There are many different types of aircraft mechanic jobs. The most common jobs are airframe mechanics, powerplant mechanics and avionics technicians. All of these positions require different types of training, because they specialize in different areas of the aircraft.
Airframe mechanics generally work on the body, or frame, of the aircraft. They are not trained to work on propellers, powerplants or instruments. Powerplant mechanics, on the other hand, are trained to work on aircraft engines as well as propellers. Many aircraft mechanics are called A&P mechanics, because they have a combination of training that allows them to do both airframe and powerplant work.
Avionics technicians are the instrument repair personnel. They are trained to work on things such as the aircraft's instruments, weather radar systems and electrical systems. Avionics technicians have become more in demand than they once were, because of the increased use of technology in aircraft. A highly technical background is also required in this specialization. Other specialized aircraft mechanic jobs include engine, hydraulic or electrical system specialists.
In addition to the different kinds of aircraft mechanic jobs, aircraft mechanics can also specialize in certain types of work, such as maintenance, repair or inspections. Preventive maintenance includes inspecting engines, instruments, brakes and landing gear. These mechanics also keep records and perform the necessary maintenance.
Repair work is another area in which aircraft mechanics can specialize. These aircraft mechanic jobs require that the mechanic troubleshoot, find and fix problems with the aircraft. After repairs are made, the mechanic must test the equipment to make sure everything is working properly.
Aircraft mechanic jobs also can be specialized by the type of aircraft on which the mechanic works. For example, some mechanics specialize in working on helicopters, and others specialize in jets or commercial airplanes. Still others open mechanic shops for smaller, personal aircraft.
People who work as aircraft mechanics can often advance to lead mechanic, lead inspector, or shop supervisor positions. In many countries, aircraft mechanics must be licensed by a government agency. In order to become licensed, mechanics typically must complete a certain number of hours of coursework. Refresher courses are often required to keep licenses current.
The job of an aircraft mechanic, depending on specialization, can be dangerous. Mechanics working on large aircraft are often working high in the air or in tight spaces. Additionally, aircraft mechanics often work under pressure so that flight schedules can be kept, while at the same time maintaining the safety standards of the aircraft.