What Does an Aircraft Powertrain Repairer Do?

Research what it takes to become an aircraft powertrain repairer. Learn about the duties of this job, the education requirements and the salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Aircraft Powertrain Repairer Do?

An aircraft powertrain repairer - or aviation mechanic - inspects, services, repairs and maintains aircraft so that they are airworthy and meet regulatory compliance. They have to be able to diagnose both mechanical and electronic problems. Often, repairs require the replacement of parts, and the repairer must reference maintenance manuals. In some cases, they may need to test parts prior to installing them to ensure they will function properly. After a job, they inspect their work to verify it was completed up to regulation standards. The following chart provides an overview of the general requirements for a career in this field.

Degree Required Technical or associate's degree
Education Field of Study Aviation mechanics, aircraft systems, electricity, airframe inspection, aviation maintenance, aircraft components
Licensure/Certification Typical for civilian jobs; offered through Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Key Responsibilities Keep aircraft maintained and airworthy; inspect aircraft and perform scheduled maintenance; make repairs; log maintenance and ensure compliance with federal regulations
Job Growth (2014-24) 1% (for aircraft mechanics and service technicians)*
Median Salary (2015) $58,370 (for aircraft mechanics and service technicians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Aircraft Powertrain Repairer?

An aircraft powertrain repairer is a kind of aircraft mechanic. In this position, you might be required to replace powertrain quills, rotary wing hubs and transmission components. You could also be responsible for disassembling hangar assemblies and friction dampers. Other job duties might include applying corrosion prevention solutions, cleaning powertrain components, performing inspections and properly storing flammable materials. You would also need to fix and maintain the equipment used in powertrain repair.

What Training Do I Need?

You could pursue aircraft repair training at a technical school. Technical schools typically grant certificates or diplomas; some offer educational programs in general aviation technology, while others may allow you to specialize in aircraft powertrains. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) governs technical schools offering degree programs in aviation technology. Here, you could take courses such as materials and processes, electricity, cleaning and corrosion control, aircraft welding, systems auxiliary, metal structures in aircraft, aircraft fuel systems, assembly and rigging, airframe inspection, landing gear systems, instruments and communication systems.

Aircraft powertrain repairers can also receive training in the U.S. Army. Training consists of two parts. First, you'll complete basic training, which lasts nine weeks and teaches you fundamental soldiering skills and Army procedures. Then, you'll complete 18 weeks of specialized training in aircraft powertrain repair. Specialized training includes learning how to repair and inspect airplane engines and aviation equipment. You'll develop basic skills, such as engine disassembly, engine repair, hydraulic systems repair, electrical systems repair and aircraft coverings repair.

If you wish to pursue non-military employment, you may wish to pursue licensure from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA offers separate licenses for powerplant and airframe mechanics, plus a combined license, known as the A&P license. Military training qualifies you to sit for the licensing exam. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that most mechanics employed by civilian airlines are A&P mechanics (www.bls.gov).

What Is the Job Market Like?

The BLS reported that the employment of aviation mechanics is expected to grow one percent between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Growth in this profession will be slow due to new aircraft that are expected to need less maintenance than the previous, older aircraft.

What Is the Pay?

As of May 2015, the median annual salary for aviation mechanics was $58,370. Top earners in this profession made in excess of $89,050 while the lowest-paid aircraft mechanics made $34,770 or less, according to the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Automotive service technicians and mechanics make similar repairs as aviation mechanics, only on automobiles. They are often hired to diagnose automotive problems and repair malfunctioning parts. Professionals in this field often complete a post-secondary non-degree program that prepares them to work with a variety of vehicles. Another similar position is an electro-mechanical technician. These workers operate, maintain and repair automated and robotic electro-mechanical equipment. They typically need at least an associate's degree in their field.

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