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What Are The Pros and Cons Of Being An Aircraft Mechanic

Jill Caren
By Jill Caren
Updated December 17th, 2023

As an aircraft mechanic you will be responsible for making sure planes – or helicopters – are in proper working order to ensure that passengers travel safely. You can work in a variety of organizations including private companies, military, public airlines, and more.

This article will help you learn more about the pros and cons of working as an airline mechanic so you can see if it is the right career for you.

Pros Of Becoming An Aircraft Mechanic

These are some of the top reasons working as an aircraft technician is a good thing.

Job stability

Aircraft mechanics are in high demand due to the growing aviation industry. As long as people continue to travel by air, there will be a need for aircraft mechanics. This means that job stability is high for those who become certified aircraft mechanics.

Good earning potential

Aircraft mechanics earn a good salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for aircraft mechanics is around $65,380, with the highest 10% earning more than $98,590 per year. These salaries are pretty awesome for a career that requires less than 2 years of training to get started.

Opportunities for advancement

Aircraft mechanics can advance their careers by specializing in specific areas of aircraft maintenance, such as engines, avionics, or airframes. They can also become supervisors or managers, which often comes with higher pay.

Hands-on work

If you enjoy working with your hands and solving mechanical problems, becoming an aircraft mechanic is an excellent choice. This profession involves working on aircraft and diagnosing and repairing mechanical problems. This can be a satisfying job for those who enjoy hands-on work.

High demand for new aircraft mechanics

The aviation industry is growing – and so is the need for experienced mechanics. From private planes to large airlines, there is no shortage of opportunities.

Working in a dynamic environment

Aircraft mechanics work in a dynamic environment that is constantly changing. They may work on different types of aircraft, and each job may present unique challenges. This can be an exciting and fulfilling job for those who enjoy variety in their work.

Travel opportunities

An aircraft mechanic may have the opportunity to fly for free or at reduced rates. This means you can enjoy your time off traveling the world without the stress of expensive airline tickets.

Some aircraft mechanics will even do traveling mechanics so they will fly around the world to fix planes and get paid for the whole trip. Cool right?

Fun Fact: Rock Hudson worked as an aircraft mechanic! View more famous blue collar workers.

Contributing to flight safety

As a mechanic, you are directly involved in keeping people safe every single day. By performing regular maintenance and inspections, they help to prevent accidents and ensure that aircraft are in top condition for flight.

Professional development

The aviation industry is always changing, meaning you will probably never get bored. Keeping up with the changes in materials, technology, and more can keep the job exciting and interesting. Fortunately, this means that there are numerous opportunities for professional development and growth!

Feel like a family

Joining a team of aircraft mechanics can almost feel like you are joining a family. You can not only build technical skills but also create meaningful relationships with pilots, air traffic controllers, and other industry professionals. Working together as a cohesive unit is a great way to foster camaraderie and grow your career in aviation!

So, are you excited yet? Some really great reasons to become a plane mechanic are listed above, but no job is perfect. So, let’s talk about the cons too.

Cons Of Becoming An Aircraft Mechanic

It is not all good though. There are also disadvantages of being an aircraft mechanic.

Here are some of the cons of being an aircraft mechanic:

Physical demands

Aircraft mechanics must be physically fit and able to work in a range of different environments, including confined spaces and at heights.

Long working hours

Aircraft mechanics may work long hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Travel has not days off, so it is common that technicians will work long-hours and may even require overtime.

High-pressure work environment

Aircraft mechanics must work quickly and efficiently to keep aircraft in service, which can be a high-pressure environment. This can be stressful for some individuals.

Exposure to hazardous materials

It should come as no surprise that hazardous materials are part of the job, and this may be one of the biggest cons. Lubricants, fuel, chemicals, these are just some of the many hazards of working as an airplane mechanic. The risks of injury or health related illnesses can be mitigated with proper training and gear.

There are environmental factors like the fact that aircrafts are made from aluminum which has been shown to cause Alzheimers. Jet engines and high pressure hydraulic pumps can cause hearing damage and the list goes on.

Risk of injury

Working on aircraft can be dangerous. Aircraft mechanics can be at risk of injury from slips, trips, falls, and other accidents. Following implemented safety guidelines can reduce the chances of being injured on the job.

Technological advancements

Aircraft technology is constantly evolving, and aircraft mechanics must keep up with the latest advancements to remain competitive in their field. This means attending additional trainings, workshops, and taking courses to stay on top of the technology that planes are using.

Career Advancement

There are definitely advancement opportunities early on in this career, but at some point you might hit a plateau. There are additional training and certifications you can acquire to try and grow, but many aircraft technicians find themselves not really moving up the ladder.

Working conditions

Aircraft mechanics may work in a range of environments, from hangars to runways to airfields. Some locations may be extremely dirty, usually noisy, and can have a technician working in some pretty uncomfortable situations.

Job insecurity

While the demand for aircraft mechanics is currently high and typically there is a certain amount of security, there is always the potential for factors that can put a technician at risk. For example, when COVID hit, the travel industry was highly affected, including technicians who help keep the airplanes working. This is rare, but we wanted you to understand all possible cons!

What Real Aircraft Mechanics Say!

The information above is pulled from various sources where aircraft mechanics share their job experiences. But to really understand pros and cons of aircraft technician life, we are sharing some additional resources.

These are some of the best Reddit articles talking about aircraft mechanic pros and cons:

In summary, there are more pros to becoming an aircraft mechanic. Travel is a huge industry and except for extenuating circumstances like pandemics, the security and opportunities are great.

Jill Caren is an international SEO consultant and founder of 2Dogs Media. She is also a trainer, journalist, and speaker who helps brands increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. She is also the co-founder of Blue Collar Brain, a resource for those looking to enter a trade career.

She has been featured on MSN, Wealth of Geeks, Hubspot, SEO Powersuite, and other publications for her work as an SEO and advocate for skilled trades.