We recently spoke to Conor Hyland, Apprentice Aircraft Maintenance Engineer at Aer Lingus. He explained what his role consists of, and his career advice for young engineers.
What first made you decide to pursue a career in engineering?
I have always enjoyed working with my hands and putting my mind to the test at the same time. I felt like engineering gave me the best of both worlds.
What was it that appealed to you about the apprenticeship route?
The “earn while you learn” was a major factor. I also liked the idea of getting practical experience rather than just sitting in a lecture hall/classroom all day.
What was the application process like for your apprenticeship at Aer Lingus?
It started with a generic aptitude test after sending in a C.V and a cover letter. There was a manual dexterity test and an interview after being shortlisted.
Are there any role models or mentors who have helped you in your career?
Majority of Aer Lingus engineers are really keen on giving you all the knowledge they have and make it easier to learn. Although it’s cliche I’d have to say my father has thought me everything I know so far!
What are the main day-to-day responsibilities of your role?
As an apprentice you shadow a qualified engineer during scheduled/unscheduled maintenance and pre flight checks. You can get really hands on and also get great knowledge to the paper work side of the job which is a massive part of this job.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
Being hands on and all the practical experience is great. It’s really rewarding seeing a plane you just worked on take off.
What are you most looking forward to learning or experiencing in the rest of your
I’m looking forward to getting my license so I can start working on my own and taking more responsibility myself.
Do you have any specific career goals that you are working towards?
I’d like to travel with my job. A technical representative for a company is a great way to get to travel. Aircraft leasing would be a great way to go. However, If there was a management job in Aer Lingus on offer I couldn’t say no!
What advice would you give to any aspiring engineers out there who are planning their first career steps?
Don’t hesitate to apply or put yourself out there. Ask lots of questions no matter how silly you might think they are. Everyone around you is willing to help and all of the great engineers once had no idea what they were doing too!
Browse the latest aircraft maintenance jobs here.
Learn more about engineering apprenticeships here.