Aircraft Engineer Training: Choose the Right Path
There are different routes that can lead students to become aircraft maintenance engineers. Usually, this selection is based on the time they want to spend, their personal targets, the individual circumstances and the skill set they want to develop the most. The following testimonials include the experiences of two engineers who decided to become aircraft maintenance engineers and took two different routes.
Student 1, Abhishek from Nepal:
Since I was kid, I have loved aviation and fixing things, I have an incredible appetite for understanding how things work, how cars move on and in fact how planes fly.
When I decided to pursue a career as an aviation engineer, there were two options available for me. The first one consisted in completing the theoretical modules of the EASA B1 licence in a local part 147 training school. And the second was to move to Europe and study in a part 147 organisation that provided me all the modules to apply for the EASA category A licence and the majority of modules of the EASA B1
As I wanted to be a B1 licensed engineer the route of studying the modules for the A licence didn’t sound attractive to me. Additionally, studying locally was cheaper and I could stay close to my family and friends.
My plan was clear, I would study the modules and after its completion I would build 3 years’ practical experience to apply for the EASA part 66 licence.
However, things weren’t very straightforward. After finishing the modules, it was difficult for me to find a company to provide On-Job-Training (OJT). There were not many approved EASA part 145 maintenance repair organisations in my country. So, it took me longer than I expected to find an organisation to provide me with the OJT to get the licence and start working.
Now, it has been almost seven years after I finished the theoretical modules. I completed my three years’ experience in several different international organisations and now I am able to start working as a Licenced B1 Engineer.
If I realised at the beginning the programme providing the A licence would have allowed me to start working to earn money sooner, I would have chosen to undergo that path instead.
Student 2, Bruno from Brazil:
When I decided to become an aeronautical engineer. I wanted to get the EASA licence because it could drive me into more competitive positions globally. I had no idea about how to start this journey, my family did not have the resources to support me and I was not sure about asking for a student loan. However, I did it.
I decided to join a programme that is run over 2 years and 4 months and consists of theory lessons, practical workshop training, aircraft practical training and 1 year’s aircraft maintenance experience on operational aircraft in an EASA part 145 maintenance facility, as this programme would allow me to work sooner than other courses I researched.
This course would provide me with the requirements to apply for an EASA Category A Aircraft Maintenance Licence, with 70% of my B1 modules and 58% of my B2.
It was a great experience; I was trained by outstanding instructors while studying within a multicultural team. Additionally, when I was approaching the end of the course, my colleagues and I decided to complete the remaining modules of the B1 from an instructor who was providing this during night classes. By the end of the course, I was working as an A licensed mechanic earning money and building my experience for the B1.
Today I have completed my 3 years’ experience and I am applying for my B1 license. I have an A320 student loan which is almost paid in full and I am about to sign a permanent contract of my dream job.
Overall, it is evident that time represents the biggest difference in each of the cases. The route of studying a programme that provides the requirements to apply for the A licence prior to the B1 could look longer and tougher at the beginning, but it could lead the student to gain employment quicker and into a position to gain the necessary experience to apply for his B1 licence. Todd Skaggs, VP of Strategic Partnerships, explains: “at Brookfield, it is easier for us to place an A licensed engineer, than to find someone OJT that is required to apply for a licence”. The route of exclusively undergoing the B1 modules could appear to represent a lower initial investment for some, but would in turn restrict OJT opportunities, which subsequently will have created a longer time frame for someone to acquire the experience to apply for their licence. This inevitably will cost more money in the long run.
The decision is up to each student, if you are planning to start a career as an aircraft engineer, or you are already in the process, please contact our engineers’ team at Brookfield for more information and advice about careers and job opportunities.