Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

This forum has been developed to discuss maintenance topics in Canada.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, North Shore

Post Reply
Message
Author
tedmont11
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:42 pm

Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#1 Post by tedmont11 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:54 pm

Hey guys. So I'm registered for the aircraft maintenance program at BCIT and begin in March. My question is, how easy will it be to find a job in British Columbia once I graduate? I read a lot of posts and it doesn't seem like there's much work around this area. I just want to be sure before I begin the program. And how was the program at BCIT, if anyone has any personal experience. Another thing is, what would the pay be like in the apprenticeship program before I get my actual license from Transport Canada.

Also, If I have my license in Aircraft Maintenance, does that permit me to work on helicopters as well?

Thanks guys.
---------- ADS -----------

SeptRepair
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Central Vancouver Island.

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#2 Post by SeptRepair » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:48 am

tedmont11 wrote: Also, If I have my license in Aircraft Maintenance, does that permit me to work on helicopters as well?
Thanks guys.
*FacePalm*
---------- ADS -----------

kilpicki
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 483
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:37 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#3 Post by kilpicki » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:46 am

The hiring of graduating classes goes with the cyclic nature of aviation. In the past when Cascade and other AMO's were busy they hired most of the class. Im not certain of the health of the B.C. aviation industry at this time so I can't speak for opportunities in BC . You might want to look for opportunities out side of BBC.
The school should know the % of their students being hired. Ask and see what they say. Go in and see some instructors, tell them you're commiting a lot of time and cash and want to know if there is a job for you on graduation. Salary has not been equal to other appreniceships but it depends on the place of employment. AT large AMO;s your a number and part of the meat market but there are good smaller places where you can do well if you're keen and have your eyes open.
A small % make it, earn a decent salary and love the industry, most do not.
---------- ADS -----------

J31
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 914
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#4 Post by J31 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:23 am

SeptRepair wrote:
tedmont11 wrote: Also, If I have my license in Aircraft Maintenance, does that permit me to work on helicopters as well?
Thanks guys.
*FacePalm*
Patience SeptRepair! :smt040

This youngster is just looking for information and asking questions. Nothing wrong with asking questions....in fact I would encourage them to ask lots of questions! I suspect he/she is quite young and venturing into a very complex industry. I'm sure they have many questions that well seasoned veterans like your self can help answer.
---------- ADS -----------

J31
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 914
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#5 Post by J31 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:42 am

tedmont11 wrote: Also, If I have my license in Aircraft Maintenance, does that permit me to work on helicopters as well?

Thanks guys.
The short answer is yes for small piston powered helicopters. However for larger and/or turbine machines you need to have completed a type course.

As a previous poster said. Talk to BCIT and ask lots of questions. I'm sure they can also suggest people in the industry to talk to.

Like any profession it has rewards for people who want to work hard. Aircraft maintenance can be a rewarding career but may require you to look outside of BC for work.
---------- ADS -----------

SeptRepair
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Central Vancouver Island.

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#6 Post by SeptRepair » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:51 pm

I shake my head that the person has already enrolled in the program that is set to begin in 2 months, and now is asking questions that should have been answered and researched before you signed up. So I will now answer the initial question. Yes having an Aircraft maintenance engineers license will allow you to work (really what you want to say is sign a maintenance release) on helicopters. Anybody can work on any aircraft, if you want to certify your work it then you will need to be licensed and rated accordingly. As for hope in the is industry, do a search function on this forum. Use the name Pat Richard in your search.
---------- ADS -----------

bombardierfixer
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 562
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:26 am
Location: YYC

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#7 Post by bombardierfixer » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:47 pm

:smt040 :smt040 :smt040
---------- ADS -----------

helicopterray
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:59 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#8 Post by helicopterray » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:54 pm

It shouldn't be too difficult to find a job in BC. There may not be a lot in the Lower Mainland, but if you are willing to go beyond, there is work.
The pay varies quite drastically from company to company. On average, though, an apprentice coming right out of school can expect to make between $15 and $17 an hour.

And yes, right out of school, you can decide whether you want general aviation, airlines, or helicopters.
---------- ADS -----------

seamus
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:46 am
Location: beyond the Thunder Dome

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#9 Post by seamus » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:20 pm

As with any technical trade career your education doesn't stop the day you get out school. At that point you've merely acquired the most basic knowledge required to begin your journey as an aircraft engineer. This business is all about what you make of it.
If you're hungry for knowledge and experience and you're willing to go the extra mile to get it you'll do just fine. Those early years generally suck no matter how you spin it, you end up eating a lot of shit often because your superiors want to see what you're made out of. Nobody will give you any serious responsibility unless they're sure you can take it. Persistence and self-motivation go a long way in this line of work.

Finally, IMHO helicopters are the better of two branches to get into. You'll see more, earn more and travel the world while you at. You'll meet a ton of different characters all of which can be called many things but never boring. If you want to have an interesting and fulfilling career forget about staying close to home - go where the work takes you. I've been at it for over 15 years and still love my job. Not all of us are bitter and jaded, it's all about what you put into it and the choices you make.

Cheers
---------- ADS -----------

NeverBlue
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#10 Post by NeverBlue » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:13 am

Patience SeptRepair!

This youngster is just looking for information and asking questions. Nothing wrong with asking questions....in fact I would encourage them to ask lots of questions! I suspect he/she is quite young and venturing into a very complex industry. I'm sure they have many questions that well seasoned veterans like your self can help answer.
:smt023
---------- ADS -----------

NeverBlue
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#11 Post by NeverBlue » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:17 am

Use the name Pat Richard in your search.


...and if you're thinking about getting an abortion...ask the christians...

:wink:
---------- ADS -----------

SeptRepair
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Central Vancouver Island.

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#12 Post by SeptRepair » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:09 pm

:lol:
---------- ADS -----------

747-875
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:34 pm
Location: Yukon

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#13 Post by 747-875 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:34 am

I took the AME M course at BCIT myself about 5 years ago, so hopefully I can answer a few questions. I do agree that this stuff should have been researched before signing up, but it's always better to ask late then not at all. If you don't get what you need here it's all available online, or I highly recommend the system I used: go find the old "been there done that" AMEs at your local hangar, bring them some coffees, and have a good chat about what's really what and who's really who.

First of all, anyone can "work on airplanes" in Canada. Assuming she doesn't get shot for tresspassing, as far as Transport Canada (usually referred to as "TC" or "Transport") is concerned it's perfectly acceptable for your grandmother to borrow your socket set, grab the appropriate manual, hike out to a 777 and go to town on it. However, all the maintenance done must be "certified" by "an appropriately rated AME". This is done by signing a "maintenance release", and that's the part you need a license to do.

Now, the AME license is split into five categories: M1 (maintenance for aircraft with a MTOW under 12,500lbs and piston helicopters), M2 (maintenance over 12,500lbs as well as turbine powered helicopters), E (avionics), S (structures) and B (baloons). There are exceptions, but they can get complicated and long-winded so for now that's all you need to know. The AME M course at BCIT is basic training that will point you in the direction of an M license in general. The aircraft you work on during your apprenticeship will determine whether you apply for the M1 or the M2 when the time comes. Another difference worth noting with the M licenses, for M1 aircraft all you need to sign the maintenance release is an M1 AME license. M2 aircraft however, in addition to your M2 license you also need Aircraft Certification Authority (ACA) from an Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO). This is aquired by taking a type course for whatever aircraft you need to sign out. Most type courses are three to six weeks long and are usually chosen and paid for by your employer.

So long story short, you walk out of BCIT with basic training for aircraft maintenance in general, and you are free to go work on whatever you want/can find work in. You can go work for a buddy's shop full of 172s and that will take you to an M1, you can go work for a major airline and that will take you to an M2 with endorsements on airliners, or you can go work a camp job with Jetrangers and that will take you to an M2 with endorsements on some helicopters.

As for jobs, you'll have to hunt around yourself. If you know anyone in the industry start with them, I got where I am today because I knew the right people. If you can I'd recommed a smaller outfit (M1 or M2), as I've heard many engineers agree that a smaller outfit will get you a greater variety of experience. Just keep in mind, the old guys around here saying "it's all what you make of it" are the ones worth listening to, because that is the truth. Straight up most of this industry is pure sh*t, but if your willing to put the time and effort in there are some pretty good positions out there that aren't that hard to wiggle yourself into.

I graduated BCIT four years ago now, and it took some work and determination but because of that I'm sitting here today with my M2 license and multiple endorsements, a stable 4 on 4 off job making 70 a year, and I'm perfectly happy with life. I'm by no means rich, but the mortgage is on schedule, the bills are paid, and there's beer in my fridge so I'd be an idiot to complain...
---------- ADS -----------

NeverBlue
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#14 Post by NeverBlue » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:42 am

:smt038 :smt038 :smt038

Well said 747, well said

Congrats for success...and only 4 years to 70K. Good for you!
---------- ADS -----------

Rick54
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:50 am

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#15 Post by Rick54 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:00 am

Only a couple of issues, endorsements do not exist anymore. For ACA authourity on any type of Aircraft operated in an AMO (Approved Maintenance Organization) one needs the appropriate M1 or M2 license and type training on the aircraft inorder for an ACA (Aircraft Certification Authority) to be issued by the AMO to make a "maintenance release. The difference between an M1 and M2 license is not by weight of the aircraft but by design. M2 being FAR 25 transport category aircraft. And as any AME we are under payed for the responsibilty carried, with that said most like there chosen carreer path.
---------- ADS -----------

747-875
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:34 pm
Location: Yukon

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#16 Post by 747-875 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:33 am

Rick54 wrote:Only a couple of issues, endorsements do not exist anymore.
Rick54 wrote:The difference between an M1 and M2 license is not by weight of the aircraft but by design.
Rick54 wrote:And as any AME we are under payed for the responsibilty carried, with that said most like there chosen carreer path.
All valid and correct points. I use the term "endorsements" only because it is still widely used at least where I come from. The M1/M2 thing Rick is again correct, but as I said in my earlier post I was using the 12.5 as the dividing line to keep things simple for the new kids. I know when I first started out people would go into great detail about what CARs the airplane was certified as and what FARs those CARs came from and I would get lost every time, but then one day one of our teachers just said call it 12.5 with some exceptions and then it all made sense. It's really all a kid starting out needs to know, he'll have plenty of time to learn the details when the time comes.

I also think we are underpaid for our responsibility, but at the same time one can't complain too loudly about 70/year plus benefits plus cheap flights to do work I enjoy with people I like at a field thats only 10 minutes from home...
---------- ADS -----------

NeverBlue
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#17 Post by NeverBlue » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:12 pm

...nurses are underpaid...teachers are underpaid...university grads are underpaid....A Secretary, emm, "excecutive assistant" is underpaid...pilots are underpaid....autoworkers are underpaid...............................................

When I was young and worked in construction I was underpaid for the amount of work I did!!...mostly being a "go-for" for everyone else that got paid more

it's all relative and depends where you live and your expected lifestyle.

i.e. I probably wouldn't think I was underpaid if I didn't visit the casino once a week, have a mortgage, have 2 car payments ( one with a V8), eat out 3 times a week, shop at Harry Rosen, have the latest smart phone with voicemail and a data plan, 4 flat screen tv's, cable and satellite tv, high speed internet, NHL center ice package............................................
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
The Weasel
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:53 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#18 Post by The Weasel » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:00 pm

747-875 wrote:
The M1/M2 thing Rick is again correct, but as I said in my earlier post I was using the 12.5 as the dividing line to keep things simple for the new kids. I know when I first started out people would go into great detail about what CARs the airplane was certified as and what FARs those CARs came from and I would get lost every time, but then one day one of our teachers just said call it 12.5 with some exceptions and then it all made sense. It's really all a kid starting out needs to know, he'll have plenty of time to learn the details when the time comes.[/quote]

I think number of passengers also plays into the M1/M2 dividing line. It could be under 12,500 but carry more than eight (IIRC) passengers then you need M2. Also, you don't need M2 for turbine helicopters. M1 plus engine/airframe courses is fine, unless the helicopter is rated as transport category.
---------- ADS -----------

david_351
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:35 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#19 Post by david_351 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:33 pm

I graduated BCIt 6 years ago now, started off as an Apprentice for $17 an hour, worked my way up, had some great adventures and now work a nice 4 on 4 off as well, I grossed $91,000 last year. If you work hard, show some integrity, listen when you need to listen, be willing to stick out those underpaid apprentice years with a good attitude, even when your pushing a broom or loading planes or whatever other tasks which you think may not require a college diploma.

Your AME license will allow you to work on aircraft fixed wing or helicopter, your choice. As for the lower mainland I am not sure what the job situation out there is right now, especially for apprentices at the rate BCIT pumps them out. But don't be shy to travel, go up north, some companies may offer you a rotational schedule so you can still live in BC. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions on BCIT or the industry in general.


You'll get alot of negative people along the way complaining about pay or respect or this and that, but I can tell you if you work hard and take every opportunity to further you career it can be very rewarding. At 28 I can't think of any friends of mine who make more money or have more time off then me. Its not all doom and gloom like some people will try to have you believe.
---------- ADS -----------

Realism_767
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#20 Post by Realism_767 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:02 pm

I am planning on taking the AME program at SAIT in the fall of 2018 and wanted to know your thoughts regarding a career as an AME.( job prospects as an apprentice) My first option was to take the Heavy Duty mechanic course but after researching(due to cost of purchasing ones own tool set) decided to take AME. I know most likely will haveto move outof the city to gain experience but what really interest me is the opportunity to travel aroundwhen working on helicopters. Sorry for the long post
---------- ADS -----------

DaisyMaker
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:41 pm

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#21 Post by DaisyMaker » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:49 pm

You do realize as an AME you still have to purchase your own tools? There are jobs for helicopter AMEs, just have to look for them. It’s a really great job for young single people. Make a lot of money. Spend weeks in bush camps or flying out to wherever to do inspections and fix snags. Probably lots of firefighting done with the helos. Could probably travel all over the world in this career path

The downside is that it can be a bad life for a married person especially with children because he’s away half the time or more. Meaning gone for weeks. So if you go that route, and think you want a family some day and want to actually spend time with them, Don’t spend all your money. Save some of it. Be prepared that you might have to switch out of the helicopter work to fixed wing to have good family life.

I suppose it also depends on what company you’re with and their maintenance practices.
---------- ADS -----------

Dongo
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:33 am

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#22 Post by Dongo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:44 am

Realism_767 wrote:I am planning on taking the AME program at SAIT in the fall of 2018 and wanted to know your thoughts regarding a career as an AME.( job prospects as an apprentice) My first option was to take the Heavy Duty mechanic course but after researching(due to cost of purchasing ones own tool set) decided to take AME. I know most likely will haveto move outof the city to gain experience but what really interest me is the opportunity to travel aroundwhen working on helicopters. Sorry for the long post
Go for it. I thought about going the heavy duty route too, ended up in helicopters. Lots of travel and international work if you are so inclined. You will not make as much as a heavy duty in an entire year, that is for sure, but you get paid more per hrs worked in a year once you have 5 or so yrs of experience. Aim for the West Coast, heli logging, or in BC or alberta on mediums some where if you like traveling. I've Worked a 2 and 2 since I got out of school, no way I would do any other rotation after seeing what other heli engineers are required to work. Large Helicopters Like the ones I work on have most of there tools with the machine where ever it goes, us engineers have the basic hand tools we own in a small case or bag, I've spent hardly anything on tools compared to fixed wing/ rotary hangar guys who fill up a snap on tool box.
---------- ADS -----------

Dongo
Rank 0
Rank 0
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:33 am

Re: Anybody take Aircraft Maintenance Category M at BCIT?

#23 Post by Dongo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:24 am

I would like to also add, like the guy above me posted, always be prepared to find a job that allows you to be home everynight down the road. 2 and 2 is great, but I don't have a family yet. Lots of guys I work with find being away for 2 weeks away from their children the toughest, while other guys see it as a break for 2 weeks, everybody is different. I myself think I will find something that allows me to be home more often when I start a family, but that's still 5 yrs down the road.
---------- ADS -----------

Post Reply

Return to “Maintenance”