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JayR

Interested In Joining The Industry

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Hello, I'm interested in starting a new trade and a friend of mine (a pilot) said I might do well in the helicopter maintenance field.

I'm currently a ticketed automotive refinisher, but I'm unhappy with a lot of things in that trade. I need a new start. I am very meticulous. I take my time and do things right. I'm picky. I have a lot of patients to make sure everything is done the way it is supposed to be done. I am also mechanically inclined and have a good understanding of how things work.

With that being said, does it sound like helicopter maintenance might be the right thing for me? My friend recomended turbine engine overhauling, or component overhauling. He thinks I would do well at those.

What steps should I take to find employment? Is it easy to find a job without having any schooling? I'd like to try my hand at it before spending a lot of time and money on schooling. Don't get me wrong, if I see there is a definite future in it, I would do any schooling necessary.

 

Anyhow, any info on who to talk to, steps to take, or things to consider would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 

P.S. I'm in the Abbotsford BC area, so any info on local companies would be great.

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You do not need school to work on aircraft. You need schooling to become a licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. If you want employment drop into Cascade Aviation at the Airport and talk to their HR people. They are looking for a bunch of folks to do teardowns on 737's. Expect to get around $15/hr. If you want the school route you have three options in BC. BCIT in Richmond, Okanagan College/Nothern lights in Vernon, or Nothern Lights college in Dawson Creek. You can also take the AME program by correspondance, but there are severe limitations in doing that n regards to credit for hours and the way you write your government exams.

 

Check out the following links

 

http://www.bcit.ca/study/programs/1010dipts

 

http://www.ouc.ca/calendar/programs/trades...e-engineer.html

 

 

http://www.nlc.bc.ca/public.program.php?Pr...amp;ProgramID=7

 

http://www.cascadeaerospace.com/careers/Cu...0Opportunities/

 

 

http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/Regserv/...T4/Subpart3.htm

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Hello, I'm interested in starting a new trade and a friend of mine (a pilot) said I might do well in the helicopter maintenance field.

I'm currently a ticketed automotive refinisher, but I'm unhappy with a lot of things in that trade. I need a new start. I am very meticulous. I take my time and do things right. I'm picky. I have a lot of patients to make sure everything is done the way it is supposed to be done. I am also mechanically inclined and have a good understanding of how things work.

With that being said, does it sound like helicopter maintenance might be the right thing for me? My friend recomended turbine engine overhauling, or component overhauling. He thinks I would do well at those.

What steps should I take to find employment? Is it easy to find a job without having any schooling? I'd like to try my hand at it before spending a lot of time and money on schooling. Don't get me wrong, if I see there is a definite future in it, I would do any schooling necessary.

 

Anyhow, any info on who to talk to, steps to take, or things to consider would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 

P.S. I'm in the Abbotsford BC area, so any info on local companies would be great.

 

 

AcroHelipro and Heli-one might be good to try as well.

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You might not like to hear this, but I would recommend you stick to automotive work.

While you might think that it is better "on the other side of the fence", the aviation world as seen from an AME point of view is not something that should be recommended to anyone.

While we have come a long way through the years and developped thick skins, AME's are still the most abused people in the industry. For one, there are corporate sponsored societies like CAMC trying to take control of licensing away from Transport Canada. Basically this will mean that your license would be under the hands of business. My goodness!, a regulatory body who's sole aim should only be the safety of the industry should be in charge. Currently however, Transport Canada appears to be more interested in making money through fines rather than physically ensuring that aircrafts are safe. Books don't fly, aircrafts do! The common excuse used is that they have no money to enforce anything. Given the fact that there are so many unscrupulous operators in this business, guess who is lining up to take control of licensing? As the AME shortage increases every year, there are continuous attempts made to try and fix the problem by trying to circumvent the need for AME's. One novel idea is having just one AME per AMO working with a bunch of CAMC approved Technicians. The intent is to save money by having only one "expensive" but usually overworked and in reality underpaid AME sign for all the work carried out in the business, while hiring low wage earners like CAMC trained technicians to help him or her do the work.

Starting at 15 dollars an hour at Cascade, you can do better by going to Save On Foods stocking shelves for 17 dollars per hour.

To be sure, it won't be as interesting, but you'll get to pay your bills, and more importantly you will have time to think about a real career, not something where you will live a lifetime enduring threats and abuse.

Given the incredible responsibilities AME's hold and experience on a daily basis, they really aren't recognized as professionals nor are they paid accordingly. This is why there is a shortage, surprise, surprise. Why would you want to work in an industry that will do nothing to support you? Remember the current regulatory body, Transport Canada, it's more interested in fining you for one thing or another, and no aviation related association will stand by you to establish professional standards to ensure AME's are treated fairly. Engineers are professionals, but they are not recognized as such by their own employers. So called "Professional Engineers" on the other hand have an association with established guidelines indicating what wages P-Eng types will accept depending on their years of qualification. There is nothing for the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer in place despite the existence of associations for decades. Everyone has ideas on how things should be run, but no one agrees on anything. Since AME's are used to troubleshooting everything by themselves, they never speak up. AME's are their own worst ennemies and operators are standing by to abuse them, EVEN WHEN THERE IS A SHORTAGE like now. So, what are you going to do?

Please reconsider for your own sake before you end up disappointed like the rest of us old timers.

It just isn't worth the grief.

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JustanAME,

 

I agree with most of the points you just made. I would like to add that the experience you gain as an AME can prove to be very useful in the future. The PEng world really appreciates the experience you are able to bring to the table when the room is full of young PEng graduates. School smarts mixed with real world experience can be a powerful tool in the OEM world.

 

Just remember, on your way to the AME license, don’t ignore the academic sections of your studies or you’ll always be “just the mechanic”.

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Engineers are professionals, but they are not recognized as such by their own employers. So called "Professional Engineers" on the other hand have an association with established guidelines indicating what wages P-Eng types will accept depending on their years of qualification.

 

You're taking things out of context with this. The fee guidelines published by the various provincial associations is to help engineering firms determine what to charge a client for their services. Not what the engineering firms should be compensating their employee engineers.

 

I think your guys' whole business model will have to change if you want to get to that point. Instead of working for an operator, you'll work for an AMO who doesn't have a flying operation but rather contracts their services out to the operators.

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So what advancement opportunities are there at Save On Foods for a shelf stocker? Can they 7 years from now be making around 80-90 thousand dollars per year with benifits? Would they be able to travel and work around the world as a shelf stocker? The work at Cascade for 15/hr is labourer work ,not a licensed AME. Starting AME's make between 22 and 26/hr to start. This doen't include Benifits, which after probation they are entitled to. Cascade is mostly third party maintenance which historically is on the lower end of the pay scale. Licensed experience AME's with rotary experiance can expect to make in the 100,000/year with Benifits.

 

The tone of your post shows, I think, that you are looking for a career not a job. If so, welcome to the world of aviation. You are going to find lots of nah sayers like JustAnAME, which by his moniker you can see what he thinks of his standing in the industry. I am not JustanAME, I am an an Arcraft Maintenace Engineer and I work for people who respect that. It is hard to understand how people can say there is a shortage of engineers and then whine and complain about there lot in life. If you aren't getting what you want from the employeer you are currently with, quit and move on to one that will, or maybe your just not worth it.

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Id say most of what justanAME said is accurate, I don't know too many ame's making 100K a year unless they are working away from home for 3/4 of their lives or a rare few who acheived some high paying positions after 15+ years in industry. But still have to leave their families behind for 6 months of the year often which often seems to lead to having no family waiting for you when you do get home. Id say informing people about the industry they are considering entering is only fair. You can walk onto a construction site with a shovel and make $25/hr as a labourer with no schooling and that can turn into a very high paying "career" within a couple years.

 

BUT that being said it can be a very interesting career. Just good to let people know what sacrafices they are most likely going to make in a feild maint. heli career.

 

However, it appears he is considering of getting into the overhaul side of things which I dont know much about and most of the the disscusion in this thread doesn't apply to.

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How? Explain how with just a shovel and no scholling can you can have a high paying "career". There are scarifices in any job. I can make !$100,000 a year and be away from home only 20weeks a year, no tents, scheduled tours. Remember I am an engineer not just an AME.

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How? Explain how with just a shovel and no scholling can you can have a high paying "career". There are scarifices in any job. I can make !$100,000 a year and be away from home only 20weeks a year, no tents, scheduled tours. Remember I am an engineer not just an AME.

 

Starting onto a site as a labourer and working your way up, before you know it you'll have full benifits and being making decent money. "High paying" might not have been the right chioce of words but in comparison to aviation pay that Ive known/ heard of its pretty high paying.

 

Now that being said it can often lead to school (which the companys often pay for). A freind of mine started out like that, he did end up going to school for a crane operators certificate, but doesnt even use it as hes making more money doing concrete pours ($90-100K/yr) which was all learned on the job. Not to mention most of the schooling involved in that industry is only 6 weeks a year for a 4 year apprenticeship period. Anyways, was just using construction as an example.

 

There definitely are sacrafices with all jobs your right, IMO aviation seems to have heavier sacrafices than most. I dont agree with justanAME in saying "dont become an AME." But I think its fair to inform someone interested in it that these are the sacrafices they can expect to make and the lifestyle they can expect to live. And of course the money they can expect to make. Also some of the opportunities they might get. They can then use this information to help make their decision.

 

As for your employer/ and or contract work, you sound like youv'e done very well for yourself, and have been in the industry long enough to know how to get what you want. Im quite a few years away from that :blink:

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