Aviation Structural Mechanic Career Trends

If you’re an aviation structural mechanic, the jobs are there, but you may have to move around the US to get them. One of the career trends in this area is that the job market is big but is variable in terms of job quality. The sheet metal structural/fabrication jobs, for example, aren’t necessarily the work for people who want to do the higher-rated technical jobs.

There are a lot of jobs in various areas, but it’s a broad spread of types of work. The net effect is that the actual number of jobs in particular areas is relatively static.

The salaries are a mixed bag, too, which reflects the very broad range of jobs and types of job in this field. These jobs are naturally reactive to the condition of the aviation industry, and if it’s a big industry, it’s also highly competitive, and goes up and down in terms of capital investment in aircraft and jobs.

You can get a good look at the job market in its current state on Aviation Employment.com, which is a US aviation specialist job site worth bookmarking because it has a very wide range of aviation jobs all the time. If you have a look at these jobs, you’ll see a real dichotomy between aviation structural mechanic jobs.

The job descriptions on Aviation Employment.com are a good indicator of how tough this job market can be. In career terms, you really need to know how to read this market.

 The Job Market and Career Progression for Aviation Structural Mechanics

The very good jobs that are available are a resume writer’s ideal. They include high proficiency jobs, like working on space vehicles, and highly demanding technical levels of competence. These are the sorts of job that advance careers, and there aren’t too many of them.

The other jobs, important as they are operationally for aircraft, don’t help especially with upward career mobility, and there are lots of them. The result of this pyramid effect is that the higher up the career ladder, the more bottlenecks in terms of progression.

There are options, however. Specialization is one of them. In any technical field, specialization can lead to great jobs, but the specialist jobs are often thin on the ground, too. As a job-getting option, the ideal combination is to have specializations but good current all round skills, too. Aviation structural mechanics tend to be real enthusiasts, like all professional mechanics. Their specialties tend to be the work they really like and ones that demand very strong skill sets. The skills, if developed, are a definite career option, with clear career track possibilities.

For example, if you specialize in airframes, the big aircraft companies may be a very good option. These companies work on a lot of airframe testing, and an airframe expert will always be in demand, sooner or later. You’ll be competing against other airframe experts, but if this is your strong skill set, it will be a good chance to land a very good job indeed and to build a good career profile in the process.

The best approach is to set a career goal and use the high portability of your skill sets while job-hopping to maneuver into position for these jobs. This also builds a good career resume in terms of specializations and gives you more job options and career credentials as you progress.