A rough guide to maintenance engineering jobs at airports
The demand for trained engineers at airports is many and varied! With so much machinery involved, and with such expectation on the staff to get it right first time, every time, there’s a wealth of roles out there for engineers champing at the bit to master the diverse technical challenges concerned.
29 Sep 2014
What kind of engineering work is there at an airport?
The core engineer work at an airport is that which deals with the electrical engineering, the rotary work, the airworthiness of crafts, and that of the aircraft itself. Not only those but engineers are needed to maintain the interiors of aircraft, the planning and quality control of what is done, as well as someone that can fabricate the necessary parts. Smaller airports may not need every job mentioned here but you can rest assured that the larger sites will need the majority of you!
How can I be sure that these jobs will fit my employment needs?
It’s likely that you entered engineering because you have that rare but amazing talent for both creativity and technical proficiency, as well as a love for working in teams of like-minded types that love to smash technical challenges! Airport maintenance engineering jobs offer something for all of you out there, whether you want to create, test, maintain, innovate or manage.
How can I get into aircraft engineering roles?
The first step is a degree in engineering. The specifics will depend on your particular interest, but you’ll have studied something like aerospace, aeronautical or mechanical engineering. Again, depending on the role, you may well have certain ratings necessary for the job, such as S92, AS332L2 or EC225 licences. Further training certificates, like Human Factors, Fuel Tank Safety and EWIS are often also mentioned in the details for these roles.
University is not an option right now – can’t I do it another way?
Absolutely! You still need to have the cognitive abilities a degree requires but there are apprenticeships with a variety of airlines out there that allow you to work on the job, earn and train up. An apprenticeship requires a few good school-leaver qualifications (namely, A*-C at GCSE or equivalent) or 9-12 months in an engineering role, as well as the ability to work towards NVQs/BTECs in areas like Performing Engineering Operations, Aircraft Maintenance and Aeronautical Engineering. Alternatively, A Level and BTEC students are welcome too, and you’ll enter at a slightly higher level of study. Whatever form of apprenticeship you sign up to, you can expect your study to take around 3-4 years. Also, be ready to work a variety of shift patterns – 9am-5pm, this ain’t!
Where can I get an aircraft engineering job and how much money will I make?
As you’d expect from any engineering job, the pay grades out there are good! Lower level roles like project engineer work or production team leader will land you a pay packet between £25,000-£35,000 ($40K+), depending on experience and your ability to negotiate. Moving on up, a senior stress engineering job or design engineering role will bag you between £35,000-48,000 ($58K+), whereas lead mechanical engineering or business improvement engineer work brings home between £41,000 and £55,000 (app $82K). The really high-level roles are rather coy on what they pay but we can at least assume that you won’t be too disappointed!
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