By Laura Cronin 25 Oct 2022 3 min read

Meet Tara, A&P Mechanic with United Airlines

We recently spoke with Tara Alcera, an Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic working for United Airlines in the USA. Tara shared her career journey so far, the main challenges of her role, her goals for the future and her advice for young engineers...


What made you decide to pursue a career in aviation, and as an A&P Mechanic specifically?


Getting involved in the airline industry started out as a suggestion by a family friend who at the time worked as a Gate Agent. The intention was to do the same thing, except I landed in a whole different sector of the industry, Technical Operations to be specific. Being exposed to the Maintenance aspect is what drove me to pursue a career as an A&P.


Did you have any role models or mentors who helped you early in your career?


Yes, indeed. One mechanic I worked with in a back shop before I went to A&P school constantly encouraged me to get licensed as well. He believed in my capacity to be able to complete the program and get the FAA license at the end of it. Whenever I struggled through my journey, he never ceased to remind me to keep my eye focus on the end goal.


What has been the most challenging part of your career so far?


I would say being a female in a male-dominant industry had become the most challenging part. There is a lot of self-proving that has to be done, stereotypes that need to be broken through and what not but as I go through my journey, I am learning how to manage along quite well.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?


I enjoy working hands-on the aircraft. It is so rewarding to see the end results of your work. To see that aircraft be back on service, ensured that it is safe, air-worthy and reliable is what makes it all fulfilling.

What advice would you give to aspiring engineers/mechanics just starting out in their careers?


It’s so simple, “focus.” There is a lot to learn in this field and school is just a springboard. Be a sponge. Absorb and learn everything you can, it will only help you succeed in this career.

What are your main goals for the future in your career?


My main goal is to be able to mentor and encourage more women to be involved in aviation, more specifically in Maintenance. Our current number is so small that it would be such an honor and a great avenue to be involved in a position where I can encourage more women to do this kind of work, that being a woman is not a hindrance. That anyone and everyone is capable!


If you're searching for a new role as a Mechanic, browse the latest jobs here.