What Are the Job Duties of an Aviation Mechanic?

Aviation mechanics are responsible for keeping aircraft and other aviation equipment in working order. Aviation mechanics must carefully follow maintenance regulations required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Read this article to learn what the job duties of an aviation mechanic are. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Aviation mechanics usually become adept in aircraft maintenance through training programs or on-the-job experience. Some mechanics may specialize in a certain type of aircraft, such as helicopters or jets. Others focus on a specific system within the aircraft, such as engines, instruments, or hydraulics systems. Mechanics working with the electronics or computerized aviation components, including navigation and communications systems, often need additional training or licensing.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Key Skills Agile, pays attention to detail, skilled at working with hands, able to troubleshoot and diagnose problems, has strong observational skills
Certification Not required for entry-level work, but common in the field
Work Environment May work in hangars, repair stations, airfields; higher than average rate of injury and illness; frequently required to work overtime and on weekends
Similar Occupations Aerospace engineering and operations technicians, automotive body and glass repairs, electrical and electronics engineering technicians, mechanical engineering technicians

Preventative Maintenance Duties

Aviation mechanics spend a lot of time on preventative maintenance to ensure that the aircraft is safe and in top working condition. They follow an inspection schedule regulated by the FAA and perform any necessary repairs. Duties include:

  • Inspecting engines and other systems
  • Keeping inspection records
  • Checking parts for wear or corrosion
  • Testing equipment

Repair Duties

Sometimes, pilots or flight crew are the first to notice a problem with the aircraft. They report the issue to the aviation mechanic, who can then diagnose and repair the problem. The mechanic may have to troubleshoot and perform diagnostic tests in order to determine the cause of the problem. Then, he or she will repair or replace the damaged part and perform a test to make sure the problem has been resolved.

Salary and Employment Information

The median salary earned by aircraft mechanics and service technicians, including aviation mechanics, was reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) as $56,990 a year in 2014. States where the most mechanics and technicians were employed included Texas, California, and Florida. The BLS predicts that employment in the field will grow little, if at all, from 2014 to 2024, largely due to the outsourcing of repair and fabrication of aircraft parts.

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