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Aptitudes need to become a A&P

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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2006
I am considering becoming a aircraft mechanic. What skills and aptitudes does an individual need to enter this field? For example. I am poor at math. I also attended a technical school and found that I have very little if any concept of electronics or techincal troubleshooting. Is this a a field worth pursuing?
can i ask what type of employment you have now? like whats your occupation.
Are you able to learn? Are you willing to dedicate attention to detail and ensure craftsmanship? Are you patient? Can you follow rules and regulations?

If so, then you posses the adequate aptitude for aircraft maintenance technology. Everything else can be learned.

Low math skills....you should fit right in at the school I attended. Actually, all snarkiness aside, you should reconsider. There are many better ways to earn a living that are much more satisfying and rewarding. Looking back however I would be much farther ahead in life if I had taken my fathers advice which was get an A&P, that was when I was aiming for a pilot job.
Depends on what you want to do with your A&P

Number One Pilot,

To answer your question, pardon me for posting one back at you. What you want to do with your A&P?

I got mine, used it sparingly and later went off to fly and recently furloughed from the majors I have used my A&P actively to do warranty work and was grateful to feed my family for the last couple of years.

I went to a school where some of the guys couldn't speak English well and were very unfamiliar with anything other than the metric system. Yet they are now accomplished mechanics fixing airplanes worldwide. In the same class we had guys who had built hot rods before coming to our school but lost interest in aviation within the first few years.

I recently was invited to talk about this subject at career day for a local school and this is what I told the young and eager students. Consider A&P school as an opportunity to develop a skill-set. You will be familiar with subjects such as welding, hydraulics, sheet metal, basic electricity, engines etc. It will not only give you the knowledge base to apply to work on airplanes but you can score points with the wife (in my case) for being that handyman of the house. But, you may never become wealthy and think of it with a useful shelf life of five or seven years. Very seldom have I run into guys who think this career is everything they expected it to be but they still do it for one reason or the other

On an another note, I have run into folks who used the A&P license and built on it. There are guys and gals in Disneyland (Roller Coasters), Oil industry, wind energy development firms etc. Here is a good link for a better read on what may be out there http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090129160516AArWBg7

Okay now to your real question, sorry got off on a tangent, just trying to share everything I know. You want to know the required aptitude, here is the link for O*NET.ORG for Aircraft Mechanics http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/49-3011.00

Good luck to you and hope I was of help.


Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services. Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes. Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits. Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process. Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
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Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools. Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it. Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed. Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job. Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. 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. Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Installation — Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
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Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. Information Ordering — The ability to 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). Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Wages & Employment Trends


Median wages (2008) $24.71 hourly, $51,390 annual Employment (2008) 122,000 employees Projected growth (2008-2018) Slower than average (3% to 6%) Projected job openings (2008-2018) 31,400
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I am considering becoming a aircraft mechanic. What skills and aptitudes does an individual need to enter this field? For example. I am poor at math. I also attended a technical school and found that I have very little if any concept of electronics or techincal troubleshooting. Is this a a field worth pursuing?

The skills many A&P's Learn such as how to use tools, follow instructions, and troubleshoot mechanical, electrical, and other problems is what makes other industries interested in those skills. Namely the railroads, ship building, and industry of all kinds.
The whole two years I was in A&P school in college, not one aviation company showed up, but the railroads, ship builders, and other industry was taking students left and right with no A&P license. They love the skills you learn in school.

I am trouble by your lack of how something works skills, which could be a problem for you. We did have women in our classes with no previous mechanical skills, but were willing to LEARN, so they did well.
Unless you are willing to change, you may not be a sucessful A & P mechanic.
There is math involved on a day to day basis, such as, rivet spacing, converting foot pounds to inch pounds, percentages, fractions. There are math questions on the written tests also.
With aircraft going electronic, the troubleshooting skills will be necessary to repair the technology.
And the pay is not exactly that great either.

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