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Why do mechanics make less than pilots?


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Why do mechanics make less than pilots?

Old 04-14-2019, 06:51 AM
  #11  
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Ask the question differently? Why should mechanics make the same or more than pilots?

Recall the PATCO guys "If I am controlling five 747s in my airspace then I should be making 5x747 Captain pay."
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:52 AM
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Ahhh PATCO. When all pilots became scabs!
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by kevbo
Ahhh PATCO. When all pilots became scabs!
Would have been nice, but it was an illegal strike, so nice try but no.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:49 PM
  #14  
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You don't get paid what you deserve. You get paid what you can negotiate.

Pilots and mechanics are labor. Union now.

Joe
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:38 AM
  #15  
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Thanks for all the great responses.

I have trouble with the argument that pilots take on more risk than mechanics and that is why they make more. while yes they should make more I just cant wrap my head around how much more they are making. Statistically roofers have a more dangerous job than both and make less than both. Danger does facilitate higher pay usually because the more dangerous a job is the less people are willing to do that job, driving the cost of labor up.

The education argument I also find week. Yes flight school is very expensive, but you can go from 0 - commercial in almost half the time you can get an A&P cert. Also education does not equate to high wages, I have the lowest form of "education" in my family, I am the only one that has no degree. The rest (6 people) have at lest a masters degree and make less than me. Why? Because a PHD in underwater basket weaving isn't in high demand.

From what I can tell the two biggest things hitting A&P pay is ability to outsource, and social stereotypes.

I understand that outsourcing MX labor A&P pay as well as labor working under the supervision of a mechanic. However the guy in mexico still cant fix the plane stuck at the gate in IAD. I still don't think it accounts for the majority of the gap in pay.

The bottom line conclusion I can come to is that social stereotypes drive most of the pay gap between the two professions. People view mechanics as a lower skill set as pilot, which I personally find to not be the case. When I left my last job HR came to me with a very generous offer to get me to stay (low 6 figure), and told me this is a very generous offer at the very top of what the industry offers mechanics. I countered that while I was flattered by the offer that I also am I pilot, and fly. While it is good pay for a mechanic it is on the lower side of average for a pilot. So I voted with my feet.

Long story short, I thought being an A&P/pilot would be a great help in my carrier, and in the early days of my carrier it was. It kept me out of the poverty pay range that so many people have to work threw to get to better jobs. However now I am viewing my A&P as the golden par of handcuffs restricting my carrier. Every time I work somewhere they are super excited to have an A&P/pilot, and then because its (in my opinion) harder to get highly skilled mechanics I end up pigeonholed in MX making MX pay while also flying. The response I always get is because that is what mechanics make, never mind we had to higher two people when you left. I guess I'm just frustrated about the invisible pay barrier holding down A&P pay.

I will always be extremely proud of being an A&P, and will always be in my mind a mechanic (not technician or engineer) first and a pilot second. But for the sake of my carrier I will pretend to be a pilot first because ultimately foremost I am a money loving capitalist

P.S. Mechanics don't sleep in there beds every night. They work all Wednesday - Sunday night and get to sleep in there bed all day.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:38 AM
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You bettered yourself and left for greener grass. I did the same thing for probably the same reasons. Unfortunately all the other mechanics do not share this mindset nor do they possess the fortitude to make it happen for themselves. While interesting at first, MX felt like meanial labor when I started working on my bachelors and flying.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kevbo
You bettered yourself and left for greener grass. I did the same thing for probably the same reasons. Unfortunately all the other mechanics do not share this mindset nor do they possess the fortitude to make it happen for themselves. While interesting at first, MX felt like meanial labor when I started working on my bachelors and flying.
Proofread too late. Forgive the bag grammar.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kevbo
Proofread too late. Forgive the bag grammar.
Plus I was drankin.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:48 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by cfimechanic
I have trouble with the argument that pilots take on more risk than mechanics and that is why they make more.
It's not just our lives that are at risk. It is our certificates and careers. While mechanics have their certificates on the line too, pilots are more affected by it. Very few plane crashes are blamed on an error made by mechanics. When a plane crashes, it is usually either mechanical failure or PILOT error. The media never publishes the name of the mechanic who last signed off the aircraft, but they will publish the names of the flight crew. When the NTSB does an investigation, they don't dig up training records from all the mechanics that touched the plane, but they will publish any blemish in the flight crew's history. Pilots are put under the microscope after an accident and no airline wants to take the liability of hiring a pilot with something in their past that would look bad after an accident.

On a similar note, our medicals are another risk we take. There are lots of ways for a pilot to lose their medical that would never impact the earning potential of an AMP.

Originally Posted by cfimechanic
The education argument I also find week. Yes flight school is very expensive, but you can go from 0 - commercial in almost half the time you can get an A&P cert.
A pilots education does not stop when they get their commercial. I have yet to meet a person who actually did the 90 day zero to hero program and started working at an airline. It takes most pilots years before they start getting paid more than an AMP.

Originally Posted by cfimechanic
The bottom line conclusion I can come to is that social stereotypes drive most of the pay gap between the two professions. People view mechanics as a lower skill set as pilot, which I personally find to not be the case.
That is correct. No one ever said compensation had to be fair or even make any sense. A good elementary school teacher does more good for society than a hedge fund manager, but that isn't reflected in their pay.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:05 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by cfimechanic

I have trouble with the argument that pilots take on more risk than mechanics and that is why they make more. while yes they should make more I just cant wrap my head around how much more they are making. Statistically roofers have a more dangerous job than both and make less than both.
The roofer climbs 30' above the ground, kneels and hammers. The pilot climbs to 30,000 above the ground, sits, and drives. The atmosphere around the roofer is safe; the atmosphere around the airplane causes loss of useful consciousness in 15 seconds, is -54 degrees, and is moving at greater than 3/4 the speed of sound. The roofer has a nail to hit. The pilot has a thousand controls, indicators, warnings, and functions in the cockpit. The roofer requires being shown the job a few times; the pilot takes years of training. The roofer might go his entire "career" and never be examined, while the pilot will be examined every few months, every one at the peril of not only the checkride, but his job and career. The roofer won't lose his job if he has a drink, or fails a medical exam...and doesn't need a medical exam. The pilot, on the other hand, is quite different.

Not a great analogy.

Originally Posted by cfimechanic
The education argument I also find week.
Weak, too? Hence the need for an education.

Originally Posted by cfimechanic
The education argument I also find week. Yes flight school is very expensive, but you can go from 0 - commercial in almost half the time you can get an A&P cert.
Then forget the A&P and go be a pilot.

Two different jobs. An A&P can turn wrenches in a repair station or under the tutelage of a certificated mechanic before the A&P is an A&P. In other words, joe blow (who has never seen a picture of an airplane) walks in the door and a half hour later he's pulling panels on uncle buck's Bonanza. Or a 727. Give that a whirl in the cockpit.

Originally Posted by cfimechanic
Why? Because a PHD in underwater basket weaving isn't in high demand.
You may not be looking in the right place.

Originally Posted by cfimechanic
However now I am viewing my A&P as the golden par of handcuffs restricting my carrier. Every time I work somewhere they are super excited to have an A&P/pilot, and then because its (in my opinion) harder to get highly skilled mechanics I end up pigeonholed in MX making MX pay while also flying. The response I always get is because that is what mechanics make, never mind we had to higher two people when you left. I guess I'm just frustrated about the invisible pay barrier holding down A&P pay.
Then don't do that.

Originally Posted by cfimechanic
P.S. Mechanics don't sleep in there beds every night. They work all Wednesday - Sunday night and get to sleep in there bed all day.
Ridiculousness. The mechanic went home to his bed and slept during the day.

The pilot, on the other hand, left home and didn't see his bed for 17 days. Or nights.

Because he's in Hong Kong.
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