Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
Aircraft maintenance engineers diagnose, adjust, repair or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies.
Apprenticeship or traineeship
What does an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer do?
Aircraft maintenance engineers diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.
As an aircraft maintenance engineer, you might:
- maintain, service, inspect, test and undertakes fault diagnosis of airframe, engine and electrical systems, components and accessories on aircraft. These include landing gears; wheels and brakes; skids; pneumatic and hydraulic systems; fuel systems; flight control systems; environmental control and pressurisation systems; fire detection and prevention systems; oxygen systems; containerised cargo handling systems; doors and windows; lighting systems; and ice and rain protection systems
- maintain, inspect, test and undertake fault diagnosis of electrical, electronic, instrument and radio systems, components and accessories on aircraft. These include generator and power distribution systems; navigation, radar and integrated flight systems; indicating and recording systems; lighting systems; aircraft information systems; autopilot systems; fly by wire flight control systems; digital engine control systems; in-flight entertainment and cabin systems; and communication systems
- fabricate, maintain and repair sheetmetal, bonded and non-metallic composite material, and components on pressurised and non-pressurised aircraft.
Key skills and interests
To become an aircraft maintenance engineer, you would need:
- enjoy technical and engineering activities
- medical fitness, with good hearing and vision (colour blindness may make people unsuitable for some aircraft trades)
- have good hand-eye coordination
- be able to concentrate for long periods
- be neat and accurate
- have attention to detail
- be able to work in confined spaces and at heights on platforms around aircraft.
Working hours and conditions
Aircraft maintenance engineers work full time; overtime and weekend work is common.
Aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians work in hangars, in repair stations, or on airfields. They must often meet strict deadlines to maintain flight schedules. The environment can be loud because of aircraft engines and equipment. Workers frequently bend, stoop, and reach from ladders and scaffolds.
How to become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer?
Entry Level Education
To become an aircraft maintenance engineer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Aeroskills (Avionics/Mechanical/Structures). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
You can also become an aircraft maintenance engineer by completing a VET qualification in aeroskills.
Further study can lead you to becoming qualified as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. An Aircraft Maintenance Engineer can only work on aircraft under the supervision of a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.
Employment of aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians is projected to show little or no change.
Air traffic is expected to gradually increase; however, new aircraft are generally expected to require less maintenance than older aircraft. Airlines may continue to outsource maintenance work to specialised maintenance and repair companies both domestically and abroad. Increased specialisation will allow maintenance facilities to use their resources more efficiently and this will therefore limit growth in the number of jobs available.