriptions of problems to determine repairs or modifications needed.
Replace worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
Disassemble equipment to inspect for deficiencies.
Test mechanical equipment to ensure proper functioning.
Apply protective coverings to objects or surfaces near work areas.
Inspect mechanical equipment to locate damage, defects, or wear.
Assemble electrical components, subsystems, or systems.
Install electrical components, equipment, or systems.
Install piping for installation or maintenance activities.
Move large objects using heavy equipment.
Fabricate parts or components.
Lay out work according to specifications.
Clean equipment, parts, or tools to repair or maintain them in good working order.
Service vehicles to maintain functionality.
Lubricate equipment to allow proper functioning.
Reassemble equipment after repair.
Operate heating or drying equipment.
Cut materials according to specifications or needs.
Remove parts or components from equipment.
Align equipment or machinery.
Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
Install machine or equipment replacement parts.
Troubleshoot equipment or systems operation problems.
Observe equipment in operation to detect potential problems.
Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
Determine operational criteria or specifications.
Communicate with coworkers to coordinate installations or repairs.
Paint surfaces or equipment.
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
Frequency of Decision Making — 75% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
Consequence of Error — 72% responded “Extremely serious.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 73% responded “Very important results.”
Exposed to Contaminants — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 44% responded “Every day.”
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 73% responded “Every day.”
Time Pressure — 17% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 26% responded “Some freedom.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Spend Time Standing — 30% responded “More than half the time.”
Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 67% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Duration of Typical Work Week
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 30% responded “Every day.”
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 25% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 64% responded “Very important.”
Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 25% responded “Never.”
Telephone — 46% responded “Every day.”
Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 32% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 35% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 19% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Deal With External Customers — 58% responded “Very important.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 64% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 18% responded “Every day.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 30% responded “Never.”
Physical Proximity — 31% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 27% responded “About half the time.”
- Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
- Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.
- Related Experience
- Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
- Job Zone Examples
- These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
- SVP Range
- 1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)
Training & Credentials
- State training
- Local training
- State licenses
- Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov
to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.
Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
Post-secondary certificate required
Associate’s degree required
High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2020)
- $31.94 hourly, $66,440 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 130,100 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Faster than average (10% to 15%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings