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Old 07-07-2019, 11:00 AM   #61  
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I was a mechanic in the Army, worked in the trade for years after. Now work as a pilot. It is a fine trade with a lot of good people in it. I still run into guys I worked with over 2 decades ago who are still employed and happy with it, many making into six figures.
Kevbo sounds like someone full of sour grapes.
Those who work at the large overhaul facilities have a job similar to factory work, doing tasks from work cards which can be tedious. Others work on live aircraft between flights which requires troubleshooting and a fix or MEL. I also spent some time as a mechanic who flew on the aircraft (they were old) in order to take care of anything that may come up.
Mechanics are not a different class of people than pilots, they just do a different job. Many worked carss. motorcycles or other equipment growing up and have a knack and love of working with their hands.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:00 AM   #62  
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I was a mechanic in the Army, worked in the trade for years after. Now work as a pilot. It is a fine trade with a lot of good people in it. I still run into guys I worked with over 2 decades ago who are still employed and happy with it, many making into six figures.
Kevbo sounds like someone full of sour grapes.
Those who work at the large overhaul facilities have a job similar to factory work, doing tasks from work cards which can be tedious. Others work on live aircraft between flights which requires troubleshooting and a fix or MEL. I also spent some time as a mechanic who flew on the aircraft (they were old) in order to take care of anything that may come up.
Mechanics are not a different class of people than pilots, they just do a different job. Many worked carss. motorcycles or other equipment growing up and have a knack and love of working with their hands.
There's definitely some venn diagram overlap between pilots and mechanics. I'd be right in the middle of that. But there are outliers in both camps who wouldn't fit in the other.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:33 AM   #63  
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There's definitely some venn diagram overlap between pilots and mechanics. I'd be right in the middle of that. But there are outliers in both camps who wouldn't fit in the other.
There may be a small overlap in culture between the upper mechanics and lower pilots. The level of skill required to get an instrument rating far exceeds anything that a mechanic has to demonstrate.
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Old 09-01-2020, 12:12 AM   #64  
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This is why we need to discourage entry and participation until compensation is the only reason anyone is here. Pilots have a cornucopia of choices in life so money talks. Mechanics would otherwise be digging ditches, their treatment and pay is all the confirmation one needs. Never use "Pilot" and "Mechanic" in the same paragraph. Your superiors may start seeing you as superfluous help.
Digging ditches? Thats there only other option? What mechanics have you been around?

Where are the mainlines hiring there pilots from? I always find myself in the cockpit at some point during troubleshooting explaining aircraft systems on "their" airplane. Same with the pilots on the cargo side of things. Did they not go to ditch digging school?

I've never commented on an old, dead thread in my life but this thread is just obnoxious. Dont disagree that pilots deserve more in compensation but i laughed at alot of the replies in this thread, but then again its called airlinepilotforums.
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:18 AM   #65  
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My dad is a mechanic, albeit primarily diesel instead of aircraft.

He also, incidentally, is a high school dropout. He's been turning wrenches for a living for nearly 45 years.

He's made a damn good career and income over the years despite a lack of formal education. Its been physically hard work, out in the elements, often by himself on large construction equipment...but on multiple occasions he's been cold-called and offered work by companies that recognize his experience. The last decade or so, he's been in more of a supervisory role...still changes plenty of tires and air lines and fluids, but personally rebuilds a few less Caterpillar engines each year.

My favorite quote of his is one that applies to both mechanics and pilots (and especially Captains) - "I don't get paid for what I do, I get paid for what I know."

A good mechanic/maintainer/technician/whatever is worth their weight in gold...but just like pilots, they're not all 'good'.
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:56 PM   #66  
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Further extremes: I was asked one time why doctors get paid more than street sweepers. (This was noted in Cuba manual street sweepers with a broom get paid $30 a month because their job was outside and dirty. In Cuba doctors are paid $20 a month because it is indoors and clean.)

In that case I said it was more difficult to become a doctor, with lots of training and education. Few people could qualify. Peopleís lives are in the doctorís hands. In contrast, just about anyone could push a broom, sweeping the streets. No real education or skill set. Many would qualify. Supply and demand are radically different. (Incidentally, lots of Cuban born doctors have fled to the US, they do not get paid enough in their home country.)

Please note, I am not comparing a pilot to a heart surgeon. Nor am I cheapening an aircraft mechanic to someone sweeping the streets with a broom. Aircraft mechanics are held in high regard by me. I appreciate their work.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:15 AM   #67  
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Digging ditches? Thats there only other option? What mechanics have you been around?

Where are the mainlines hiring there pilots from? I always find myself in the cockpit at some point during troubleshooting explaining aircraft systems on "their" airplane. Same with the pilots on the cargo side of things. Did they not go to ditch digging school?

I've never commented on an old, dead thread in my life but this thread is just obnoxious. Dont disagree that pilots deserve more in compensation but i laughed at alot of the replies in this thread, but then again its called airlinepilotforums.
Agreed. A good mechanic skillset is transferable across many sectors. Pilot? Not so much. And I'm an A&P/Commercial Pilot, albeit non-airline. In fact I spent time in the space industry with my A&P, building large communication satellites and could go back to that industry if the s*&*t really hit the fan for me. Sure, airline pilots get the glory, i get that. But good mechanics/tradesmen with good interpersonal skills and vision can go a long way.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:13 AM   #68  
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Digging ditches? Thats there only other option? What mechanics have you been around?

Where are the mainlines hiring there pilots from? I always find myself in the cockpit at some point during troubleshooting explaining aircraft systems on "their" airplane. Same with the pilots on the cargo side of things. Did they not go to ditch digging school?

I've never commented on an old, dead thread in my life but this thread is just obnoxious. Dont disagree that pilots deserve more in compensation but i laughed at alot of the replies in this thread, but then again its called airlinepilotforums.
I think an A&P certificate "can" open doors and lead to something in the right setting. My experience suggests its a minor consideration in any hiring decision. The value of an A&P is difficult to assess because there are very few instances where it is required by law. Basically to sign logbooks, its NOT required to perform work on aircraft. This loophole is utilized extensively throughout the industry. Additionally, I know that an A&P can be very easy to obtain depending on "who" you are. Experience requirements are purely subjective and testing is not comprehensive. In contrast, pilots have objective training, experience, and testing standards. An airline pilot has to meet ATP minimums, which are significant. An airline mechanic can be 18 without ANY formal education or directly applicable experience. Over time, its the basic standards that create unique demographics. Each one has certain expectations and there lies the the reason pilots make more!
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:36 PM   #69  
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Thereís a lot to unpack, here. Lots of good points and itís great to see so much thought go into the conversation. Nice work, all.

Iím in the last decade of my career. I started out as an A&P right out of high school (VoTech), wound up at TWA and was brought up by world class farmer/mechanics in Kansas City. Those guys were awesome. Our pay was amazing, and I was able to buy an airplane and pay for my training (my CFI was a structures mech). The idea that I worked for an airline that provided a track from A&P/FE/Pilot seemed normal to me, and our pilot ranks were seasoned with such individuals. Most times, the Captain was as much a tech reference as maintenance control. Somewhere along the path, these things changed. I believe someone said PATCO strike, along with deregulation, the softening of unions and allowance for out of country maintenance. Times change, but thatís another pitcher at a different bar. Point is, that was then. This is now. I felt that my maintenance experience at TWA was of the highest professional level, and we were treated as such. Now, itís as if maintenance teams are treated as an expense center to be trimmed ďat all costsĒ. Sad to see.

After TWA red faded into the blue, I bounced about, ending up with my own team of amazing maint guys, working contract maintenance for airlines. Each of those guys were professionals, and paid accordingly; our customer base grew based on those proficiencies. I found it odd that our small group of guys, made up of various airline mechanic retirees and a few younger folks waiting to move up, could cause such a stir. It seemed that airline maintenance at those customer airlines had moved away from attacking issues in the hubs. They allowed problems to flow down line, and those were often routed to us. Again, we held ourselves to a high standard, and those standards came at a high price. The competitor on our field tried but failed to take our business. His rates were lower, as was his pay. Iíd like to think our hard work, expertise and willingness to do the difficult earned us a higher premium.

For many years, I made more money as a mechanic/DOM than as a pilot. That was true both CONUS and in Alaska. In the 90ís, if you didnít already have an airline job, AK was a place to build your skills and make good money doing it. Even there, maintenance was right up there in pay to pilots. It wasnít until going to contracting, in the sandbox that I topped my pay as a pilot.

itís years later, and after serving as DOM, CP, Site Lead I am back in smaller airplanes in the Midwest. I have a good group of pilots and mechanics at a small 135. We pay highest rates in our little corner of aviation, and I expect everyone to work for that premium. Our customers mention the difference is easy to see, from their side. They find it acceptable and pay a premium for that service.

I think itís how you approach your career in aviation: there are plenty of low ballers out there, both mx and flt, but if you consider yourself a professional of either team, conduct yourself appropriately and work just as hard to find an employer with the same values, you might get lucky. Wait for someone to give it to you and youíll end up a disgruntled voice on a forum thread. None of this is easy.

Not sure if any of that rambling helps to support the OP in clarifying his question, but itís what Iíve got. Why are mechanics making less than pilots? Why do plumbers make more than mechanics? Why do they keep their Journeyman level pay when moving to another employer? Why do pilots not? Why do any pilots pay for their own training? Why do dangerous pilots keep their licenses? Why did half the country vote like crazy people? Why canít you tell which half Iím talking about? Focus. Know who you are, what youíre all about and quit worrying what the ďrestĒ are doing. Clear the static, be healthy and make good choices. Letís all get through this together. The alternative isnít acceptable.
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