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Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Mechanics in San Jose, California

Aircraft mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the San Jose, California area. There are currently 11,700 jobs for aircraft mechanics in California and this is projected to grow by 13% to 13,200 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for aircraft mechanics, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.4% over the next eight years. Aircraft mechanics generally diagnose, adjust, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

The income of an aircraft mechanic is about $27 hourly or $57,580 per year on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $24 hourly or $51,390 yearly on average. Incomes for aircraft mechanics are better than in the overall category of Aircraft in California, and better than the overall Aircraft category nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can study to be an aircraft mechanic, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the San Jose area. The most common level of education 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 San Jose 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Aircraft Mechanic Training

Wyotech-Oakland Campus - Oakland, CA

Wyotech-Oakland Campus, 9636 Earhart Rd, North Field, Oakland, CA 94621. Wyotech-Oakland Campus is a small school located in Oakland, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 101 students. Wyotech-Oakland Campus has a two to four year program in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated eighty-five students in 2008.

Gavilan College - Gilroy, CA

Gavilan College, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy, CA 95020. Gavilan College is a medium sized college located in Gilroy, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,159 students. Gavilan College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated five, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

College of Alameda - Alameda, CA

College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. College of Alameda is a medium sized college located in Alameda, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,576 students. College of Alameda has 2 areas of study related to Aircraft Mechanic. They are:

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

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.