Commercial air transport is a sector of civil aviation that includes aircraft scheduled operations to transport passengers, cargo, or mail for profit or value. Functions include commercial airlines, delivery companies, military freight, and passenger transport. These operations utilize strict flight schedules and aim to maximize profitability. Commercial companies have substantial maintenance operations that require several technicians to inspect and repair just one aircraft.

Commercial Air Transport Companies

Commercial air transport companies exist at various size levels!

International companies include American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.

Domestic, low-cost airlines include AllegiantBreeze Airways, Frontier, Jet Blue, Southwest, and Spirit.

Regional airlines operate slightly smaller regional aircraft to provide passenger air service to communities without sufficient demand to attract mainline service. Regional companies are an excellent way to break into the industry, especially for mechanics with limited experience.

Delta Airlines: Endeavor Air and Republic Airways

American Airlines: Horizon Air, Mesa, Piedmont, PSA, and SkyWest

United Airlines: Air Wisconsin, Express Jet, and Go-Jet

Commercial Air Transport Advancement Opportunities for Aircraft Mechanics

In commercial air transport operations, there is generally a distinction between maintenance operations and quality control. While these are separate departments, they work together to ensure all work is complete and the aircraft’s airworthiness. Once mechanics have gained experience as lead technicians, they can choose to continue gaining experience in aircraft maintenance or decide to take the inspection route to become inspectors. While lead mechanics and inspectors are the same rank, they are separate positions that lead to different commercial air transport career pathways.

Advancing in Commercial Airline Transport Maintenance Operations

The first advancement opportunity for a commercial airline transport aircraft mechanic is to become a lead mechanic.

Depending on the size of the operation, leads may manage 5-10 mechanics during a shift. Suppose leads choose to continue their career in aircraft maintenance. In that case, they could supervise other leads, manage the maintenance production, and grow into higher positions managing and directing the maintenance operations.

Shift managers or supervisors advance from their positions as lead mechanics to oversee one aircraft or a group of airplanes and the maintenance crew during a shift. The number of crew members will depend on the operation’s size, but supervisors will typically manage 3-4 lead mechanics. Typically, the next promotion opportunities to become a production manager.

Production managers (PM) typically manage 2-3 supervisors and oversee the repair, maintenance, installations, or manufacturing of airframe, powerplant, and aircraft systems. PMs are the point of contact for the company representative or owner of the aircraft receiving services. When they receive a new project or contract, their job is to review the requested orders, prioritize the work based on their knowledge and experience. Additionally, they work with the quality control inspectors to get feedback and information on maintenance discrepancies that need to be addressed and delegated to the maintenance crew. PMs will report to the base manager.

The base manager reports to the vice president, and is the point of contact for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is the director of maintenance responsibility to be aware of and control all operations at every station.

Becoming eligible for any of these management positions doesn’t happen overnight! Succeeding in getting them often takes a willingness to learn all there is to know, do any job or task, and work hard in every step of your career journey. Good managers know how to do lower-level positions because they have gained that experience, which can take years. At higher-level positions, candidates must have a solid history of managing people, and some companies may require a 4-year degree. It is essential to have a strong ability to read people to know how to place them where they have the right responsibilities for their strengths.

Advancing in Commercial Airline Transport Maintenance Operations

The first advancement opportunity for a commercial airline transport aircraft mechanic is to become a lead mechanic.

Depending on the size of the operation, leads may manage 5-10 mechanics during a shift. Suppose leads choose to continue their career in aircraft maintenance. In that case, they could supervise other leads, manage the maintenance production, and grow into higher positions managing and directing the maintenance operations.

Shift managers or supervisors advance from their positions as lead mechanics to oversee one aircraft or a group of airplanes and the maintenance crew during a shift. The number of crew members will depend on the operation’s size, but supervisors will typically manage 3-4 lead mechanics. Typically, the next promotion opportunities to become a production manager.

Production managers (PM) typically manage 2-3 supervisors and oversee the repair, maintenance, installations, or manufacturing of airframe, powerplant, and aircraft systems. PMs are the point of contact for the company representative or owner of the aircraft receiving services. When they receive a new project or contract, their job is to review the requested orders, prioritize the work based on their knowledge and experience. Additionally, they work with the quality control inspectors to get feedback and information on maintenance discrepancies that need to be addressed and delegated to the maintenance crew. PMs will report to the base manager.

The base manager reports to the vice president, and is the point of contact for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is the director of maintenance responsibility to be aware of and control all operations at every station.

Becoming eligible for any of these management positions doesn’t happen overnight! Succeeding in getting them often takes a willingness to learn all there is to know, do any job or task, and work hard in every step of your career journey. Good managers know how to do lower-level positions because they have gained that experience, which can take years. At higher-level positions, candidates must have a solid history of managing people, and some companies may require a 4-year degree. It is essential to have a strong ability to read people to know how to place them where they have the right responsibilities for their strengths.

Ready to Start Your Career as an Aviation Mechanic?

There are many different sectors and career opportunities in aviation maintenance!

When getting started, the most important thing to remember is that aviation mechanics must have their work approved by a licensed A&P Mechanic. To obtain these ratings, you are required to show aptitude by completing your written, oral, and practical examinations in each of the following subjects; a total of nine exams!

  1. General topics cover basic sciences and regulations
  2. Airframe subjects include aircraft construction, systems, and operations
  3. Powerplant subjects include engine theory, construction, and operations

Once the testing process starts, you have 24 months to complete the required exams to receive your ratings. The FAA will then issue you a certificate, officially declaring you can work as an aviation maintenance technician.

The most effective and efficient way to train and prepare for your exams is to attend an FAA-approved, part-147 school like National Aviation Academy (NAA).

At NAA, you have accelerated training options, will gain practical hands-on experience, receive tutoring, testing, and career placement services all in one place. Additionally, students test as they progress through the coursework and projects instead of taking all nine exams at once.

Our 14-month Aviation Maintenance Technology program is the fastest option for getting A&P certified at NAA. Training is hands-on and focuses on developing skills for inspecting, repairing, and maintaining the aircraft body and engines.

Our 21-month Aviation Maintenance Professional program prepares you for your federal airframe and powerplant licenses and avionics certificates. Having all of these credentials means you can service the body, engines, and advanced aircraft technologies, offering the opportunity to increase your value as a mechanic!

Interested in more information on starting your aviation career? Fill out the form below. Apply now if you are ready to begin!

THE DEMAND IS REAL...

Aviation Maintenance Technicians Needed Worldwide According to Boeing

%

Workforce That Is At Or Near Retirement Age According To ATEC

Average Daily Worldwide Flights in 2019 According to Flight Radar 24

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