How to become a Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

Aircraft maintenance engineers install, maintain and repair aircraft engines; airframes; airframe systems; electrical, instrument and radio systems; and aircraft structures and surface finishes.

Personal requirements of a Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

  • Enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • Medically fit, with good hearing and vision (colour blindness may make people unsuitable for some aircraft trades)
  • Good hand–eye coordination
  • Able to concentrate for long periods
  • Neat and accurate
  • Attention to detail
  • Able to work in confined spaces and at heights on platforms around aircraft (for some specialisations)

Education & Training for a Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

To become an aircraft maintenance engineer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Aeroskills (Avionics/Mechanical/Structures). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. You can also become an aircraft maintenance engineer by completing a VET qualification in aeroskills. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Duties & Tasks of a Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

Aircraft maintenance engineers may perform the following tasks:

  • dismantle, inspect, repair and reassemble aircraft engines, airframe components and systems, electrical components and systems, avionic components and systems, and aircraft structures
  • test aircraft communication equipment, instruments and electronic systems
  • conduct routine pre-flight inspections.

Employment Opportunities for a Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

Aircraft maintenance engineers may be employed by Approved Maintenance Organisations in general aviation, domestic and international airlines, aerospace companies and the Australian Defence Force.

Specialisations:


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)

An aircraft maintenance engineer (avionics) maintains, inspects, tests and undertakes fault diagnosis of electrical, electronic, instrument and radio systems, components and accessories on aircraft. These include generator and power distribution systems; navigation, radar and integrated flight systems; indicating and recording systems; lighting systems; aircraft information systems; autopilot systems; fly by wire flight control systems; digital engine control systems; in-flight entertainment and cabin systems; and communication systems.


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)

An aircraft maintenance engineer (mechanical) maintains, services, inspects, tests and undertakes fault diagnosis of airframe, engine (including propellers and rotors) and electrical systems, components and accessories on aircraft. These include landing gears; wheels and brakes; skids; pneumatic and hydraulic systems; fuel systems; flight control systems; environmental control and pressurisation systems; fire detection and prevention systems; oxygen systems; containerised cargo handling systems; doors and windows; lighting systems; and ice and rain protection systems.


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Structures)

An aircraft maintenance engineer (structures) fabricates, maintains and repairs sheetmetal, bonded and non-metallic composite material, and components on pressurised and non-pressurised aircraft. They must be familiar with airframe, engine and electrical components. They carry out a wide variety of metal forming and joining processes using hand and power tools, and work with various fibre-reinforced plastic materials.


Aircraft Mechanic (Avionics)

An aircraft mechanic (avionics) overhauls, repairs, modifies and tests a range of electrical, electronic, instrument and radio communications and navigation system components in a workshop environment, after they have been removed from the aircraft. These include generator and power distribution systems, protection systems, autopilot and integrated flight systems, environmental control systems, and radar and communication systems. They may also perform flight simulator maintenance.


Aircraft Mechanic (Mechanical)

An aircraft mechanic (mechanical) overhauls, inspects, repairs, modifies and tests airframe and engine components in a workshop environment, after they have been removed from the aircraft. These include landing gears; wheels and brakes; fuel, pressurisation, pneumatic and hydraulic devices; flight control surfaces and power control packages; environmental control components; piston and gas turbine engines; propellers and rotor blades; transmissions; and associated engine components. They may also perform flight simulator maintenance.

Additional Information
After graduating with an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) trade certificate and gaining the necessary experience, you may undertake further training to become a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME). An aircraft maintenance engineer can only work on aircraft under the supervision of a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer.
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