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Article: A&P Shortage, $60K starting salary

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Article: A&P Shortage, $60K starting salary

Old 06-02-2023, 11:25 AM
  #1  
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Default Article: A&P Shortage, $60K starting salary

https://apnews.com/article/jobs-work...9e9cef2f6ee42c

-In the airline industry, more than one-third of mechanics are between 55 and 64, according to government data. Fewer than one in 10 are under 30.

-half of UAL's A&P's are already eligible to retire

-Brian Prentice, a partner at the OliverWyman consulting firm, estimates that the aviation industry will endure a shortage of up to 18,000 mechanics this year about 12% of current staffing levels. It will likely boost pay levels across the industry.

-Piedmont now offers scholarships that pay full tuition to schools like the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. In return, the student must work at Piedmont for two years.
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Old 06-03-2023, 07:15 PM
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60K a year to start? That’s not great considering Cat, John Deere and Case IH (the actual companies and their associated dealers) all offer better starting pay, equal or better benefits, and better schedules with job training without the liability or regulatory concerns. The majors are even having trouble recruiting for their higher cost of living areas.

I can’t for the life of me understand why a young person would go into aviation maintenance when there are so many other, better paying and more stable career opportunities out there. In my case, I’m the only one of my friends that went to A/P school with that actively still wrenches after 18 years. I finally hit 1500 hours, I’m counting down the days to get out of it as well.

This isn’t disparaging the aircraft mechanics out there working in the field, vast majority are awesome dudes. I’m saying the career as it sits currently, even after pay increases is not a great choice for a young person. The industry has been addicted to cheap Mx labor since after WW2, it appears that it’s going to reap what it has sowed.
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Old 06-03-2023, 09:08 PM
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Turning wrenches at a car dealership will pay 25% more or better, and many coming out of a maintenance school won't be sucked up by airlines; they'll be working in an or flight school somewhere, changing tires and spark plugs. I have a ver strong maintenance background, with a lot of years of turning wrenches on the line and in the shop, building, repairing, restoring, maintaining, etc, and I don't regret any of it. While I have worked full time doing maintenance, it's been nearly always while also flying (a FAA inspector once told me it's impossible to turn wrenches full time and fly full time; he was wrong).

Aviation maintenance is far more involved than learning to fly. Pilots get a type rating and get to know one airplane; a mechanic must be able to work on anything, in addition to having a far deeper systems knowledge than the pilot does about a given aircraft. The duty is gar greater; the "liability" is long-lasting and carries a greater penalty than turning wrenches on a car or heavy equipment. The work is more delicate, the industry more fragile, and the aircraft mechanic has a certificate to lose, unlike the auto mechanic. The aircraft mechanic is held to a higher standard and is subject to inspection, oversight, and review, as well as investigation.

I come from a flying background in which each pilot had to be a mechanic, and I think it's a very worthwhile skillset and experience for a pilot to have. For the kid out of high school who undertakes study, however, 18-24 months of training yields not a lot more skill and understanding than the basics, and I've run into an uncomfortably large number of recent A&P graduates who did not know how to remove a 10-32 screw. I **** not. I wish I was, but I'm not. Perhaps a bran muffin. I digress.

Bumping up wages is only part of it. I've met a lot of military mechanics who didn't bother to get their FAA mechanic certificate, and went on to earn a living in other ways outside of the service. One of my boys got out of the Corps and continued turning wrenches on the same tails, for a bit more money, but it's not enough, and he's pursuing flying. Personally, I like turning wrenches. I won't make what get as a pilot, it's harder work, longer hours, and it comes with burns, cuts, chemical exposure, more hearing loss, unending aluminum slivers in the skin, and at the end of the day, a degree of satisfaction that I do find rewarding. I like the technical aspects, and I like the dog work, too. I don't mind getting covered in sealant in a fuel cell. I like the smell of solvent and acetone and even MEK, H5606, avgas, and Jet. I like driving rivets, alodining, and fabric work. I like safetywiring the ganglocks on a large radial engine cylinder after a change, fabricating fuel lines, and signing off my work with the knowledge that it's up to speed and something I can stand behind.

I don't like the potential to get sued for work I did years later, decades later, should someone choose. I don't like the lower wages. Turning wrenches got me my first turbojet job. It's saved my butt, the trip, and my life. It's not so easy to convince a kid out of high school that it's his future. I wouldn't discourage anyone from going down that path, though.
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Old 07-09-2023, 12:13 AM
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School cost an arm and a leg.
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Old 07-09-2023, 07:41 AM
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How much did school cost?

How much is your arm or leg worth?
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Old 07-10-2023, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
How much did school cost?

How much is your arm or leg worth?
If you really want to know, the VA has quantified the arm or leg value. College is a bit more of a moving target. But anyone with some life experience gets the inestimable value of your health.
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Old 07-10-2023, 11:33 AM
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I don't need to appeal to the VA for that. My wife assures me I'm worth about $1.25, before the fire. After, estimates are at about $.10, and that's assuming one of her potted plants can use some charcoal at the time.

She says that out of an abundance of generosity, she rounded up.
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Old 07-25-2023, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
T

Aviation maintenance is far more involved than learning to fly. Pilots get a type rating and get to know one airplane; a mechanic must be able to work on anything, in addition to having a far deeper systems knowledge than the pilot does about a given aircraft. The duty is gar greater; the "liability" is long-lasting and carries a greater penalty than turning wrenches on a car or heavy equipment. The work is more delicate, the industry more fragile, and the aircraft mechanic has a certificate to lose, unlike the auto mechanic. The aircraft mechanic is held to a higher standard and is subject to inspection, oversight, and review, as well as investigation.

I come from a flying background in which each pilot had to be a mechanic, and I think it's a very worthwhile skillset and experience for a pilot to have. For the kid out of high school who undertakes study, however, 18-24 months of training yields not a lot more skill and understanding than the basics, and I've run into an uncomfortably large number of recent A&P graduates who did not know how to remove a 10-32 screw. I **** not. I wish I was, but I'm not. Perhaps a bran muffin. I digress.

Bumping up wages is only part of it. I've met a lot of military mechanics who didn't bother to get their FAA mechanic certificate, and went on to earn a living in other ways outside of the service. One of my boys got out of the Corps and continued turning wrenches on the same tails, for a bit more money, but it's not enough, and he's pursuing flying. Personally, I like turning wrenches. I won't make what get as a pilot, it's harder work, longer hours, and it comes with burns, cuts, chemical exposure, more hearing loss, unending aluminum slivers in the skin, and at the end of the day, a degree of satisfaction that I do find rewarding. I like the technical aspects, and I like the dog work, too. I don't mind getting covered in sealant in a fuel cell. I like the smell of solvent and acetone and even MEK, H5606, avgas, and Jet. I like driving rivets, alodining, and fabric work. I like safetywiring the ganglocks on a large radial engine cylinder after a change, fabricating fuel lines, and signing off my work with the knowledge that it's up to speed and something I can stand behind.

I don't like the potential to get sued for work I did years later, decades later, should someone choose. I don't like the lower wages. Turning wrenches got me my first turbojet job. It's saved my butt, the trip, and my life. It's not so easy to convince a kid out of high school that it's his future. I wouldn't discourage anyone from going down that path, though.
Yeah, I remember those days turning wrecnches. A few huffs of MEK and I didn’t care about metal slivers, cuts or just about anything.🤪
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Old 07-25-2023, 03:06 PM
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I saw an ad for operations / mechanics. Light manufacturing, shift work. Fortune 100 company. Low cost of living desirable town of 50,000. Shift work, inside in air conditioning. Much lower skill set than an A&P. Rarely beak a sweat. High school diploma. Starting pay $60,000. $78,000 in four years. Compared to A&P mechanic..Hmmmm.
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Old 07-25-2023, 04:10 PM
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Legacy wrench turners break into six figures now days. Some good jobs, some bad ones.
Like anything else its what you make of it.
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