Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 130,100 people employed as aircraft mechanics and service technicians in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $66,400.
Entry level employees earn approximately $38,970 per year and senior employees earn approximately $103,880
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.
- Disassemble engines and inspect parts, such as turbine blades or cylinders, for corrosion, wear, warping, cracks, and leaks, using precision measuring instruments, x-rays, and magnetic inspection equipment.
- Cure bonded structures, using portable or stationary curing equipment.
- Fabricate defective sections or parts, using metal fabricating machines, saws, brakes, shears, and grinders.
- Reassemble engines following repair or inspection and reinstall engines in aircraft.
- Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.
- Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.
- Listen to operating engines to detect and diagnose malfunctions, such as sticking or burned valves.
- Clean engines, sediment bulk and screens, and carburetors, adjusting carburetor float levels.
- Determine repair limits for engine hot section parts.
- Service and maintain aircraft and related apparatus by performing activities such as flushing crankcases, cleaning screens, and or moving parts.
- Clean, refuel, and change oil in line service aircraft.
- Trim and shape replacement body sections to specified sizes and fits and secure sections in place, using adhesives, hand tools, and power tools.
- Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
- Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
- Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
- Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.
- Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
- Measure the tension of control cables.
- Spread plastic film over areas to be repaired to prevent damage to surrounding areas.
- Remove or install aircraft engines, using hoists or forklift trucks.
- Assemble and install electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hydraulic, and structural components and accessories, using hand or power tools.
- Locate and mark dimensions and reference lines on defective or replacement parts, using templates, scribes, compasses, and steel rules.
- Modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.
- Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.
- Measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.
- Obtain fuel and oil samples and check them for contamination.
- Maintain, repair, and rebuild aircraft structures, functional components, and parts, such as wings and fuselage, rigging, hydraulic units, oxygen systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, gaskets, or seals.
- Replace or repair worn, defective, or damaged components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.
- Read and interpret pilots' descriptions of problems to diagnose causes.
- Test operation of engines and other systems, using test equipment, such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers, or ammeters.
- Accompany aircraft on flights to make in-flight adjustments and corrections.
- Remove or cut out defective parts or drill holes to gain access to internal defects or damage, using drills and punches.
- Install and align repaired or replacement parts for subsequent riveting or welding, using clamps and wrenches.
- Inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts, materials, and equipment.
- Clean, strip, prime, and sand structural surfaces and materials to prepare them for bonding.
- Communicate with other workers to coordinate fitting and alignment of heavy parts, or to facilitate processing of repair parts.
- 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.