Should I Become A Pilot, A Mechanic Or Both? (5 Knuckle Busting Thoughts.)

Coffee mug inscribed I'm a Mekanic; Ifix planesn
The necessity of a good A&P mechanic and                              hopefully a pilot!

I always appreciated a pilot that had taken the time to become an Airframe and Power plant Mechanic. If you are one of the lucky ones that have a talent for working with mechanical wonders and how they work, Have you ever wondered, Should I Become A Pilot, A Mechanic, Or Both?

Should I Become A Pilot, A Mechanic, Or Both?

The most trusted men and women in Aviation are the Airframe and Power plant Mechanics and Technicians that everyone who flies must trust implicitly.  A pilot with dual qualifications has the upper hand in getting hired so by all means, if possible, become a pilot and a mechanic/technician.

1.  Qualifications For An A&P Certificate.

These qualifications are much the same as for becoming a pilot. You must be 18years of age and be able to read, write, and, speak, the English language. The International language of Aviation.

You must attend an FAA-approved AMT (Aviation Maintenance Technician) school or acquire 30 months of experience in a maintenance shop. This is not a bad way to go because you can make some money in the process and fly in your available time.

The Qualifications for getting a pilot’s license can be reviewed here.

2. Job Outlook and Salary.

The job outlook for aviation technicians has never been greater and monetary compensation is $45,000 to 60,000.00 per year.

I would say that job security is very good. I think the potential for job security is phenomenal in any area of aviation.

With the massive shortage of pilots, it has never been easier to find employment and I can guarantee that Technicians and Mechanics will be sorely needed.

A Pilot with an A&P certificate will be high on the list for hire.

When the next downturn in pilot hiring occurs having the backup of an aviation technician or avionics technician certificate will give you some added peace of mind if you are furloughed or lose your medical. That is just good sense.

Many times in my flying career I wondered if I was in the wrong line when good sense was handed out, but I would not have wanted anything different looking back!

3. Train On Specific Aircraft Or Many.

It does not matter which area of aviation becomes your choice, you will train on many aircraft in your years in the service of ensuring a safe flight.

If you find yourself in a general aviation shop you will work on anything that comes through the hanger door. That’s a well-diversified experience.

If you choose to become a  mechanic working for an airline you could find yourself in a very lucrative job.  And you may very likely become specialized in one specific aircraft. There are a lot of things to know about today’s modern airliners.

I talked with a mechanic not long ago that had spent 20 years as an airline mechanic and spent most of his career working on only the 747.  It was all so easy for him to find work overseas which placed him in a tax-exempt status because he lived overseas. He was able to retire early and went on to pursue another one of his dreams.

4. Trust.

It’s necessary to put a lot of trust in the mechanics working on your airplane. That’s not to say you don’t inspect the work that they do.  These people are human so they do make mistakes.

There were a few times in my career that I asked the mechanic that worked on the plane if he would get in it and fly with me. I don’t recall that any of them ever said no.

The teamwork that is necessary to keep airplanes up and running requires a great deal of trust.  It is everybody’s goal to make sure that each flight is as safe as possible.

Never fly an aircraft that your mechanic will not fly in after they worked on it.

5. Don’t Forget The Avionics Technician.

The smart guy in the avionics repair station is a real lifesaver most of the time. They sometimes have to break the news that the part needed is not readily available and the airplane is grounded. However, there are many times that they perform miracles and the aircraft is on its way to work.

These guys are worth every cent they earn and the financial end of things can fill your wallet.

I always had a fascination with radios as a young kid and I loved learning about how they worked. I wanted to fly more than work on radios. It never occurred to me to do both. It may have been a good part-time gig during my downtime.


I flew with a lot of pilots that were A&P Certified. It was always a soothing feeling to have someone in either seat who might come in darn handy in an emergency.

There is an abundance of opportunity in aviation for the first time in many years.  I have never seen as many jobs available in every aspect of Aviation.

It’s no longer necessary to have a degree to fly for the major airlines. But if you choose to do the education you become more desirable for any company to hire.

With the technology of electric airplanes being used for trainers and drones flying cargo plus now the newly certified flying cars, the doors to an aviation career are wide open.

If all you really want to do is fly then you probably are good for the next forty years before all aircraft are autonomous. But they’re still going to need ground support.

If you plan your career properly you may very well put yourself in a position of never having to face a furlough or a turndown in the economy.

It may be very likely that your time as a mechanic will be left far in the dirt if you are one of the chosen few that make it to Airline Captain positions with the majors.

It seems like every time I  read a new article about Aviation I am left in awe.  I wonder what type of aircraft all of this new technology may bring?

Related: What Are The Three Types Of Aviation Medicals? (3 Certificates)

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