Why pick a career in Aviation Maintenance?
I often ask myself if I could ever recommend my chosen career to someone else. I will admit aviation has been good to me but I have made sacrifices.
People are awake during daylight hours so that is when they want to fly. With few exceptions most aircraft are flying during the day. That means that the best opportunity to maintain them is at night. As a new A&P chances are pretty good that you will be working nights unless you are working in a General Aviation FBO which generally pays the least to start or for a freight company which is a pretty good job if you can get on with the big ones.
Then there is the issue of experience. Employers typically want two years of experience before they will even consider you. Conversely as you get older they want less experienced (younger) more impressionable candidates that they can imprint with their own dogma. This makes it hard to get a job or keep it.
Stability is no longer in my work vocabulary. Bankruptcies, mergers, layoffs, routing changes, foreign competition etc. have all made their impact on the A&P. Seniority is much less an asset. Keeping a job until retirement is almost impossible.
A retirement plan is no longer part of the package for most, so you are dependent on funneling some of your wages to a nest egg which is difficult in the early years when it has the most impact because you are using your discretionary funds to build your tool inventory instead.
So what would I say to someone looking to enter the Aviation Industry?
Stay in school and get that Engineering Degree or DIVERSIFY. Build another career path in something else that interests you. With the training you get in A&P school you should have figured out what you are best at. If you are good at welding for example, make sure you continue to practice and hone that skill.
With the internet today its not difficult to build a hobby into a paying career.
This blog is part of my attempt to do just that and here is a resource that I am using…
Build & Grow Your Own Internet Business…