Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians

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About the Job

Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.

It is also Called

  • X Ray Examiner of Aircraft
  • Vacuum System Tester
  • Utility Helicopter Repairer
  • Trouble Shooter
  • Supercharger Mechanic
  • Rotor Blade Installer
  • Rocket Engine Mechanic
  • Rocket Engine Component Mechanic
  • Propeller-Driven Airplane Mechanic
  • Propeller Mechanic
show all

What They Do

  • Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.
  • Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.
  • Determine repair limits for engine hot section parts.
  • Clean engines, sediment bulk and screens, and carburetors, adjusting carburetor float levels.
  • Listen to operating engines to detect and diagnose malfunctions such as sticking or burned valves.
  • Cure bonded structures, using portable or stationary curing equipment.
  • Disassemble engines and inspect parts, such as turbine blades and cylinders, for corrosion, wear, warping, cracks, and leaks, using precision measuring instruments, x-rays, and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Examine engines through specially designed openings while working from ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from an aircraft.
  • Communicate with other workers to coordinate fitting and alignment of heavy parts, or to facilitate processing of repair parts.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IA.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Artistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Working Conditions and Relationships in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $62,570 with most people making between $36,910 and $84,310

Outlook

1.29%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 13,200 people in California. It is projected that there will be 14,900 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 170 openings due to growth and about 320 replacement openings for approximately 490 total annual openings.