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Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Mechanics in Palmdale, California

Aircraft mechanics can find many career and educational opportunities in the Palmdale, California area. There are currently 11,700 jobs for aircraft mechanics in California and this is projected to grow 13% to 13,200 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for aircraft mechanics are expected to grow by about 6.4%. In general, aircraft mechanics diagnose, adjust, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

Aircraft mechanics earn approximately $27 per hour or $57,580 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $24 per hour or $51,390 annually. Earnings for aircraft mechanics are better than earnings in the general category of Aircraft in California and better than general Aircraft category earnings nationally.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Palmdale where you can study to be an aircraft mechanic, among 210 schools of higher education total in the Palmdale area. Given that the most common education level for aircraft mechanics is a post-secondary certificate, it will take a short time to learn to be an aircraft mechanic if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Aircraft Mechanic

In general, aircraft mechanics diagnose, adjust, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

Aircraft mechanics read and interpret maintenance manuals and other specifications to establish the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged parts. They also remove or repair worn, faulty, or damaged parts, using hand tools and testing equipment. Equally important, aircraft mechanics have to maintain and rebuild aircraft structures and parts such as wings and fuselage and seals. They are often called upon to assemble and install electrical, plumbing and structural parts and accessories, using hand or power tools. They are expected to examine and inspect aircraft parts, including landing gear and deicers to identify cracks or other problems. Finally, aircraft mechanics measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.

Every day, aircraft mechanics are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for aircraft mechanics to inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts and equipment. They are often called upon to examine airframes for wear or other defects. They also measure the tension of control cables. They are sometimes expected to clean and sand structural surfaces and materials to ready them for bonding. Somewhat less frequently, aircraft mechanics are also expected to decide on repair limits for engine hot section parts.

Aircraft mechanics sometimes are asked to modify aircraft structures or parts, following drawings and technical publications. They also have to be able to maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance and listen to operating engines to uncover and diagnose malfunctions such as sticking or burned valves. And finally, they sometimes have to remove and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.

Like many other jobs, aircraft mechanics must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Palmdale include:

  • Auto Mechanic. Repair automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any part on the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.
  • Avionics Technician. Install, inspect, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.
  • Farm Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul farm machinery and vehicles, such as tractors, harvesters, and irrigation systems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Aircraft Mechanic Training

Antelope Valley College - Lancaster, CA

Antelope Valley College, 3041 West Ave K, Lancaster, CA 93536-5426. Antelope Valley College is a large college located in Lancaster, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,800 students. Antelope Valley College has 2 areas of study related to Aircraft Mechanic. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated five, fourteen, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated twenty, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Long Beach City College - Long Beach, CA

Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90808-1706. Long Beach City College is a large college located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,097 students. Long Beach City College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated four, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Crimson Technical College - Inglewood, CA

Crimson Technical College, 8911 Aviation Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301. Crimson Technical College is a small college located in Inglewood, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 387 students. Crimson Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Aircraft Mechanic. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year and two to four year which graduated zero and 210 students respectively in 2008.
  • Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician, one to two year.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, CA

Glendale Community College, 1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208-2894. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,993 students. Glendale Community College has 2 areas of study related to Aircraft Mechanic. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, associate's degree and two to four year which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA

Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has 3 areas of study related to Aircraft Mechanic. They are:

  • Agricultural Mechanics & Equipment/Machine Technology, associate's degree and two to four year.
  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated four, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician, one to two year and two to four year which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

West Los Angeles College - Culver City, CA

West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230-3519. West Los Angeles College is a large college located in Culver City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,612 students. West Los Angeles College has 2 areas of study related to Aircraft Mechanic. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated thirty-four and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 32 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Airmen Certification: Include the following areas:

  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Flight Engineers, Flight Navigators, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Control Tower Operators
  • 8610-1 (PDF) - Mechanic's Application for Inspection Authorization
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Mechanics, Repairman, and Parachute Riggers
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot

Medical Certification:

Certified Lubrication Specialist: Certification recognizes those individuals who possess current knowledge of lubrication fundamentals and theory.

For more information, see the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers website.

Certified Aerospace Technician: The SpaceTEC Certified Aerospace Technician Core exam is a three part exam consisting of a 70 question, computer based, written exam, followed by an oral and practical evaluation of an individual's technical knowledge and skills.

For more information, see the SpaceTEC website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Palmdale, California

Palmdale, California
Palmdale, California photo by Jamesb01

Palmdale is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 143,197, which has grown by 22.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Palmdale, 132, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Palmdale are priced at $218,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred seventy-four new homes were built in Palmdale, down from eight hundred thirty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Palmdale are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 43 minutes. More than 13.3% of Palmdale residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Palmdale is 15.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Palmdale residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Palmdale is home to the Ritter Ranch and the Palmdale City Library as well as McAdam Park and Tejon Park.