If you’re considering becoming an aircraft mechanic, you might wonder what some of the advantages are to being in this specific career. Some of the things you may want to know involves benefits like being able to fly for free, retirement benefits and more. You might even find yourself asking:
How do the benefits of being an aircraft mechanic compare with other jobs?
There are a lot of perks and benefits to being an aircraft mechanic!
Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (also known as aircraft mechanics) have the luxury being in a field that comes with a lot of great benefits. In this article we’re taking a look at some of the benefits that you probably want to know about the most.
Note: Although this list covers the benefits offered by most employers, there can still be differences based on which company you work for. One of the factors that will make the biggest difference in your benefits is if you work for an airline or for another company that services/repairs aircraft.
Since some of these benefits can be more of less important to you based on your lifestyle and personal preferences, make sure to ask any prospective employers which ones they do and don’t offer.
1. Flight Benefits
If you are fortunate enough to work for one of the major U.S. airlines, you can more than likely look forward to having access to flight benefits. This means that you’ll have the opportunity to fly yourself (and maybe even friends and family) on trips using discounted or free tickets
For many employees of airlines, this is one of the most appreciated benefits. It gives you the chance to travel for a significantly lower cost than if you had to pay for your own airfare. There are oftentimes restrictions that you’ll have to work around, but it’s well worth it.
Here is an entire article we wrote specifically for aircraft mechanic flight benefits.
2. Working on Advanced Aircraft
If you are considering becoming an aircraft mechanic, there’s a good chance that you enjoy fixing things and working with your hands. You probably even find modern aircraft to be incredible pieces of engineering.
Working in this field means that an average day for you includes getting to work on amazing aircraft that most people would dream of seeing up close. This makes the job even more exciting and rewarding. While most of us are at a desk staring a computer screen, you can be in a hangar with jet.
3. Competitive Pay
The average pay for an Aircraft Mechanic is over $66,000 and rising. This is above the national average income and even well above what many people earn with a college or professional degree.
Even better yet, as the demand for this career is increasing and the labor shortage continued, their pay is rising faster than other jobs. Considering the other benefits associated with this career along with the fact that it does not require a bachelor’s degree and you can see that it’s a great paying field for someone who loves the idea of working on airplanes.
4. Job Security
Anyone looking to get into a career is probably interested in the long term job prospects for that career. The last thing you’d want to do is spend time and effort going to school and gaining experience in a profession only to find out that it’s hard to find a job in the industry. Even worse yet would be finding out that the market doesn’t even have a need for the skills you worked so hard developing.
This is definitely not the case for aircraft mechanics. This career not only has above average growth compared to other careers, there is currently a shortage of qualified professionals. This makes it easier to find a job and much less likely that you ever get laid off. As an added bonus, since aviation is a popular industry all over the United States as well as internationally, you can feel confident in being able to find a job no matter where you live.
Because of the shortage of qualified Aviation Maintenance Technicians and the fact that the work they do on airplanes still has to be done, there is ample opportunity for overtime in this career. This opens up the opportunity to earn significantly more per hour than you earn while working your traditional 40 hour work week.
The pay for this position is already above average. Add in overtime pay and you can be earning well over $100,000/annually.
6. 401(k) and Retirement Plans
As much as you like working on airplanes, you aren’t going to want to do it forever. At some point, you’re going to want to be able to retire and spend your time with your family doing the things you love. Like many other great careers, most aircraft mechanics are offered access to a 401(k) plan, pension plan, and other resources to help you retire when the time comes.
Many employers also offer the opportunity for a 401(k) match, meaning that they will not only let you set aside money before taxes for retirement, they’ll actually contribute money to your plan on your behalf. Others might still offer a pension along with other retirement benefits like keeping your flight benefits.
7. Health Insurance
The cost of health insurance has skyrocketed over the last few years. A big part of the reason for this is the higher cost of medicine (doctors visits, procedures, etc.) and prescription drugs. Having to go without medical insurance can be catastrophic to your finances in the case of a serious illness or accident. Even routine medical care can get very expensive.
This is why it’s great that most employers offer their aircraft mechanics health insurance. It’s yet another great perk of being a sough after professional in a field that recognizes how important your work is.
8. Professional Satisfaction
Although this benefit is not a financial one, it’s still a very important one. Being an aircraft mechanic gives you the satisfaction of performing a job that’s very important to the general public. Millions of people fly every year and they are able to do so safely thanks to your hard work.
Having a career that provides this satisfaction makes you much more likely to feel rewarded and happy with what you do every day. The last thing anyone wants is to have a job that they view as insignificant or pointless. That leads to being bored and unfulfilled.
Working on airplanes and making sure they are safe for passengers is very rewarding and leads to a high level of persona satisfaction and happiness.
9. Career Development
It’s a common misconception that all aircraft mechanics work for the major airlines. While many of them do, there are also many other jobs in the industry that you can use your experience to achieve. This includes working for shops that repair and maintain aircraft for the airlines as well as working on planes that are used as private jets, cargo planes, private planes, and more.
In addition, while you might start your career fixing aircraft that doesn’t mean you can’t work on someday getting promoted and being a part of the management team. Experienced professionals are always needed to help hire, train, and develop younger mechanics. This leads to you being able to use your experience to do something difference as well as earn more money.
*Related: Types of aircraft mechanics
As you can see, being a aircraft mechanic has a long list of valuable benefits. This is a career that allows for it’s members to be taken care of when it comes to their finances, health, and happiness. It also provides stable employment and the opportunity for advancement.
If you have a high mechanical aptitude and love the idea of working on airplanes, it might be the perfect career for you.