Aviation Structural Mechanic Career Facts

An aviation structural mechanic maintains the aircraft’s main and auxiliary hydraulic power systems. Activating the various subsystems and landing gear is his or her responsibility. Aviation structural mechanics also perform tasks related to the proper working and maintenance of utility systems. And they inspect and maintain the systems such as air conditioning, oxygen and visual improvement.

Basic Tasks

If you become an aviation structural mechanic, maintenance and activation of the aircraft’s main system and other subsystems will be your major responsibility. You will have to perform tasks such as:

  • Maintenance of pneumatic systems, brakes and aircraft landing gear.
  • Perform reservoir pressurization; activate emergency devices, pumps, regulators and other equipment.
  • Inspection, removal and replacement of hydraulic system components.
  • Removal, repair and replacement of aircraft parts, such as fuselage, wings, wheels and tires.
  • Fabrication and assembly of metal components.
  • Repair defects of aircraft skin, paint and welding wherever necessary.
  • Perform inspections of aircraft on a daily basis, before and after flight.

Working Environment

As an aviation structural mechanic, you may have to work either on sea or on shore. The duty assigned can be anywhere in the world. Thus, the work environment will vary significantly.

  • You may have to work in hangars or on hangar decks.
  • Being exposed to high noise levels will be regular part of your work.
  • You will need to work closely with your peers and perform a lot of physical work.
  • Sometimes, you may have to serve as a flight engineer for certain aircraft.

Salary and Work Hours

The annual salary of an aviation structural mechanic is between $33,000 and $69,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You will be expected to work for 40 hours in a normal week. However, the job may require occasional overtime for certain airlines and during peak season, which is normally the holidays and summertime.

Job Advancement and Opportunities

Small and regional airlines would be interested in your profile as an aircraft structural mechanic. You can look for opportunities at general aviation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) repair stations. http://www.aviationemployment.com lists various job opportunities for aviation structural mechanics.

Vital Information

Due to relatively low wages in certain companies, the applications for the jobs tend to be less. As you gain experience, you can apply with larger airline companies. However, you will have to face fierce competition for the job at that point since those jobs are highly coveted by many people in your industry. Your chance of being selected increases as you gain experience, acumen, knowledge and perhaps education. Also, with experience, you can advance to posts such as lead mechanic, chief inspector or shop supervisor. These depend on your ambition, ability to lead and communicate well and whether you impress your chain of command. Promotions and advancement to executive positions would be determined by taking examinations and gaining certifications.