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Aviation Maintenance Technician CareersLearn What it Takes to Become an A&P Mechanic
By Kyle Garrett
Aircraft Mechanic Careers
Aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs) keep aircraft in the air by inspecting, replacing, and fixing nearly every part of an airplane or helicopter. The term aviation maintenance technician is very broad and applies to nearly anyone who works on aircraft. However, as an aspiring AMT you'll quickly learn that there are several different types of mechanics out there.
First of all, airframe mechanics are licensed to perform repair work on the entire aircraft with the exception of the engine(s), propellers, and instruments. Powerplant mechanics are authorized to work on engines and in some cases, propellers. Although you can earn either an airframe or powerplant certificate, the vast majority of AMTs earn both certificates and are thereafter referred to as A&P (airframe and powerplant) mechanics. Avionics technicians work exclusively on aircraft radios, instruments, navigation, weather, traffic, and ground proximity systems. Learn more about aviation maintenance technician jobs.
Aviation Maintenance Technician Career Paths
As an A&P mechanic, you are eligible to work in a huge variety of settings. You can work as a freelance mechanic at your local airfield, get a job working for a local airport, work for a corporate aviation department maintaining one or a fleet of aircraft, or end up at a major airline working on passenger jets and turboprops. After three years operating as an A&P mechanic (with 24 months hands-on experience), you're eligible to move up and become an inspection authorization mechanic (IA). IA's are A&Ps with the authority to return aircraft to service after certain types of thorough inspections.
Aviation Maintenance Technician Key Points
AMTs must be detail-oriented people. Aircraft mechanics perform a variety of complex tasks where mistakes can be costly in terms of money and human life. When the tools are put away, the job is not complete; aircraft mechanics must also be excellent record keepers. Paperwork for all inspections and work completed must be filed and logged appropriately for each task completed. The larger and more complex the aircraft, the more paperwork. Find out more about aviation maintenance technician training.
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