Aircraft technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing all kinds of aircraft. Initially a technician is responsible for the inspection of aircraft according to their maintenance schedule, in an aim to diagnose mechanical or electrical issues. This ensures optimum performance of all engines, hydraulics and flying controls, as well as catching anything which could develop into a safety issue. There are specialisms within the aircraft technician role, so any one given technician could focus on a specific area of the plane, such as the structure or engine, and many technicians focus on the electrics and diagnostic systems.
All aircraft must be checked prior to takeoff, and within hours of landing. With aircraft taking off and landing every hour of the day, technicians need to be flexible, and willing to work at unsociable hours to keep aircraft safe and running smoothly. The lives of passengers rely on the work of aviation technicians and there is little room for error. This means it requires a cool head to stay organised and undertake detailed tasks whilst turning around maintenance operations in a short space of time. Your office will be either the hangar, or in the jet whine and general bustle outdoors, and military technicians may be deployed to an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, so all technicians need to be able to work in all weather conditions and noise levels.
Professional qualifications are needed to become an aircraft technician category A or B licences being the most commonly held in Europe. But there is also a strong emphasis placed on on-the-job training, with experience which tending to be the route to career progression.
Salaries for aircraft technicians vary depending on location, size of company and the specific demands of the job. A starting salary is likely to be anywhere between £18,000 ($29,000) and £23,000 ($37,000) but once a technician has sufficient experience this could be expected to rise to £35,000 ($56,000). At the top end, senior aviation technicians with significant experience can earn upwards of £65,000 ($100,000)