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Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians
SOC Code: 49-3011.00

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

Sample of reported job titles: Aircraft Maintenance Director, Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor, Aircraft Maintenance Technician (Aircraft Maintenance Tech), Aircraft Mechanic, Aircraft Restorer, Aircraft Technician, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A and P Mechanic), Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT), Aviation Mechanic, Helicopter Mechanic

Tasks

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.
  • Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - DatcoMedia EBis
  • Analytical or scientific software - CaseBank SpotLight; Engine analysis software
  • Computer aided manufacturing CAM software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Mxi Technologies Maintenix; Pentagon 2000SQL
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP ; Tracware AeroTrac
  • Facilities management software - Access Software AIRPAX; Maintenance information databases; Maintenance planning software; Maintenance record software
  • Information retrieval or search software - Computerized aircraft log manager CALM; Technical manual database software
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Inventory management software - Supply system software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Microsoft Windows
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Air compressors
  • Aircraft pushback or tow tractors - Tow vehicles
  • Alignment jig - Aligning jigs
  • Ammeters
  • Ball peen hammer - Ball peen hammers
  • Bastard cut file - Bastard files
  • Borescope inspection equipment - Borescopes
  • Box end wrenches - End wrenches
  • Cable splicing kits - Cable splicing knives
  • Calibrated resistance measuring equipment - Resistance meters
  • Calipers - Vernier calipers
  • Circuit tester - Continuity meters
  • Cold chisels - Flat chisels; Straight chisels
  • Combination wrenches
  • Compasses - Dividers
  • Desktop computers
  • Diagonal cut pliers - Diagonal cutting pliers; Reversible safety wire pliers
  • Dial indicator or dial gauge - Dial indicators
  • Digital testers - Digital diagnostic equipment
  • Drill bit set - Drill bit sets
  • Drill press or radial drill - Drill presses
  • Ear muffs - Hearing protectors
  • End cut pliers - End cutters
  • Feeler gauges
  • Flat nose pliers - Duck bill pliers
  • Forklifts
  • Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus - Acetylene welding equipment
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global Positioning System GPS devices
  • Go or no go gauge - Go/no-go gauges
  • Goggles - Welding goggles
  • Ground power units for aircraft - External power units; Internal power units
  • Hacksaw - Hacksaws
  • Hammers - Plastic tip hammers
  • Hand clamps
  • Hand trucks or accessories - Hand trucks
  • Heat guns
  • Hex keys - Allen wrenches
  • Hoists
  • Hold down clamps - Cleco pliers
  • Inspection mirror - Inspection mirrors
  • Integrated maintenance information systems - Aircraft maintenance management systems; LTB/400 maintenance management system; MxManager; S.M.A.R.T aircraft maintenance tracking (see all 8 examples)
  • Jacks - Aircraft lifting jacks
  • Ladders
  • Laser printers
  • Lifts - Aircraft test stands; Mechanical lifts; Power lifts
  • Locking pliers - Channel lock pliers; Vise grip pliers
  • Magnetic particle examination equipment - Magnetic inspection equipment
  • Magnetic tools - Magnetic pickup tools
  • Mallets
  • Manlift or personnel lift - Manlifts
  • Manual press brake - Brakes
  • Metal cutters - Offset left aviation snips; Offset right aviation snips; Sheet metal breakers; Straight cut aviation snips
  • Micrometers
  • Microprocessors - Ignition analyzers
  • Mill saw file - Single-cut mill saw files
  • Multimeters
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Nibblers - Hand nibblers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Ohmmeters
  • Open end wrenches
  • Oscilloscopes
  • Paint sprayers
  • Personal computers
  • Pneumatic drill - Air drills
  • Pneumatic impact wrenches - Pneumatic wrenches
  • Portable data input terminals - Handheld computers; Wearable data input systems
  • Power drills - Cordless drills; Electric drills; Hand drills
  • Power grinders
  • Power riveter - Rivet guns
  • Pressure indicators - Pressure gauges
  • Pull spring balances - Spring balance scales
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts - Brass punches; Center punches; Pin punches; Taper punches
  • Putty knives
  • Pyrometers
  • Ratchets
  • Rectifiers - Portable rectifiers
  • Respirators
  • Rivet tools - Bucking bars; Pneumatic riveters
  • Rulers
  • Safety glasses
  • Scaffolding
  • Scales
  • Screw extractors - Screw extractor sets
  • Screwdrivers - Flat blade screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers; Ratcheting screwdrivers
  • Scribers - Machinists' double point scribers
  • Shears - Power shears
  • Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine - Shielded arc welding tools
  • Slip or groove joint pliers - Slip joint pliers
  • Socket sets - Socket wrench sets
  • Sockets - Aviation spark plug sockets
  • Soldering iron - Soldering equipment
  • Specialty wrenches - Ignition wrench sets; Speed wrenches
  • Speed sensors - Timing lights
  • Squares - Combination squares
  • Stripping tools - Wire strippers
  • Tablet computers
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes
  • Target or reconnaissance drones - Unmanned aerial vehicles UAV
  • Templates
  • Tinners snips - Compound leverage snips
  • Torque wrenches
  • Touch pads - Touch screens
  • Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe - Lathes
  • Ultrasonic examination equipment - Ultrasonic inspection equipment
  • Utility knives
  • Vibration testers - Vibration analyzers
  • Voltage or current meters - Electrical current meters; Voltmeters
  • Wearable computing devices - Portable maintenance aids mobile computing devices; Wearable computers; Wearable point and click devices
  • Welder torch - Brazing equipment
  • Wire cutters - Wire cutting tools
  • Wire lug crimping tool - Wire crimpers
  • Wire twister - Safety wire pliers
  • X ray radiography examination equipment - X ray inspection equipment

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills

  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Equipment Selection - Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Interests

  • Interest code: RCI
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 66% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 72% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 73% responded “Very important results.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 73% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 17% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 26% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 37% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 30% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 67% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 25% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 64% responded “Very important.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 25% responded “Never.”
  • Telephone - 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 35% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 19% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 58% responded “Very important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 38% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 64% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 18% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 30% responded “Never.”
  • Physical Proximity - 31% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 27% responded “About half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
60%Post-secondary certificate
25%Associate's degree
12%High school diploma or equivalent

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $29.34 hourly, $61,020 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 132,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 10,900

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