Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Mechanics in Arlington, Virginia
If you want to be an aircraft mechanic, the Arlington, Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for aircraft mechanics 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.
Income for aircraft mechanics is about $23 hourly or $49,670 per year on average in Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $24 per hour or $51,390 per year. Aircraft mechanics earn more than people working in the category of Aircraft generally in Virginia and more than people in the Aircraft category nationally.
There are eighty-seven schools of higher education in the Arlington area, including one within twenty-five miles of Arlington where you can get a degree to start your career as an aircraft mechanic. 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 Arlington 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
Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Manassas - Manassas, VA
Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Manassas, 9821 Godwin Drive, Manassas, VA 20110. Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Manassas is a small school located in Manassas, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 104 students. Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Manassas has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated forty-nine and zero students respectively 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: Arlington, Virginia
Arlington is located in Arlington County, Virginia. It has a population of over 209,969, which has grown by 10.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 126, is far greater than the national average.
The top three industries for women in Arlington are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 60.2% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 30.6%, is higher than the state average.
The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 29.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Convenant Presbyterian, Abundant Life United Holy Church and Advent Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church.
Arlington is home to the Clarendon Metro Station and the Virginia Square-GMU Metro Station as well as Arlington House-Robert E Lee Memorial and Doctors Branch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, Ballston Common Shopping Center and Lucas Market Shopping Center. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Econo Lodge National Airport, Crystal Gateway Marriott and Hilton Arlington & Towers for temporary stays in the area.