Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

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t_tibs
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Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#1 Post by t_tibs » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:25 am

Hello all,

I'd really appreciate your thoughts and insights. At a point in life where I'm eager to move in a new direction / career (Aircraft Maintenance).
As a 30 year old guy, I'm unsure if this is a wise choice! I'd be going back to school, to begin a 3 year Aircraft Maintenance Technician course @ École nationale d’aérotechnique in Montreal - giving me 19 months credit experience. I'm aware this would just be the start, building towards an AME license (M) after serving an apprenticeship.

However, I feel my characteristics / qualities fit well - attentive, responsible, team player, good communicator, methodical, mechanically minded, willing and able.

I'd like to become an Engineer, working with my brain and getting hands on 'in the field'. I know a lot of one's success depends upon attitude but also opportunity. Hard work is a given.

Are there plenty of work opportunities out there or is the industry saturated? I read so many mixed views. Based on your experience, is this a career you enjoy and would you recommend to others? Am I setting myself up for a fall or a satisfying new career to grow into? Would my age play a significant factor?

Thanks for reading this and for your time.

:)
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plhought
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#2 Post by plhought » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:52 pm

You'll be good. I was one of the older people in my small class ( I think next oldest was 40-something).

Schooling will go well and sounds like you'll excel combined with your passion and maturity.

Lots of work out there; some regions more saturated than others, but nation-wide I don't think it's necessarily tough to find an Apprenticeship position after schooling nowadays.

Not sure if you're coming from a previously lucrative career or settled family life (30 is the new 20 though isn't it :D ) but those years following schooling may be a bit tough (moving, tool expenses, starting off at perhaps a lower wage than your previous jobs...etc)
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#3 Post by robertw » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:06 pm

No problem. When I took my AME training back in '96, a good 10 or so were between 30 - 50 (yes, there were 2 guys pushing 50!). The trouble with a lot of apprentices these days is lack of maturity and work ethic. If you've had a good 10 years or so in the work force, you've got a leg up on a lot of them. If it's something you think you'll enjoy doing, go for it. Pay is not great, especially if for apprentices, but it pays the bills and gets better the more experience / licenses you get. Expect to have to move when you're done school and go wherever you find work. It will be what you make of it, so stay positive and go for it.
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t_tibs
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#4 Post by t_tibs » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:49 am

Thanks robertw and plhought for your input and encouragement. In the last 10 years i've worked in labour jobs, sales, logistics, installation and grown frustrated. Certainly developed as an individual from my previous experiences and traveling alone. I want to sink my teeth into something both stimulating and challenging with growth opportunity. No wife, kids, mortgages yet so feel it's a good opportunity to try something new + travel the country /abroad for work (if required).

My plan would be to get M training and focus on Helicopters, rather than fixed-wing. With the investment of time, effort and money - I am hoping my plan will pay off! Is this sensible?
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#5 Post by robertw » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:32 am

Yes, sounds like a good route. You will definitely travel if you are working with helicopters.
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Floatr
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#6 Post by Floatr » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:42 pm

I returned to college at 45 yrs old...took a structures program...passed with honours...was hired right out of school.

It took a lot of extra study effort but I had a strong interest in aviation and when the kids were at the bar every night I was doing 4-5 hours of homework and studying at night and had perfect attendance at the end of the program.

Just keep in mind the starting pay is extremely low, several yrs to get to top wage, you pay for tools and will probably work nightshift a lot...!

If I had to do it all over again, after working for an airline, I would take an avionics program instead...those grads seemed to be able to pick and chose their work offers.

Go for it...you only go around once...!
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t_tibs
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#7 Post by t_tibs » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:12 pm

Floatr, great to read your experience.. thanks for your input. It seems age isn't so much a factor if one is committed and carries a good attitude.

This site has its fair share of complaints and pre-warning to put almost any newbie off from becoming an AME! The low pay, lay offs, rough hours and general 'AME dissatisfaction' is evident and I'm sure frustrating to experience / difficult to stomach. However, the other side inspires confidence that this line of work can offer a promising future if prepared to go the extra mile (travel + self-development). From all I've read and researched, the journey will likely be a turbulent one (excuse the pun)... but in a nutshell working as an AME can be 'a life changing experience and only YOU have the power to make it a good one!'.

I'm excited, optimistic, hungry to learn and ready to pay my dues.. let's see how things pan out.
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CBAME
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#8 Post by CBAME » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:17 pm

If you really want it go for it

but remember starting pay is not the best if the aircraft is outside in the freezing cold because there is no hangar space or no hangar ten you are too. Work hard stay away from the BS don't let the negative ones get into your head and things get better sometimes quicker then you may think.

of the people i hang out with i am the only one who works some stat holidays and can claim EI in a matter of minutes (this should be taught in college)

I started off excited about my career and learned a lot but a few years into it i got that sour attitude , from working with guys who complained alot about everything, and tried to get out of the industry a few times but no one would take me or pay me enough to cover my expenses. In the past few years i have come to terms with it and have realized there is no perfect job, I have a sickness and like airplanes, I am now making the best of it and encouraging the younger generation to not let the negative ones into your head. Being an AME is not that bad there are a lot of good people out there just try and keep the bad ones away.
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#9 Post by robertw » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:45 am

There are a lot of options as far as companies to work for once you have your basic training under your belt. Not all of them require that you work in -30 degree weather outside when it's a blizzard. Companies that have engine overhaul, component overhaul or avionics repair shops require specialized equipment and test facilities. That means you work in a nice climate controlled hangar. Also AMO's whose core business is heavy maintenance will be in hangared conditions. Depending on the company, there may be shift work, but not in all of them. I've worked for 3 companies in the last 20 years. I've only had to work a night shift for 1 year at my first job at an AMO / operator in the prairies as an apprentice right out of school. After feeling like a zombie for that year, I applied for a position and was hired at another AMO on the west coast and worked 8 - 5 for 3 years. Moved to another and have been on 7 - 4 for the last 16 years.

There are many paths to getting the experience for your AME license met. Not all of them involve working for a rinky dink operator who will use and abuse you and put you in situations that are not pleasant. Not all of them require shift work. Transport Canada's Approved Organization search lists close to 900 AMO's. You have a lot of options. Good luck. It will be what you make of it.

http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/2/C ... 1&lang=eng
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David_11
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#10 Post by David_11 » Tue May 08, 2018 1:36 am

Hello Everyone,
first of all, I just want to thank you all for this post. it has given me a huge boost to pursue my goal and work hard to reach it!! I was a bit concerned about having to start there at age 25 (i actually thought I am a bit late to start but this thread was very encouraging haha) :D

I want to become both a pilot and maintenance engineer. I love the idea of being able to fly a plane while having the knowledge and experience of how it works on a technical side too not to mention being able to fix it too.
having said that, I want to move to Canada to start building my dream but I have a question:

-I already finished my basic training and currently on my way to receiving my LWTR (license without type rating) so I wanted to ask you guys if I still have to take the 18 month training at any Canadian AMO then get apprenticeship for another 30 month before getting my AME license or would my ICAO license be of any good use in Canada ??

please, I would really appreciate your help and above all, your advice as I am getting married this August and planning to move to Canada afterward so with all the expenses and training and stuff like that.
on a side note, i am an Egyptian aerospace engineer and I graduated with distinction grade (with honors) but i had my army service at the airforces which took almost 3 years so now as I finished, I'm getting back to studying for my LWTR license in EGYPT.
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Re: Aircraft Maintenance course at 30 yrs old?

#11 Post by LTR123 » Tue May 08, 2018 3:15 pm

Best of luck with it.
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