Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Mechanics in Cambridge, Massachusetts
If you want to be an aircraft mechanic, the Cambridge, Massachusetts area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,170 jobs for aircraft mechanics in Massachusetts and this is projected to shrink 2% to about 1,150 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.
The income of an aircraft mechanic is about $26 per hour or $55,020 yearly on average in Massachusetts. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $24 hourly or $51,390 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Aircraft, people working as aircraft mechanics in Massachusetts earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Aircraft nationally.
The Cambridge area is home to 149 schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree as an aircraft mechanic. 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 Cambridge 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
National Aviation Academy of New England - Bedford, MA
National Aviation Academy of New England, 150 Hanscom Drive, Bedford, MA 01730. National Aviation Academy of New England is a small school located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 123 students. National Aviation Academy of New England has a two to four year program in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated ninety-six students in 2008.
Nashua Community College - Nashua, NH
Nashua Community College, 505 Amherst St, Nashua, NH 03063-1026. Nashua Community College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,925 students. Nashua Community College has an associate's degree program in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated eight students in 2008.
Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA
Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has an associate's degree program in Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician which graduated four students in 2008.
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
For more information, see the Federal Aviation Administration website.
- A first-class airman medical certificate is required to exercise the privileges of an airline transport pilot certificate.
For more information, see the Federal Aviation Administration website.
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: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.
Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.