What Does An Aircraft Mechanic Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Aircraft Mechanics

Aircraft Mechanics diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

Salary
$69040
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth
Low

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Aircraft Mechanics diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

  • 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.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Aircraft Mechanics inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts, materials, and equipment. They read and interpret pilots’ descriptions of problems to diagnose causes.

A typical day for an Aircraft Mechanic will also include:

  • Replace or repair worn, defective, or damaged components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.
  • Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.
  • Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
  • Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Aircraft Mechanics also measure the tension of control cables. They may also clean, refuel, and change oil in line service aircraft.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Aircraft Mechanics 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. They might also test the operation of engines and other systems, using test equipment, such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers, or ammeters.

In addition, they fabricate defective sections or parts, using metal fabricating machines, saws, brakes, shears, and grinders.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them locate and mark dimensions and reference lines on defective or replacement parts, using templates, scribes, compasses, and steel rules.

To some Aircraft Mechanics, it is also their responsibility to modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
10%

Very little freedom
0%

Limited freedom
10%

Some freedom
37%

A lot of freedom
44%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
5%

Very little freedom
0%

Limited freedom
22%

Some freedom
26%

A lot of freedom
46%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Low

52% said they were satisfied with their job and 36% said they found their job meaningful.


My Typical Day I worked as a Junior Technician Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) in the B2 license category. As an avionics junior technician, I used to work in the Electrical, Radio, and Battery maintenance sections in MRO. We had a schedule for each day to work in these sections. We used to work in a … Read More


For a maintenance engineer working in the aircraft engine manufacturing industry, a typical day at work looks like this: First off, when there’s no emergency, the day starts with a briefing, where the previous maintenance team explains what happened during their working time. That is, what equipment failures they encountered and whether or not they … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.

Good salary (earns more than 50% of the careers out there).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

How much do they make

Average salary

$69040 per year

Average hourly wage

$33 per hour

Entry-level Aircraft Mechanics with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $38,970 to $51,760 per year or $19 to $25 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $103,880 $50
Senior (Top 25%) $85,400 $41
Median $66,440 $32
Junior (Bottom 25%) $51,760 $25
No experience (Bottom 10%) $38,970 $19

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Aircraft Mechanics based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing $88300 $42.45
Utility System Construction $86960 $41.81
Scheduled Air Transportation $86760 $41.71
Couriers and Express Delivery Services $77990 $37.49
Management of Companies and Enterprises $75250 $36.18
Electronic and Precision Equipment Repair and Maintenance $73620 $35.40
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $73410 $35.29
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions $72670 $34.94
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing $70440 $33.86
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $68560 $32.96

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Aircraft Mechanics work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Aircraft Mechanics including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Support Activities for Air Transportation 37690 $58890 $28.31
Scheduled Air Transportation 29940 $86760 $41.71
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing 17530 $68560 $32.96
Federal Executive Branch 14540 $64380 $30.95
Nonscheduled Air Transportation 6360 $65150 $31.32
Couriers and Express Delivery Services 5750 $77990 $37.49
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services 1560 $68550 $32.96
Technical and Trade Schools 1470 $59600 $28.65
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 1130 $55500 $26.68
Management of Companies and Enterprises 910 $75250 $36.18

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
61%

More than 40 hours
39%

Working schedule

53%

47%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
30%

Fairly important
5%

Important
8%

Very important
19%

Extremely important
38%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
15%

Fairly important
11%

Important
8%

Very important
58%

Extremely important
8%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
35%

Fairly important
1%

Important
8%

Very important
36%

Extremely important
20%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
14%

Every day
5%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
23%

Every day
46%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
45%

Every day
44%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
47%

Once a year
41%

Once a month
12%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
30%

Once a year
26%

Once a month
38%

Once a week
3%

Every day
3%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
11%

Once a year
38%

Once a month
45%

Once a week
6%

Every day
0%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
54%

Once a year
16%

Once a month
30%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
1%

Slightly competitive
36%

Moderately competitive
42%

Highly competitive
15%

Extremely competitive
6%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
1%

Fairly important
1%

Important
31%

Very Important
64%

Extremely Important
4%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
5%

Minor impact
1%

Moderate impact
11%

Important impact
10%

Very important impact
73%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
5%

Once a year
2%

Once a month
5%

Once a week
13%

Every day
75%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
30%

Limited responsibility
11%

Moderate responsibility
15%

High responsibility
23%

Very high responsibility
22%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
35%

Limited responsibility
20%

Moderate responsibility
2%

High responsibility
14%

Very high responsibility
29%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
30%

Once a year or more
10%

Once a month or more
1%

Once a week or more
32%

Every day
26%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
15%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
4%

Once a week or more
6%

Every day
73%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
5%

Once a year or more
17%

Once a month or more
19%

Once a week or more
49%

Every day
10%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
26%

Once a year or more
23%

Once a month or more
31%

Once a week or more
11%

Every day
10%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
12%

Post-Secondary Certificate
60%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
25%

Bachelor’s Degree
3%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
14%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
3%

6 months to 1 year
25%

1 to 2 years
17%

2 to 4 years
31%

4 to 6 years
8%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
1%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
2%

1 month
11%

1 to 3 months
13%

3 to 6 months
3%

6 months to 1 year
39%

1 to 2 years
25%

2 to 4 years
5%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
3%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
100%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
52%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
19%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
29%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
67%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
57%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
67%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
48%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
62%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
86%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
52%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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