How to Become a Powerplant Mechanic

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Today’s modern aircraft are very complex machines and all of their parts must function properly to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew. Powerplant mechanics are trained professionals that perform inspections, complete maintenance, and make necessary repairs on a variety of aircraft.

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In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does a powerplant mechanic do?

Powerplant mechanics maintain and repair the engines and a variety of systems of many different types of aircraft. They are responsible for conducting precise inspections of aircraft engines on a regular basis, typically on the number of hours an aircraft has flown between inspections. They must keep detailed records on their observations on maintenance inspections and prepare and file reports accordingly. They diagnose potential problems in engine systems and perform the required maintenance or replacement of parts. Powerplant mechanics use a variety of tools and equipment and ensure their work areas are constantly clean.

What kind of training does a powerplant mechanic need?

Power plant mechanics must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer candidates that have completed formal training and have sufficient work experience. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accredits a variety of Aviation Maintenance Technician schools that provide education for powerplant mechanics. Prospective powerplant mechanics learn how to learn the essential tools and equipment that is required for their jobs. The FAA requires all powerplant mechanics to be certified or be supervised by certified mechanics. The certification requirements include a minimum of 18 months work experience or completion of a FAA certified program and passing a written, practical, and oral examination. Powerplant mechanics must complete continuing education to maintain their certification and keep their skills up to date.

What are the prospects for a career as a powerplant mechanic?

Employment of powerplant mechanics is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 7% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growth of the aircraft industry and increase in passenger air traffic will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially for powerplant mechanics with advanced education. Many job openings will result from the need to replace powerplant mechanics that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do powerplant mechanics make?

As of December 2009, the average annual salary for powerplant mechanics is $47,000; average annual powerplant mechanic salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a powerplant mechanic is a great choice for people with a strong interest in the maintenance and repair of engines of many different types of aircraft. Powerplant mechanics must have a solid understanding of the function of many different aircraft engines. Mechanical aptitude, patience, determination, detail orientation, accuracy, and self-motivation are necessary characteristics. Powerplant mechanics must have excellent problem solving skills and the ability to diagnose and fix complex mechanical issues. They must have excellent communication and the ability to work as part of a team.

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