JRWilliams
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Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:33 pm

Hello, this is my first shared post publicly and I'm seeking some advice. To be honest, I'm growing frustrated in my journey trying to develop a career in the aviation industry. As I was growing up I struggled trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I finally discovered my passion for aviation and servicing airplanes. I enrolled and graduated from aviation technical school, and veryone was challenging me to pursue getting my A & P and FCC licenses. I was told it would bring opportunities and open many doors in my future. However, for the last 6 months I haven't been able to find work. Jobs that are available in the aviation field either requires me to take an extreme pay cut or don't give me a chance since I don't have experience on modern day jet airplanes. A part of me wants to keep applying for jobs hoping something will come my way, but another side of me is discouraged and feels that all that hard work was for nothing. Im open for any suggestions and feedback. Thank you for your time and patience. Have a blessed day!
 
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MoKa777
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:55 pm

Hi! Welcome to the forums.

It is understandable that what you are experiencing is very frustrating and discouraging.

Sometimes, taking a short-term pay cut (even a rather extreme one) may be worthwhile if it is a stepping-stone to something greater and more meaningful in the future. It is not ideal but sometimes it is necessary.

Over time, I have learned that it is sometimes better to temporarily endure a less-than-perfect situation if it saves you from thinking "I should have/could have..." down the road.

This is just my suggestion and is the kind of advice I wish I would have taken a few years back.

Push through and just keep building. It is amazing how passion can drive you forward.

I once read something to the effect of 'success is a hollow thing - merely an end result, never a purpose', and it stuck with me. You need to fill your pursuit of success with meaning and if you are pursuing that success with something you are passionate about, then mate, you are on the right track. You just need to stay motivated and it will only get better.

All the best.
Never be proud. Always be grateful.
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:22 pm

Thank you MoKa777 for taking time out to comment on my post. I'll definitely keep your advice in mind as I proceed forward.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:51 pm

Persistance will pay off in the long run. I do recognize that's an easy thing to say and not so easy to do.

I was fired from one of my first flying gigs for refusing to fly broken airplanes. Yet I was too stubborn to quit (the career) and was at an airline just a couple of years later. Stick it out, it will be worthwhile.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:33 pm

Appreciate your response FlyHossD. Thank you!
 
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MoKa777
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:08 pm

JRWilliams wrote:
Thank you MoKa777 for taking time out to comment on my post. I'll definitely keep your advice in mind as I proceed forward.


It's a pleasure.
Never be proud. Always be grateful.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:33 pm

It's a tough situation out there. After spending over a year unsuccessfully trying to find a job in maintenance, I tried going for flight dispatch. After not being able to find a job doing that, or anything aviation related, for that matter, I went to truck driving school. I've been driving trucks for 4.5 years now.
Captain Kevin
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:57 pm

You don't mention where you are located and where you are willing to move to. If you wish to work for a major airline get ready to relocate. Keep a good check on all the major airline websites for job opportunities. DL hires off the street quite regularly with minimal experience. Most regional airlines always hire direct from A&P school. Do a year with them and you look better to the majors.

Just checked the DL careers page hiring AMT's for LAX,SFO, SEA, JFK, DTW. Avionics for ATL. Aircraft Support Mechanic (Usual entry level mechanic nowadays) EWR, LGA, JFK, MSP, ATL(avionics). Apply, get hired, do your two to three year residency for the station and then apply internal for the location you want. Most of the better stations in the system get filled from current employees.

If you take a ASM position it might be a pay cut, but in the long term it will pay off.
 
426Shadow
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:10 pm

I second the fact that you didn't mention where you are wiling to move or are currently located.

Part of the issue is, are you looking more for job satisfaction or for pay? Sometimes you don't get both at the same time, and sometimes you never get both.

In my case I got my A&P in 2011, and the only place that called me was Lockheed Martin. So here I am 7 years later still not utilizing my A&P but also making 6 figures if I so choose.
No the work does not get me out in the "Sh%#" like I went to school for so it isn't very satisfying. But I am doing what I have to do to support my family.

Sometimes you have to choose one, and it may lead to a path for both.
AKA Andre3K
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:32 am

AirKevin wrote:
It's a tough situation out there. After spending over a year unsuccessfully trying to find a job in maintenance, I tried going for flight dispatch. After not being able to find a job doing that, or anything aviation related, for that matter, I went to truck driving school. I've been driving trucks for 4.5 years now.


Thank you AirKevin for sharing your perspective. Greatly appreciated.
 
acmx
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:03 am

Like others have said, without knowing where you it’s hard to say what jobs would be around you. But being an a&p without experience will limit your choices and your wage at first. But there are jobs around. There are those delta asm jobs, Fedex has been posting mtp jobs externally, both those get your foot in the door at good companies. There are also mro’s Around the country that hire without experience. Any route will get some time for a resume, but depending on what you make now it sounds like it will be a pay cut. And to land a good mechanic job you will likely have to move around a bit eventually. It’s all about what it’s worth to you, if you really like the job, it might take some sacrifice but there are decent jobs once you get some experience. Also, it’s a relatively small industry so getting into it and making friends and networking can go a long ways. Good luck. Hopefully you find something that makes you happy.
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:52 am

Dalmd88 wrote:
You don't mention where you are located and where you are willing to move to. If you wish to work for a major airline get ready to relocate. Keep a good check on all the major airline websites for job opportunities. DL hires off the street quite regularly with minimal experience. Most regional airlines always hire direct from A&P school. Do a year with them and you look better to the majors.

Just checked the DL careers page hiring AMT's for LAX,SFO, SEA, JFK, DTW. Avionics for ATL. Aircraft Support Mechanic (Usual entry level mechanic nowadays) EWR, LGA, JFK, MSP, ATL(avionics). Apply, get hired, do your two to three year residency for the station and then apply internal for the location you want. Most of the better stations in the system get filled from current employees.

If you take a ASM position it might be a pay cut, but in the long term it will pay off.

Your response is well appreciated Dalmd88. The few classmates that I stayed in contact with informed me that I should be willing to relocate to take advantage of certain opportunities. However, of course after graduation that's when I decided to get married and now the children are here. Have had job offers for United to move to San Francisco but I know the cost of living is very expensive. Also, I value seeing my family daily and I can't find the strength to leave them for long periods of time.
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:52 am

Dalmd88 wrote:
You don't mention where you are located and where you are willing to move to. If you wish to work for a major airline get ready to relocate. Keep a good check on all the major airline websites for job opportunities. DL hires off the street quite regularly with minimal experience. Most regional airlines always hire direct from A&P school. Do a year with them and you look better to the majors.

Just checked the DL careers page hiring AMT's for LAX,SFO, SEA, JFK, DTW. Avionics for ATL. Aircraft Support Mechanic (Usual entry level mechanic nowadays) EWR, LGA, JFK, MSP, ATL(avionics). Apply, get hired, do your two to three year residency for the station and then apply internal for the location you want. Most of the better stations in the system get filled from current employees.

If you take a ASM position it might be a pay cut, but in the long term it will pay off.

Your response is well appreciated Dalmd88. The few classmates that I stayed in contact with informed me that I should be willing to relocate to take advantage of certain opportunities. However, of course after graduation that's when I decided to get married and now the children are here. Have had job offers for United to move to San Francisco but I know the cost of living is very expensive. Also, I value seeing my family daily and I can't find the strength to leave them for long periods of time.
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:05 am

426Shadow wrote:
I second the fact that you didn't mention where you are wiling to move or are currently located.

Part of the issue is, are you looking more for job satisfaction or for pay? Sometimes you don't get both at the same time, and sometimes you never get both.

In my case I got my A&P in 2011, and the only place that called me was Lockheed Martin. So here I am 7 years later still not utilizing my A&P but also making 6 figures if I so choose.
No the work does not get me out in the "Sh%#" like I went to school for so it isn't very satisfying. But I am doing what I have to do to support my family.

Sometimes you have to choose one, and it may lead to a path for both.


Hello 426Shadow. After reading all the replies I'm just now realizing that demographics play a major role in this industry. I currently reside in Alexandria, VA. I work out at Dulles International Airport servicing their APM train system. I know there are different area in aviation such as manufacturing, commercial, overhaul repair stations, etc. I honestly just want to find something that I can take pride and think long term. For instance would love to work for a company like Lockheed, but it's so hard to get my foot in the door. My overall goal is to find a job so I can relocate to Dallas, TX.
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:17 am

acmx wrote:
Like others have said, without knowing where you it’s hard to say what jobs would be around you. But being an a&p without experience will limit your choices and your wage at first. But there are jobs around. There are those delta asm jobs, Fedex has been posting mtp jobs externally, both those get your foot in the door at good companies. There are also mro’s Around the country that hire without experience. Any route will get some time for a resume, but depending on what you make now it sounds like it will be a pay cut. And to land a good mechanic job you will likely have to move around a bit eventually. It’s all about what it’s worth to you, if you really like the job, it might take some sacrifice but there are decent jobs once you get some experience. Also, it’s a relatively small industry so getting into it and making friends and networking can go a long ways. Good luck. Hopefully you find something that makes you happy.


Thanks acmx for your response. Thanks for your feedback and I've just started looking at the aviation cargo. Still learning the nature of the business and weighing all options. I have even been trying to do some time volunteering just so I can receive some hands on experience. I'm sure something will come eventually but it's hard to be patient. I'm willing to make sacrifices, but I want to make sure my family don't go without while I'm pursuing this career move.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:40 am

Servicing trains and similar can be very good business. In the DC Metro area find out about working on Building Elevators or Building Automation, both areas combine high tech with high wages and are not far from where you work.
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:08 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Servicing trains and similar can be very good business. In the DC Metro area find out about working on Building Elevators or Building Automation, both areas combine high tech with high wages and are not far from where you work.


Appreciate the heads up JayinKitsap. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:46 pm

There should be lots of opportunities in the Dallas/FW area. Besides Lockheed you have Bell Helicopter, Triumph and others.

You could also look at Tulsa OK, there you have a couple facilities. Triumph, Spirit Aerosystems. In Oklahoma city you have Field Aerospace, Boeing, L3, Northrop Grumman (though that might just be an engineering office). Might be work on Tinker AFB for civilians. Greenville Texas has L3 they do a lot of mods there.

Wichita you have Textron Aviation and Spirit Aerosystems. Spirit has been doing job fairs in Dallas every quarter for mechanics for the last couple of years. They literally can't hire enough people right now.

Also, you might want to join JSfirm for their job alerts. I think you can set it up for A&P specific stuff. Problem is these are usually temporary jobs and you'll have to relocate. But they pay well. Might be some permanent jobs posted, and you may always find that someone will hire you on permanently after a contract runs out, if you do a good enough job.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:36 pm

"... someone will hire you on permanently after a contract runs out, if you do a good enough job." If it doesn't happen with the first contract, it's only a matter of time before it happens. Temp services are used like a probationary period, without the probationary overhead for the employer, by many companies... and it's AMT work experience. You may not have to leave NoVa, but you would probably have to split between temp AMT and driving trucks between AMT jobs until "AMT wins out".
 
N766UA
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:04 pm

Sounds to me like you need to take the pay cut to gain the experience neccessary to move forward. You can’t really say “there’s no work out there” if you aren’t willing to grow your experience level despite the opportunity. Aviation is a career that almost universally requires sacrifices, but you have to think long term, if it’s really what you want to do.
 
e38
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:50 pm

JRWilliams, speaking from experience, what you may be missing in your job search is a strong “contact” / “network” structure. Often companies wil only hire someone if that person is recommended or known by someone internal to the company. I know . . . not always easy to develop and can be time consuming but get out and try to meet folks that work in the market in which you want to work. If you work at Dulles, try to meet some mechanics who work for the airlines or at the FBOs on the field. Also, visit some of the FBOs at smaller airports in the area; for example, Manassas airport or College Park and network with folks there in the fields in which you want to work. Let your relatives, friends, and neighbors know what you are looking for; you’ve got to get your name and interests “out there.” Pursue every lead. I know it can often be hard to get hired if you don’t have experience in a particular field, but often employers will give a position to an applicant who may not have the experience they are looking for, but demonstrate a positive, enthusiastic attitude.
After being “laid-off” a few years ago I was only able to get a new job because I had a friend who introduced me to another person who knew someone in the field I wanted to work and so on and so forth; well, you get the picture. It worked but it took a year. In the meantime I assume you are providing for your family; continue to do so as that is the honorable thing to do and don’t give up on your goals and dreams. I respect your determination and dedication; don’t give up on it. I wish you well.

e38
 
boacvc10
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:21 pm

JRWilliams wrote:
Im open for any suggestions and feedback. Thank you for your time and patience. Have a blessed day!


JRW, Don't Panic. I had some big issues, which has derailed my life / work plans, despite high qualifications. I started to rebuild, from lowly $10/hr wages and now I accept occasional contract, short term, high pay rate ($50-$125/hr) specialized technical work opportunities (DC/MD/VA) through WorkMarket - an easy process I found, where the platform takes a 10% or so from all invoices, from the specialized contractor who hires you. I've been able to setup a proper business structure for accounting the invoices/taxes/deductions and got a friend also involved in it. We are both older, experienced workers struggling to get qualified jobs (age discrimination, mostly), and have to depend upon these "odd" jobs at different parts of the week while being productive (space systems R&D) during the rest. The work is not enough to cover 100% of family obligations but is stopping the loss at present so I can pay for car, condo fee, etc. add to my wife's income. On a personal basis, it would probably not ever be enough until others join the same team and company overheads are shared. That process is necessary while I regain connections and work for more permanent contracts in my target fields. For now, I've even got to go to organizations, work there, get paid promptly that I would have not even thought possible if I was tied to a permanent job, really, everywhere in 50 miles from my home zone in DC. But permanently? Not a chance. That said, your background is already so technical, you could pick up any technical/industrial work as a 2nd job prospect, so good luck, you'll do that. Resume's don't do anybody justice - and HR people are just at their jobs to waste time as they are almost never technical enough for engineers.
Up, up and Away!
 
JRWilliams
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:48 pm

Good afternoon you all. I want to thank all of you who took time out to comment. Appreciate all the positive, encouragement, and direct post. It has given me a lot of food for thought and I'm looking forward to applying all this knowledge as I press forward to be successful in the aviation industry. Proud to be a part of this great field of awesome individuals who care for one another and hold each other accountable.
 
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tb727
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:05 pm

I know Spirit is hiring mechanics everywhere. Including near you at BWI and at DFW as well. This is a great time to be getting into the industry in my opinion.

It's also an industry that you unfortunately have to take pay cuts to "move on up". I've twice taken 60% pay cuts to move on to different airlines. As a mechanic though you have a good situation with the shortage. Pay raises will be very regular right now because once you are at an airline they will want to keep you there and be competitive with wages. I know that for a fact for Delta and Spirit.
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:06 pm

tb727 wrote:
I know Spirit is hiring mechanics everywhere. Including near you at BWI and at DFW as well. This is a great time to be getting into the industry in my opinion.

It's also an industry that you unfortunately have to take pay cuts to "move on up". I've twice taken 60% pay cuts to move on to different airlines. As a mechanic though you have a good situation with the shortage. Pay raises will be very regular right now because once you are at an airline they will want to keep you there and be competitive with wages. I know that for a fact for Delta and Spirit.

So very true. I know at DL we are a very greying workforce. I think I saw that within 5 years 50% of the AMT's system wide will be eligible for retirement. Within 10 I think it jumps to like 70%. Now some will stay until they are carried out in a box, but many will retire in the next few years. I'm sure this is true for a lot of the majors.
 
426Shadow
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:33 am

JRWilliams wrote:
426Shadow wrote:
I second the fact that you didn't mention where you are wiling to move or are currently located.

Part of the issue is, are you looking more for job satisfaction or for pay? Sometimes you don't get both at the same time, and sometimes you never get both.

In my case I got my A&P in 2011, and the only place that called me was Lockheed Martin. So here I am 7 years later still not utilizing my A&P but also making 6 figures if I so choose.
No the work does not get me out in the "Sh%#" like I went to school for so it isn't very satisfying. But I am doing what I have to do to support my family.

Sometimes you have to choose one, and it may lead to a path for both.


Hello 426Shadow. After reading all the replies I'm just now realizing that demographics play a major role in this industry. I currently reside in Alexandria, VA. I work out at Dulles International Airport servicing their APM train system. I know there are different area in aviation such as manufacturing, commercial, overhaul repair stations, etc. I honestly just want to find something that I can take pride and think long term. For instance would love to work for a company like Lockheed, but it's so hard to get my foot in the door. My overall goal is to find a job so I can relocate to Dallas, TX.


Apply to be a Structural Mech (Assembler) at Dallas Ft/W. The F-35 program (which I work on) is in a steady state of hiring.
AKA Andre3K
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:06 am

The F-35 work noted by Shadow made me realize a similar opportunity is coming in Philly. The Being / Leonardo MH-139 is being built soon there, although these birds are going out to the midwest, about 1/3 will call metro DC home. Work initially building them, then migrate into the service & support side. Plus I suspect there will be a lot of follow on orders as well.

http://www2.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq ... 80925.html
 
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jetmechanicdave
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:03 am

JRWilliams wrote:
Hello, this is my first shared post publicly and I'm seeking some advice. To be honest, I'm growing frustrated in my journey trying to develop a career in the aviation industry. As I was growing up I struggled trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I finally discovered my passion for aviation and servicing airplanes. I enrolled and graduated from aviation technical school, and veryone was challenging me to pursue getting my A & P and FCC licenses. I was told it would bring opportunities and open many doors in my future. However, for the last 6 months I haven't been able to find work. Jobs that are available in the aviation field either requires me to take an extreme pay cut or don't give me a chance since I don't have experience on modern day jet airplanes. A part of me wants to keep applying for jobs hoping something will come my way, but another side of me is discouraged and feels that all that hard work was for nothing. Im open for any suggestions and feedback. Thank you for your time and patience. Have a blessed day!


You seem to have a desire to work hard and you seem to have a passion for the industry. You might have to take that pay cut but not for long in my opinion. I work for a very well established repair station that’s been in business for 40+ years and we would love to have people like yourself that are so ambitious. I wish you the best in your search and if you have any questions I’d be glad to help you anyway I can.
Aircraft Mechanic and Airliners.net Forum Moderator
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:06 pm

My observation about working in aviation is that so many people want to that there is in effect an “entrance filter” requiring you to accept a job with low pay and often undesirable hours in order to gain the necessary credentials for the more desirable jobs. Once you overcome that hurdle then you will have a good shot at good paying and fulfilling jobs. When I was in high school in the 60s I desired to be a pilot, but two things deterred me. First, the only way at that time to get hired by a major airline as a pilot was if you were a military pilot, and the military would not accept anyone for flight training who needed glasses (which I did). Second, if you wanted to fly for an airline you pretty much had to live in a major metropolitan area, and I hate them. So I ended up in engineering.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
LMP737
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:04 pm

JRWilliams wrote:
Your response is well appreciated Dalmd88. The few classmates that I stayed in contact with informed me that I should be willing to relocate to take advantage of certain opportunities. However, of course after graduation that's when I decided to get married and now the children are here. Have had job offers for United to move to San Francisco but I know the cost of living is very expensive. Also, I value seeing my family daily and I can't find the strength to leave them for long periods of time.


You might have to do just that in this business. To get your foot in the door with say United you probably would have to go to SFO. I know they hire off the street sometimes for Dulles but with no aircraft maintenance experience you're chances might be a bit slim.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
LMP737
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Re: Discouraged Aircraft Mechanic

Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:10 pm

Dalmd88 wrote:
If you wish to work for a major airline get ready to relocate.f.


So very true. In my career I've moved three times. The first time willingly, the second time with a pink slip in hand bumping into another station, and the third time willingly.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.

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