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Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Mechanics in Santa Clarita, California

Aircraft mechanics can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Santa Clarita, 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 nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for aircraft mechanics are expected to grow by about 6.4%. Aircraft mechanics generally diagnose, adjust, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

Aircraft mechanics earn approximately $27 per hour or $57,580 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $24 per hour or $51,390 yearly. Aircraft mechanics earn more than people working in the category of Aircraft generally in California and more than people in the Aircraft category nationally.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Santa Clarita where you can study to be an aircraft mechanic, among 210 schools of higher education total in the Santa Clarita area. The most common level of education for aircraft mechanics is a post-secondary certificate. You can expect to spend a short time training to become 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 Santa Clarita 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: Santa Clarita, California

Santa Clarita, California
Santa Clarita, California photo by Guillaume h

Santa Clarita is situated in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 169,500, which has grown by 12.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clarita, 137, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clarita are valued at $396,800 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred ten new homes were built in Santa Clarita, down from one hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Santa Clarita are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 33 minutes. More than 29.1% of Santa Clarita residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clarita is 7.8%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clarita 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.

Santa Clarita is home to the Monogram Ranch and the Placeritos Ranch as well as William S Hart Park and Almendra Park. Shopping centers in the area include River Oaks Shopping Center, Granary Square Shopping Center and Lyons Station Shopping Center.