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Details for Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians


Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.


  • Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.
  • Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
  • Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
  • Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
  • Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and de-icers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problem.
  • Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.
  • 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, and seals.
  • Measure the tension of control cables.
  • Replace or repair worn, defective, or damaged components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.
  • Measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.
  • Assemble and install electrical, plumbing, mechanical, hydraulic, and structural components and accessories, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Test operation of engines and other systems, using test equipment such as ignition analyzers, compression checkers, distributor timers, and ammeters.
  • Obtain fuel and oil samples, and check them for contamination.
  • Reassemble engines following repair or inspection, and re-install engines in aircraft.
  • Read and interpret pilots' descriptions of problems in order to diagnose causes.
  • Modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.
  • Install and align repaired or replacement parts for subsequent riveting or welding, using clamps and wrenches.
  • Locate and mark dimensions and reference lines on defective or replacement parts, using templates, scribes, compasses, and steel rules.
  • Clean, strip, prime, and sand structural surfaces and materials to prepare them for bonding.
  • Service and maintain aircraft and related apparatus by performing activities such as flushing crankcases, cleaning screens, and lubricating moving parts.
  • 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.
  • Remove or install aircraft engines, using hoists or forklift trucks.
  • Inventory and requisition or order supplies, parts, materials, and equipment.
  • Fabricate defective sections or parts, using metal fabricating machines, saws, brakes, shears, and grinders.
  • Remove or cut out defective parts, or drill holes in order to gain access to internal defects or damage, using drills and punches.
  • Clean, refuel, and change oil in line service aircraft.
  • Communicate with other workers to coordinate fitting and alignment of heavy parts, or to facilitate processing of repair parts.
  • Trim and shape replacement body sections to specified sizes and fits, and secure sections in place, using adhesives, hand tools, and power tools.
  • Clean engines, sediment bulk and screens, and carburetors, adjusting carburetor float levels.
  • Prepare and paint aircraft surfaces.
  • Spread plastic film over areas to be repaired in order to prevent damage to surrounding areas.
  • Check for corrosion, distortion, and invisible cracks in the fuselage, wings, and tail, using x-ray and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Disassemble engines, and inspect parts such as turbine blades and cylinders for corrosion, wear, warping, cracks, and leaks, using precision measuring instruments, x-rays, and magnetic inspection equipment.
  • Determine repair limits for engine hot section parts.
  • Cure bonded structures, using portable or stationary curing equipment.
  • Listen to operating engines to detect and diagnose malfunctions such as sticking or burned valves.
  • Accompany aircraft on flights in order to make in-flight adjustments and corrections.
  • Remove, inspect, repair, and install in-flight refueling stores and external fuel tanks.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - 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.


  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Related Careers

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  • Automotive Master Mechanics
  • Automotive Specialty Technicians
  • Elevator Installers and Repairers
  • Engine and Other Machine Assemblers
  • Farm Equipment Mechanics
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics
  • Mechanical Door Repairers
  • Rail Car Repairers
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