Aircraft Mechanics

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics > Facility and Mobile Equipment Maintenance

Projected Growth: Slower than average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.

Common job titles of Aircraft Mechanics include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 60.33% said they needed a Post-Secondary Certificate.

  • 24.8% said they needed a Associate's Degree.


    Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.

    Replace or repair worn, defective, or damaged components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.

    Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.

    Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.

    Inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts, materials, and equipment.

    Communicate with other workers to coordinate fitting and alignment of heavy parts, or to facilitate processing of repair parts.

    Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.

    Spread plastic film over areas to be repaired to prevent damage to surrounding areas.

    Clean engines, sediment bulk and screens, and carburetors, adjusting carburetor float levels.

    Clean, refuel, and change oil in line service aircraft.

    Examine engines through specially designed openings while working from ladders or scaffolds, or use hoists or lifts to remove the entire engine from an aircraft.

    Service and maintain aircraft and related apparatus by performing activities such as flushing crankcases, cleaning screens, and or moving parts.

    Install and align repaired or replacement parts for subsequent riveting or welding, using clamps and wrenches.

    Read and interpret pilots' descriptions of problems to diagnose causes.

    Obtain fuel and oil samples and check them for contamination.

    Test operation of engines and other systems, using test equipment, such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers, or ammeters.

    Measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.

    Maintain, repair, and rebuild aircraft structures, functional components, and parts, such as wings and fuselage, rigging, hydraulic units, oxygen systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, gaskets, or seals.

    Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.

    Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.

    Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.

    Listen to operating engines to detect and diagnose malfunctions, such as sticking or burned valves.

    Cure bonded structures, using portable or stationary curing equipment.

    Disassemble engines and inspect parts, such as turbine blades or cylinders, for corrosion, wear, warping, cracks, and leaks, using precision measuring instruments, x-rays, and magnetic inspection equipment.

    Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.

    Trim and shape replacement body sections to specified sizes and fits and secure sections in place, using adhesives, hand tools, and power tools.

    Remove or cut out defective parts or drill holes to gain access to internal defects or damage, using drills and punches.

    Fabricate defective sections or parts, using metal fabricating machines, saws, brakes, shears, and grinders.

    Clean, strip, prime, and sand structural surfaces and materials to prepare them for bonding.

    Locate and mark dimensions and reference lines on defective or replacement parts, using templates, scribes, compasses, and steel rules.

    Modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.

    Assemble and install electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hydraulic, and structural components and accessories, using hand or power tools.

    Measure the tension of control cables.

    Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.

    Accompany aircraft on flights to make in-flight adjustments and corrections.

    Remove or install aircraft engines, using hoists or forklift trucks.

    Reassemble engines following repair or inspection and reinstall engines in aircraft.

    Determine repair limits for engine hot section parts.


X ray inspection equipment

Wire strippers

Wire cutting tools

Wire crimpers

Welding goggles

Wearable point and click devices

Wearable data input systems

All Tools

Wearable computers


Vise grip pliers

Vibration analyzers

Vernier calipers

Utility knives

Unmanned aerial vehicles UAV

Ultrasonic inspection equipment

Tow vehicles

Touch screens

Torque wrenches

Timing lights


Taper punches

Tablet computers

Straight cut aviation snips

Straight chisels


Spring balance scales

Speed wrenches

Soldering equipment

Socket wrench sets

Slip joint pliers

Single-cut mill saw files

Shielded arc welding tools

Sheet metal breakers


Screw extractor sets



Safety wire pliers

Safety glasses

S.M.A.R.T aircraft maintenance tracking


Rivet guns

Reversible safety wire pliers


Resistance meters


Ratcheting screwdrivers


Putty knives

Pressure gauges

Power shears

Power lifts

Power grinders

Portable rectifiers

Portable maintenance aids mobile computing devices

Portable maintenance access terminals

Pneumatic wrenches

Pneumatic riveters

Plastic tip hammers

Pin punches

Phillips head screwdrivers

Personal computers

Paint sprayers


Open end wrenches


Offset right aviation snips

Offset left aviation snips

Needlenose pliers




Mechanical lifts

Measuring tapes



Maintenance planning systems

Maintenance and engineering information systems

Magnetic pickup tools

Magnetic inspection equipment

Machinists’ double point scribers

LTB/400 maintenance management system


Laser printers

Laptop computers


Internal power units

Integrated maintenance and inventory systems

Inspection mirrors

Ignition wrench sets

Ignition analyzers


Heat guns

Hearing protectors

Handheld computers

Hand trucks

Hand nibblers

Hand drills

Hand clamps



Go/no-go gauges

Global positioning system GPS devices


Flat chisels

Flat blade screwdrivers

Feeler gauges

External power units

End wrenches

End cutters

Electrical current meters

Electric drills

Duck bill pliers

Drill presses

Drill bit sets


Digital diagnostic equipment

Dial indicators

Diagonal cutting pliers

Desktop computers

Cordless drills

Continuity meters

Compound leverage snips


Combination wrenches

Combination squares

Cold chisels

Cleco pliers

Channel lock pliers

Center punches


Cable splicing knives

Bucking bars

Brazing equipment

Brass punches



Bastard files

Ball peen hammers

Aviation spark plug sockets


Allen wrenches

Aligning jigs

Aircraft test stands

Aircraft maintenance management systems

Aircraft lifting jacks

Air drills

Air compressors

Adjustable wrenches

Acetylene welding equipment


Tracware AeroTrac

Access Software AIRPAX

CaseBank SpotLight

Computerized aircraft log manager CALM

DatcoMedia EBis

Engine analysis software

Maintenance information databases

All Technologies

Maintenance planning software

Maintenance record software

Mxi Technologies Maintenix

Pentagon 2000SQL

Supply system software

Technical manual database software


Equipment Maintenance

Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.


Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Quality Control Analysis

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operation and Control

Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Equipment Selection

Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Teaching others how to do something.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Finger Dexterity

Quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Control Movement Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Control Precision

Quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Manual Dexterity

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Cognitive Abilities › Spatial Abilities › Visualization

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