An aviation machinist performs mechanical duties on various types of aircraft and may be employed by the military, commercial airlines, or privately owned flight companies. Duties may differ greatly depending on the type of company that the aviation machinist works for, especially if he or she is in the military. Education and experience requirements also differ based on employment and most of these positions are required to have several forms of specialized training. These individuals may be directly responsible for preparing aircraft for flight, in-flight maintenance or minor repairs, and numerous repairs in-between flights. Some commercial airlines employ a team of mechanics for each plane to ensure the stability of the aircraft and the safety of passengers.
In addition to mechanical duties, an aviation machinist in the military may have various tactical duties that he or she performs. These tasks may include controlling electrical systems, administering first-aid, assisting in loading the aircraft, and operating communication devices and on-board weaponry. Most military units require that aircraft personnel have been enlisted members of military services for at least four years and have received additional training. There are also several tactical training programs that he or she must successfully complete before entering this profession. An aviation machinist in the military may receive a higher pay based on workplace hazards and additional duties.
The general mechanical tasks that most professionals in this field perform include minor and major engine repairs, propeller maintenance and repairs, and testing flight equipment. An aircraft requires constant attention to ensure continuous safety, which may increase the stress level of this profession. He or she must perform system checks, engine performance evaluations, and different types of engine servicing. Fuel and lubrication systems also require continuous testing, maintenance, and refilling, all of which is performed by an aviation mechanic. Many companies may require that he or she has at least a high school diploma or equivalent certification and specialized training in the field.
An aviation machinist who is not enlisted in the military usually receives training from vocational schools or company training programs. Most companies require that candidates have an excellent bill of health, good hand-eye coordination, and nearly perfect vision. In addition to physical attributes, this position may also be required to have a clean criminal background due to the type of responsibilities that this position is in charge of. He or she should be able to work well with others because many positions in this profession are required to work on a team.