Planesoul
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 am

Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:55 am

All these years I've wanted to become a flight attendant. Or actually "wanted". All my friends and whole family was talking about when I become an FA, so it kinda ate into my mind. Sometimes I was dreaming of becoming a mainentance engineer but all those dreams died when I thought "I am not smart enough" or "it's too difficult to get the job."

Now when I'm soon graduating from college I've come to that point when I think about what REALLY matters. All my friends are working hard to achieve their dreams, and I've realised that my dream isn't to become a flight attendant. All that matters is planes, I want to know everything about them and have always spent time for reading technical information about them.

So, I would at least want to give my dreams a try. I know it's difficult to get employed and stuff, but any tips how to get started (in Europe)? I've read about obtaining the licenses etc but any info is welcome. I've owed my entire life for becoming FA so you know, this is new stuff for me.. :)

All answers all appreciated!
 
Newbiepilot
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:37 am

It is pretty simple. If you want to be a mechanic, get your licenses and apply for jobs. Often it is easier to start with smaller companies.

You can also be an engineer on the professional side working in headquarters developing repairs, designing configurations, working reliability projects, etc. Those require a university degree.

Look online at some airlines and see what jobs and requirements are posted. Then get those credentials for the jobs that sound interesting.
 
Planesoul
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 am

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
It is pretty simple. If you want to be a mechanic, get your licenses and apply for jobs. Often it is easier to start with smaller companies.

You can also be an engineer on the professional side working in headquarters developing repairs, designing configurations, working reliability projects, etc. Those require a university degree.

Look online at some airlines and see what jobs and requirements are posted. Then get those credentials for the jobs that sound interesting.


Thank you! How much do engineers working on the professional side get to work around aircraft? Sorry my unknowledge but I haven't heard of that before.
 
Newbiepilot
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:48 pm

There are engineers in headquarters that never see an airplane and then there are others that are out working with the mechanics every single day. There's a huge range of engineering jobs. You can look beyond the mechanic role. In the United States you'll see engineers with mechanical, electrical or aeronautical engineering degrees working configuration, chronic maintenance issues, reliability, modifications, repairs, etc.
 
LAE320
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:58 pm

Planesoul wrote:
All these years I've wanted to become a flight attendant. Or actually "wanted". All my friends and whole family was talking about when I become an FA, so it kinda ate into my mind. Sometimes I was dreaming of becoming a mainentance engineer but all those dreams died when I thought "I am not smart enough" or "it's too difficult to get the job."

Now when I'm soon graduating from college I've come to that point when I think about what REALLY matters. All my friends are working hard to achieve their dreams, and I've realised that my dream isn't to become a flight attendant. All that matters is planes, I want to know everything about them and have always spent time for reading technical information about them.

So, I would at least want to give my dreams a try. I know it's difficult to get employed and stuff, but any tips how to get started (in Europe)? I've read about obtaining the licenses etc but any info is welcome. I've owed my entire life for becoming FA so you know, this is new stuff for me.. :)

All answers all appreciated!


In Europe, it's not as simple as 'getting your licenses and getting a job' as stated above, however if it's what you want to do, it's possible to become a Licensed Engineer with a fair amount of dedication.

Your first step would be to try and get an apprenticeship with an airline or maintenance company. I'm not sure whereabouts in Europe you're based, but in the UK companies such as BA are currently running apprenticeship schemes. This will get you into the industry and provide you with the basic training necessary to start the process of getting your licences. It will also allow you to work as an 'unlicensed mechanic' once you're finished, so you'll be able to earn reasonable money whilst working towards your licenses.

The next step would then be to undertake the EASA Part 66 licence exams. If you are more mechanically minded, then do the exams to B1 level, if you're more interested in the avionic side, then do them to B2. To obtain your licence, you'll need 5 years of documented maintenance experience combined with completion of these exams.

Once you have done those exams and completed 5 years of maintenance experience, you'll be able to claim your basic licence, however this must then be 'type rated' before it can be used. To get a 'type rating' on your licence, you must do approved aircraft specific theoretical and practical training, often this will be provided by your company, but it's expensive so you'll need to demonstrate to them that you're worthy of the investment!

There is an 'approved part 147' route which reduces the 'on aircraft's experience requirement to 2 years, as you carry out specific theoretical and workshop training in a training organisation for 3 years, however I think the apprenticeship route is the best one, as you'll learn from people who have done the job for many years.

Good luck, it's still a decent industry to work in, despite what you may hear!
 
LAE320
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:51 pm

I should also add, that in the UK and Europe, if you wish to move into any of those tech services jobs mentioned by Newbiepilot after you've obtained your licence and worked as an LAE for several years, the minimum requirement is often EITHER a university degree OR a Part 66 Licence.

So, the decision to go into maintenance won't limit you from stepping into those roles should you wish to in the future.
 
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Eng23
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:36 pm

LAE 320 sums it up perfectly

If you are willing to put in the commitment with the exams and training then their is no reason why you couldn't be successful

Alternatively if exams aren't your thing but you like working on aircraft you can stay as an unlicensed mechanic but this does limit your career options if you wish to move into more technical roles etc in the future.

Its a long path to success but very worth it in the end
 
Planesoul
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:39 pm

LAE320, thanks for the informative reply! I am living in Northern Europe but moving wouldn't be a problem. (Well I don't know about the UK since the Brexit.)
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:27 pm

I know there are several studies you can take for it and some of them even guarantee you a job at the end of the line. That is of course, once you get accepted for those studies.

A friend of mine years back studied to become an engineer in Hoofddorp (near Amsterdam) and eventually got a job at KLM. Unfortunately I've lost contact with him, but from what he told me back then it all comes down to getting your degree in engineering studies.
 
Planesoul
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 am

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:42 am

Thank you all! :)
I found out that Lufthansa has those apprenticeship programs too. But they won't give you any license. (?) So if you are an unlicensed mechanic, is all that kind of job valuable (for getting your license) even though the airline can't provide you the license?
 
gtae07
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:41 pm

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:46 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
There are engineers in headquarters that never see an airplane and then there are others that are out working with the mechanics every single day. There's a huge range of engineering jobs. You can look beyond the mechanic role. In the United States you'll see engineers with mechanical, electrical or aeronautical engineering degrees working configuration, chronic maintenance issues, reliability, modifications, repairs, etc.

I'm in that second group, and the first group is often the bane of my existence.

Generally I get to actually go out and get close to/touch the aircraft about 50% of workdays. The other 50%, either we just don't have anything come up, what does come up is simple and familiar enough to deal with at our desk (or going to the aircraft will do no good), or the issue is on an aircraft in the field hundreds of miles away so we can't go see it. There are days when I'm out on the hangar floor all day, and others where I never leave my desk.

We just hired a new guy who transferred from another part of the company. He was in that "never sees an airplane" group and spent most of his time reviewing test reports; one of the big attractions of our group is that he can go to the aircraft and see them, and he gets to work from a practical standpoint rather than the design and theory-land viewpoint often prevalent among those who design products but have never had to fix or operate them.
 
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Eng23
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:46 am

Planesoul wrote:
Thank you all! :)
I found out that Lufthansa has those apprenticeship programs too. But they won't give you any license. (?) So if you are an unlicensed mechanic, is all that kind of job valuable (for getting your license) even though the airline can't provide you the license?

What role are they offering you? If it is an office based job then no you wont be able to obtain your licence because you wont actually be physically fixing the aircraft yourself.
But it could be a good foot in the door to other things
 
Planesoul
Topic Author
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:37 pm

Eng23 wrote:
Planesoul wrote:
Thank you all! :)
I found out that Lufthansa has those apprenticeship programs too. But they won't give you any license. (?) So if you are an unlicensed mechanic, is all that kind of job valuable (for getting your license) even though the airline can't provide you the license?

What role are they offering you? If it is an office based job then no you wont be able to obtain your licence because you wont actually be physically fixing the aircraft yourself.
But it could be a good foot in the door to other things


Tbh I am not sure! But they have some technical apprenticeship available anyway, and it seems as you could do some fixing too as well as learn in the job. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Eng23
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:57 pm

Yeah apprenticeships are usually a mixture of theory and practical, would be perfect for you to get your hands on aircraft and learn about the different systems.
This would also lead to a licence once you have completed your part 66 exams and the experience required. Studying for these exams can be done at home (distance learning) or there are training schools all over Europe which you can use
 
LAE320
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:25 pm

Eng23 is correct. Even if the apprenticeship program doesn't specifically cover the licence modules, you can study for these yourself. The chances are that Lufthansa would be able to provide you with the study material, or even put you on separate in house courses for the licence modules once you have your foot in the door.

The apprenticeship program would allow you to begin working towards the practical side of the licence (whilst also learning the theoretical fundamentals), and you could also do the licence modules yourself during that time.

My apprenticeship was 3 years long and I came out as an unlicensed mechanic. I did my licence modules during that time, and after a further 3 and a half years of working as an unlicensed mechanic, I obtained my B1 licence. During my time as an unlicensed mechanic, my company put me on a B1 type course, so as soon as I had obtained my licence, I had a type rating to put on it. I'm now a Licensed Aircraft Engineer.

So as you can see, if you get into a company like Lufthansa and complete their apprenticeship program, it could be the beginning of something much better, but it would be up to you to work for that progression.
 
Planesoul
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:45 am

LAE320 wrote:
Eng23 is correct. Even if the apprenticeship program doesn't specifically cover the licence modules, you can study for these yourself. The chances are that Lufthansa would be able to provide you with the study material, or even put you on separate in house courses for the licence modules once you have your foot in the door.

The apprenticeship program would allow you to begin working towards the practical side of the licence (whilst also learning the theoretical fundamentals), and you could also do the licence modules yourself during that time.

My apprenticeship was 3 years long and I came out as an unlicensed mechanic. I did my licence modules during that time, and after a further 3 and a half years of working as an unlicensed mechanic, I obtained my B1 licence. During my time as an unlicensed mechanic, my company put me on a B1 type course, so as soon as I had obtained my licence, I had a type rating to put on it. I'm now a Licensed Aircraft Engineer.

So as you can see, if you get into a company like Lufthansa and complete their apprenticeship program, it could be the beginning of something much better, but it would be up to you to work for that progression.


Nice to hear your story! Seems to be a good and valuable way to get your licence. My other alternative would be going to a school where you learn the theory (and some practical job as well). Does anybody know any good schools that take students from all over Europe? I know some but would be happy to hear some opinions.
 
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Eng23
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:18 am

Planesoul wrote:
LAE320 wrote:
Eng23 is correct. Even if the apprenticeship program doesn't specifically cover the licence modules, you can study for these yourself. The chances are that Lufthansa would be able to provide you with the study material, or even put you on separate in house courses for the licence modules once you have your foot in the door.

The apprenticeship program would allow you to begin working towards the practical side of the licence (whilst also learning the theoretical fundamentals), and you could also do the licence modules yourself during that time.

My apprenticeship was 3 years long and I came out as an unlicensed mechanic. I did my licence modules during that time, and after a further 3 and a half years of working as an unlicensed mechanic, I obtained my B1 licence. During my time as an unlicensed mechanic, my company put me on a B1 type course, so as soon as I had obtained my licence, I had a type rating to put on it. I'm now a Licensed Aircraft Engineer.

So as you can see, if you get into a company like Lufthansa and complete their apprenticeship program, it could be the beginning of something much better, but it would be up to you to work for that progression.


Nice to hear your story! Seems to be a good and valuable way to get your licence. My other alternative would be going to a school where you learn the theory (and some practical job as well). Does anybody know any good schools that take students from all over Europe? I know some but would be happy to hear some opinions.


There are a few in the UK including resource group http://www.resourcegroup.co.uk/what-we-do/training/ KLM who have a new training school http://www.klmukengineering.com/en/products and AST who have a training school in Scotland https://www.airservicetraining.co.uk/ hope those help give you some idea.
 
trijetsonly
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:38 pm

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:21 pm

One large provider is http://www.ltt.aero.
That's basically the provider for the Lufthansa apprenticeship.
Though I don't know if they offer their services for individuals or only for other companies.
Happy Landings
 
LAE320
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:35 am

 
Planesoul
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 am

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:07 pm

Thanks for your help, it means a lot for me! Lately I've been having a real struggle with this stuff. Seems like most of the schools that I've found are for companies, not individuals.
I've also been considering the modular route, but are there really companies that want to take unlicensed mechanics? How common is it to work as an unlicensed mechanic? :-)
 
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Eng23
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Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:13 pm

Planesoul wrote:
Thanks for your help, it means a lot for me! Lately I've been having a real struggle with this stuff. Seems like most of the schools that I've found are for companies, not individuals.
I've also been considering the modular route, but are there really companies that want to take unlicensed mechanics? How common is it to work as an unlicensed mechanic? :-)


More common in the hangar than on the line, I would probably say that someone in your position with no experience would struggle to get a job but if you went to a training school and completed your modules it would help greatly.
 
LAE320
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:06 pm

Planesoul wrote:
Thanks for your help, it means a lot for me! Lately I've been having a real struggle with this stuff. Seems like most of the schools that I've found are for companies, not individuals.
I've also been considering the modular route, but are there really companies that want to take unlicensed mechanics? How common is it to work as an unlicensed mechanic? :-)


It's very common, and the money is not bad. They work under the supervision of an LAE who directs them, inspects and signs off their work.

But as Eng23 says, you're very unlikely to get a job as one with no experience or modules. You'll have to either go for an apprenticeship with a company (recommended) or the take training school route.

Either way, don't struggle with it! The industry is quite short of aircraft engineers and really needs enthusiastic new recruits, so I'm sure you'll get there in the end.
 
Planesoul
Topic Author
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:29 am

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:39 pm

LAE320 wrote:
Planesoul wrote:
Thanks for your help, it means a lot for me! Lately I've been having a real struggle with this stuff. Seems like most of the schools that I've found are for companies, not individuals.
I've also been considering the modular route, but are there really companies that want to take unlicensed mechanics? How common is it to work as an unlicensed mechanic? :-)


It's very common, and the money is not bad. They work under the supervision of an LAE who directs them, inspects and signs off their work.

But as Eng23 says, you're very unlikely to get a job as one with no experience or modules. You'll have to either go for an apprenticeship with a company (recommended) or the take training school route.

Either way, don't struggle with it! The industry is quite short of aircraft engineers and really needs enthusiastic new recruits, so I'm sure you'll get there in the end.


Thank you! I appreciate your help and kind words a lot. :-)
 
LAE320
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: Becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer..

Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:57 pm

Planesoul wrote:
LAE320 wrote:
Planesoul wrote:
Thanks for your help, it means a lot for me! Lately I've been having a real struggle with this stuff. Seems like most of the schools that I've found are for companies, not individuals.
I've also been considering the modular route, but are there really companies that want to take unlicensed mechanics? How common is it to work as an unlicensed mechanic? :-)


It's very common, and the money is not bad. They work under the supervision of an LAE who directs them, inspects and signs off their work.

But as Eng23 says, you're very unlikely to get a job as one with no experience or modules. You'll have to either go for an apprenticeship with a company (recommended) or the take training school route.

Either way, don't struggle with it! The industry is quite short of aircraft engineers and really needs enthusiastic new recruits, so I'm sure you'll get there in the end.


Thank you! I appreciate your help and kind words a lot. :-)


No problem!

Nayak is a growing maintenance company operating throughout Europe who are currently offering apprenticeships:

http://www.nayak.aero/career/ausbildung/

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