Future AME Discouraged

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MjrPainless
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Future AME Discouraged

#1 Post by MjrPainless » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:10 am

Hey every one, ive been reading the posts about the job situation and how AMEs are treated in canada.

Im going to be attending BCIT in sept for the AME E/B2 shortly, but from what ive been reading its not that great of an idea. Is that so with the specialized groups as well. And i've read that the course from bcit gives you credit for the UK i belive. Are the conditions any better over there?

Ive already tried going the automotive technician route, but found that to be not what i was interested in, does anyone have any input on the similiarites, or differences?

Any information would be great...I just feel that there is giant gray cloud over this entire trade in this country, and frankly its putting my off slightly.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#2 Post by ourkid2000 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:21 am

Pretty much everything you need to know about the industry is written about in the Maintenance Engineers sticky at the top.

It's a long read, but this is your career & future so make sure you read it all before you make your decision.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#3 Post by Ballsssssss » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:02 pm

Take Note: Happy people don't go around looking for an outlet to express their happiness. Unhappy people will tell anyone who is willing to listen about what makes them unhappy. This forum tends to be an outlet for unhappy people. This industry could definitely use some improvement and one could likely make more money in other trades, but if you are good at what you do there is always someone who will pay you more. The tools/skills that make someone a good AME also transfer over to other aspects of your employment. The AME's who can't make a good living and constantly complain about making 45K a year are usually stuck at that pay-rate for a reason. You get paid what you are worth, generally speaking.

So, in conclusion, don't take what you read on this forum from a handful of jaded people as fact, but use it as a guide to ask further questions of real people.

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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#4 Post by iflyforpie » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:28 pm

Ballsssssss wrote:Take Note: Happy people don't go around looking for an outlet to express their happiness. Unhappy people will tell anyone who is willing to listen about what makes them unhappy. This forum tends to be an outlet for unhappy people. This industry could definitely use some improvement and one could likely make more money in other trades, but if you are good at what you do there is always someone who will pay you more. The tools/skills that make someone a good AME also transfer over to other aspects of your employment. The AME's who can't make a good living and constantly complain about making 45K a year are usually stuck at that pay-rate for a reason. You get paid what you are worth, generally speaking.

So, in conclusion, don't take what you read on this forum from a handful of jaded people as fact, but use it as a guide to ask further questions of real people.

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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#5 Post by MjrPainless » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:30 pm

Thanks Balssssss

But were would i go to find the "real people"

Is it better to get an M1, or an M2 license then just an E/B2?

And in the real world...45k is ALL that bad.....is it ?
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#6 Post by the14ball » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:54 pm

MjrPainless,

"And in the real world...45k is ALL that bad.....is it ?"

Starting out around there is good but in this world of ever increasing expenses, you will want to shoot for a much higher goal to survive and more importantly be secure and comfortable.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#7 Post by MjrPainless » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:02 pm

And that is attainable in the AME field is possible is it not,
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#8 Post by Pat Richard » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:08 pm

That's it, there's just a handful of AME's out there and they all come here. Accordingly, you should be able to go out to real people in this business and find the opinion overwhelmingly the opposite..... :rolleyes: Give me a f$#@ing break. You loser's, even though most of you know better, still try to paint a rosy picture/blow smoke up asses to any newb, any chance you get. Telling someone to go ahead and do it, because many industries will have you afterward when you don't like it, is disgusting. Way to sell the industry, but saying anything else is just lying if you try to sweeten it, right?

What you will in fact find is that the "handful" moniker synonymous with the ones who say they are happy with everything AME, not the other way round.
I've asked a few times for one of the happy's to provide a link to a "being an ame is so awesome" site, but alas, no one steps up. If the happy demeanor is so prevalent in the AME world, where are all the websites packed with happy ame's???
they don't exist.

But I digress. Maybe they are AME's out there happy with 45G a year, I mean genuinely happy with schooling cost, tools, shiftwork, awesome 45g a year pay, lousy benefits, etc. Doesn't work out about $21 an hour??? Awesome....I know I'd do it all over again if I knew that much awesomeness was waiting for me.

I'll leave it at this, I rather be a discouraged future AME, than a longtime discouraged AME. Count yourself lucky you're not 10 years in regretting it.

To you ass blowers out there, jog on, you're pathetic.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#9 Post by The Weasel » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:30 am

:roll:

There are going to be bitchy, whiny, unhappy people (like Pat Richard) in every field of work. There are bitchy whiny plumbers, there are bitchy whiny teachers, pro atheletes, carpenters, stock brokers, cashiers, etc. Some people, no matter what, will always be unhappy with their situation. They're never paid enough, always working too much, boss sucks, industry is the sh*ts, wife/girlfriend isn't putting out, gas prices too high, government is corrupt, sun is too hot, winter is too cold, whah whah whah. They aren't happy unless others around them are as unhappy as they are, and they can absolutely not stand it when others are far more happier than they are :D

MjrPainless, you will get out of this industry what you make of it. You want money? You can make lots. You want to see the world? It's out there for you. You want a challenge? Plenty of that. A 9-5 home every night union job in a large urban centre? Those are available. What you won't get, is any of these things handed to you on a silver platter without having to work for them. If you want 100K a year, don't expect to be home every night or live in a desirable area or be limited to 8 hour days. If you want to live/work in a major urban area, you won't be making 100K. Everything in life has drawbacks, and few things (if anything) come easy. There's an old saying that you can have time or money, but not both.

You will have to enjoy your work or aviation to want to work in this field. If you only want money, or glory, or chicks, you will never be happy in this industry. You will need a genuine interest in aviation to make a go of it and put up with some of the crap this industry has. If you have a good attitude, strong work ethic, and a bit of a backbone, you can have a very rewarding career in aviation, and in fact come very close to having the time AND the money that makes you happy.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#10 Post by Ballsssssss » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:39 am

Pat Richard wrote:That's it, there's just a handful of AME's out there and they all come here. Accordingly, you should be able to go out to real people in this business and find the opinion overwhelmingly the opposite..... :rolleyes: Give me a f$#@ing break. You loser's, even though most of you know better, still try to paint a rosy picture/blow smoke up asses to any newb, any chance you get. Telling someone to go ahead and do it, because many industries will have you afterward when you don't like it, is disgusting. Way to sell the industry, but saying anything else is just lying if you try to sweeten it, right?

What you will in fact find is that the "handful" moniker synonymous with the ones who say they are happy with everything AME, not the other way round.
I've asked a few times for one of the happy's to provide a link to a "being an ame is so awesome" site, but alas, no one steps up. If the happy demeanor is so prevalent in the AME world, where are all the websites packed with happy ame's???
they don't exist.

But I digress. Maybe they are AME's out there happy with 45G a year, I mean genuinely happy with schooling cost, tools, shiftwork, awesome 45g a year pay, lousy benefits, etc. Doesn't work out about $21 an hour??? Awesome....I know I'd do it all over again if I knew that much awesomeness was waiting for me.

I'll leave it at this, I rather be a discouraged future AME, than a longtime discouraged AME. Count yourself lucky you're not 10 years in regretting it.

To you ass blowers out there, jog on, you're pathetic.
Thanks for proving me point.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#11 Post by kilpicki » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:06 pm

well put Mr. Weasel very true
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#12 Post by MjrPainless » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:35 pm

Wow! Thank you!

These few post have been some help, thats for sure!

And well i feel as if i do love aviation, i love hanging out at the airport, i was in air cadets for 8 years... But then again i thought that i would love being a mechanic....so im a 2nd year mechanic, selling computers for less then i would be making if i were in the trade.

Alas, if idont like avionics, i can go do something else i suppose....
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#13 Post by Stumper » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Come on you guys... This is someones future we're talking about here. Where do you guy's come up with this bs.

Money, girls, travel, 9-5, hard work pays off... I can't even think of a five minute period in the last fifteen years that comes even close to describing.

First off there are maybe 1 in a 20 AME jobs in Canada that don't involve half to a majority of midnight shifts. If you do find a 9 to 5 expect to make well less then industry average for the privilege and expect to spend multiple years on midnights before, after and between any 9-5 opportunities you may get in your career. Google the effects on health, relationships, and life span from midnight shifts before making any choices.

Although there were travel opportunities in the past they are becoming less and less common with bilateral agreements allowing maintenance from other countries to work on our aircraft on an on call basis and "risk management" and "cost saving" becoming the industries favorite catch phrases. If you do get the opportunity travel don't hope for any free time or to get the chance to see anything aside from the airport and perhaps the closest hotel.

For pay you can realistically look to make between 45k to 70k a year as a licensed AME. If that sounds good to you talk to one of your local plumbers or appliance repair men. Remember that they are never expected to work midnights, Christmas, outside at -40 or take legal responsibility for any of their repairs. To make a 100k+ expect to be working long hot hours in a very dangerous and unpleasant part of Africa.

As far as hard work and skill is concerned it will have very little effect on your compensation in this industry. Most if not all of the big industry leading company's with regard to pay and benefits have established pay scales that take into consideration only time in at that particular company. So you can be the worlds greatest AME with 20 years experience on type and if hired you get to start at level one just like the kid who just got his license yesterday. At smaller companies skill can come into play but those companies pay scales 99.9 % of the time start and top out at far less then the big boys. Promotions in this industry have everything to do with your ability to kiss ass and drink your particular company's kool-aid without question and no correlation to skill, leadership ability, people skills or experience. The latest industry wide trend is to promote the keenest newly licensed guy available as they have proven to be the most moldable and easily controlled.

As far as girls are concerned your on you own, but time and bitter experience have proven that many of the above mentioned conditions are major stress contributors within a long term relationship.

Listen to Pat he speaks the truth and is trying to help...
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#14 Post by Schimunga » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:23 pm

To Pat Richards--So what is the solution to the terrible pay, the terrible schedule and the terrible management? All I hear from you is bitching and complaining but no solutions. After awhile when you don't become constructive you become a nuisance. Do you think other professions don't have their issues? I would bet dollars to donuts you wouldn't be happy in any profession.

To other engineers--I have tried doing something else besides aviation. I have taken my turbine experience and applied it to other industrial applications. The pay is good and the hours are good but their are issues that are tough to deal with. If this new venture for me doesn't work I will be coming back to aviation knowing that the grass isn't greener on the other side.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#15 Post by The Old Fogducker » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:57 pm

The Weasel:

What a well written post.

When I mention to some of my colleagues that a certain segment of their co-workers are of a personality type that just isn't happy unless they are unhappy, they look at me like I'm nuts....how could that be? They just want to make things better for everyone don't they? No ... they just want to control things which are beyond their control, and if they can't control them, they want to look like they are in control of something.

There are a few that would be somewhere between happy and overjoyed to make everyone around them miserable and poison the workplace atmosphere so badly you'd have to wear a pressure breathing aparatus to survive if it meant an extra five bucks a day.

Thanks for expressing things relating to the potential outcome of a positive attitude so well.

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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#16 Post by The Weasel » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:34 pm

Stumper wrote:As far as hard work and skill is concerned it will have very little effect on your compensation in this industry. Most if not all of the big industry leading company's with regard to pay and benefits have established pay scales that take into consideration only time in at that particular company. So you can be the worlds greatest AME with 20 years experience on type and if hired you get to start at level one just like the kid who just got his license yesterday. At smaller companies skill can come into play but those companies pay scales 99.9 % of the time start and top out at far less then the big boys. Promotions in this industry have everything to do with your ability to kiss ass and drink your particular company's kool-aid without question and no correlation to skill, leadership ability, people skills or experience. The latest industry wide trend is to promote the keenest newly licensed guy available as they have proven to be the most moldable and easily controlled.
Name me a profession where some or most of the above DOSEN'T apply in a majority of cases. You've described it fairly well, but basically this is how the world/life works.

C'mon people, nobody's saying aviation is the be all and end all of life on earth. Hey, if you'd rather be going around unclogging other people's sh*t clogged pipes and draining basements with floaters tickling your ankles, go right ahead. The way some people talk around here, it's as if unclogging sh*t clogs for the rest of your life is the best line of work out there. There is no single profession out there where nobody complains about having to deal with crap. Every line of work has its crap, politics, bitchy unhappy coworkers, etc. The key is to find the crap and politics you are willing to put up with.

MjrPainless, it sounds like you have a genuine interest in aviation. My own personal opinion would be to stay away from manufacturing (too up and down), and smaller fixed wing (seems like a lot of the industry complaints are from that area, although I never worked small fixed wing, so I don't know). Sounds like you want to go the avionics route, perhaps due to personal interest in things eletrical. If true, have at it. Talk to some of the people in that part of the industry. There's a company (Maxcraft) at the Vancouver airport that does avionics work. Ask them about conditions and pay and lifestyle, etc. There's probably other companies locally that also do avionics, but we only deal with Maxcraft so they're the only ones I know of.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#17 Post by tellyourkidstogetarealjob » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:46 am

There's more than one way of being a whiner.

Pat & Stumper are at least being honest and trying to give accurate information.

Then there's the other kind of whiner. This profession has an excess of them. I've worked in other professions so I can be sure this one is the worst for the second type. They're the kind that bitch about working conditions at work or over a beer after work. They sometimes practice hangar politics to try and get ahead or make themselves look smarter than other AME's. Then they either tell prospective AME's how great their lives are or come on here and post it for all to see. They try to seem upbeat and positive when working with them is less than a positive experience.

In this thread alone, I know three posters. Only one of them knows I know him. One of them is a classic example of the second type of whiner.

I have encountered many of them in my travels.

Personally, I'd rather be condemned as the first type and sleep well at night knowing I didn't lie to some kid and possibly help waste years of his life he could've used to build a foundation in a more rewarding lifestyle.

Here are some hard "facts" about the profession:

1) Air Canada has shipped its' heavy maintenance to Costa Rica. That means apprentices that once were soaked up by big red are now competing with other apprentices for less jobs.

2) BC alone has, in the last decade, doubled the number of apprentice spots available in the college system even though this spectacularly ignores the fact the industry had a hard time absorbing the number of apprentices produced before the increase. This simply cheapens their value and makes them more disposable. The solution to employee retention is better working conditions, not more apprentices.


For you information, MjrPainless, my own son has decided not to enter this profession. Not because of what I've told him, but because several years ago he stated plainly, "I don't want to live your lifestyle of never being home."

The people who survive in this industry aren't the most talented, or the best, or the brightest. Many of those leave for better shifts/lifestyle. The people who survive are those that are the most adaptable. Sometimes that adaptability is paid for by the other people in their lives.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#18 Post by ourkid2000 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:15 am

Air Canada has shipped its' heavy maintenance to Costa Rica. That means apprentices that once were soaked up by big red are now competing with other apprentices for less jobs.
Wow, if you're going to spread rumors like that at least bring some evidence to the table. Everyone knows Air Canada bought Aeroman down in El Salvador and fully expects their heavy maintenance to go that way sometime in the future but what you're saying there is 100% untrue. Aveos, or whatever they call themselves now, is still doing AC's heavy in YVR, YWG, and YUL.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#19 Post by Heliian » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:46 am

HA, don't be discouraged mon ami! Look outside the box and at the bigger picture of aviation itself. Just because air canada sucks doesn't meant that AME's are going the way of the dodo, there are many other sectors to work in like GA, military, helicopters and a hundred other small airlines. Hard work and attention to detail will set you apart from the rest and yes, you'll have to work in the salt mines to start but as you progress with your career things will get better. If you don't mind working up north, you can make upwards of a 100k after a few years, find yourself a nice local girl, settle down and retire to the bahamas early, only to go back to work a year and a half later because life is too good and you have nothing to complain about anymore. Good luck to you on your journey.

P.S. An E license can go a long way these days, but start with the M1 and don't waste your time/money on the EASA B.S. from bcit unless you plan on going to europe tomorrow. Most guys i meet over there want to come work in canada, the grass is greener I guess.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#20 Post by Stumper » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:31 am

Heliian wrote:HA, don't be discouraged mon ami! Look outside the box and at the bigger picture of aviation itself. Just because air canada sucks doesn't meant that AME's are going the way of the dodo, there are many other sectors to work in like GA, military, helicopters and a hundred other small airlines. Hard work and attention to detail will set you apart from the rest and yes, you'll have to work in the salt mines to start but as you progress with your career things will get better. If you don't mind working up north, you can make upwards of a 100k after a few years, find yourself a nice local girl, settle down and retire to the bahamas early, only to go back to work a year and a half later because life is too good and you have nothing to complain about anymore. Good luck to you on your journey.

P.S. An E license can go a long way these days, but start with the M1 and don't waste your time/money on the EASA B.S. from bcit unless you plan on going to europe tomorrow. Most guys i meet over there want to come work in canada, the grass is greener I guess.


I'm sorry Heliian, but I've been around a while and I can't think of one AME that I've met in this industry that's had an experience even remotely close to what you've described.

How about you post a link to all these 100k a year northern openings. That kind of money may exist in the helicopter side but you need to live in a bush camp away from your family for 6 months at a time and work 18 hr days 7 days a week to get it. Northern fixed wing operations pay no where near that. The truth is that any southern airline personal that wanted to move north would be forced to take a massive decrease in there pay and benefits to do so. I know lots of good engineers who love the north but just can't afford to work for 45-50k a year with crap benefits and no pension anymore.

"find yourself a nice local girl" - Great idea, but assuming a guy has any sort of standards at all the pickings can be pretty slim.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#21 Post by tellyourkidstogetarealjob » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:06 am

Ourkid2000,

If you can't say anything intelligent...ah, never mind. It wouldn't be your first time.

AC was doing 'A' checks in China 6 years ago while laying off in Canada.

Aveos has been sending customer work to Costa Rica for several months - while layoff notices have been handed out at AC. AC is now just another customer of Aveos. The "future" is already here. These guys are talking about coming out of school two years or so from now. The process will be that much further along by then.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#22 Post by roncoldlake » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:10 am

MjrPainless
As you can see you will always get both sides of the coin offered on this site. As one having just recently left aviation I can tell you my story. First of all I have no regrets. I have for the most part enjoyed my time. I have a opportunity to follow a different direction(Power Engineering). This doesn't mean I am not going to miss turning wrenches because I am and do miss it. But I have had to be realistic with my goals in life and the responsibility to my family. I now have a very expensive tool box for fixing my Quad and truck. Here in Northern Alberta there is a huge demand for power engineers and colleges here are turning students away because they are filling up to fast. I applied last march for aug of this year and was on a waiting list for 2 months before being accepted. I am on EI and will be for my Class 4 and then will probably take a student loan for my class 3. A couple of ex military buddies here are doing this job and making 125k a year as class 3s. You work 12 hour shifts either 5 and 5 or 7 and 7. You have the option for camp work for more money or you can live in town and get a job locally. In the paper here Cenovus predicts that they will be hiring 1500 more employees in the next 5 years. There are up graders going on here and having the 2nd largest oil deposits in the world esso predicts that they will be pulling oil out of here for the next 50 years.
Since my last check there is a requirement for 2600 power engineers in Canada. I do plan on staying with aviation but on my terms and with the money I make I will probably buy my own plane in the future and if not I can always be one of those guys who rents and helps where he can. With that being said do what you want to do. There are no guarantees that you are going to happy as a AME but there is also no guarantees you are going to be happy doing anything else. If you are young enough try as much as you can and everything you can. The only thing is that its too bad you don't live in Quebec. I have a couple of buddies of mine there that are going to a subsidized college and taking aircraft maintenance and professional pilot(same program) and basically paying only 200 a year for this course too bad the rest of the provinces don't clue in and offer this.
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#23 Post by Heliian » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:26 am

Yes, it will take a few years of hard work. my first apprentice gig was 25G's a year, first licenced 40g's, worked in the south for pretty much that. When I went to work up north, I was living there full time so technically I was always home, only a few tours a year into the bush and I met a really nice girl who had moved there too. I almost broke the sunshine club a couple of times but it required 14hr days, only 2 weeks off a year and busting my a$$. I grew sick of it after a couple of years and went back down south where I can expect to make about 75K a year. This is all in the helicopter industry but my buddies whom I went to school with who are now in fixed wing started off better but plateaued pretty quick, a couple of lucky guys got DOM and PRM jobs which pay a little better but it's more work. If you are big into aviation, go for it, it's rewarding and job satisfaction is high, you can travel the world and meet all types of interesting people along the way. As much reasearch you do and comments you read won't replace the real world experience, dive in head first, tough it out. Being an AME is much cooler than an auto mechanic or a desk/computer jockey or workin at McD's or the oil patch(yuck).

Good luck to you and if it doesn't work out, I'll have the royale with cheese! :)
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#24 Post by The Weasel » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:55 am

How about you post a link to all these 100k a year northern openings.
Pretty much any busy helicopter operator in Canada that works in the bush or does international work.
That kind of money may exist in the helicopter side but you need to live in a bush camp away from your family for 6 months at a time and work 18 hr days 7 days a week to get it.
Well duh. If you want to earn 100K you're going to have to earn it, but the money IS out there. Just like the above post on power engineers. Yeah you can make +100k, but you're living in camp for 6 months a year or beautiful Ft. McMurray (where the cost of housing is more expensive than Vancouver or Toronto), working 12 hour shifts (let me guess, you won't start on the day shift), etc. 100k isn't going to be handed to you on a silver platter in aviation any more than it will be in the oil patch.
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ourkid2000
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Re: Future AME Discouraged

#25 Post by ourkid2000 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:31 pm

tellyourkidstogetarealjob wrote:Ourkid2000,

If you can't say anything intelligent...ah, never mind. It wouldn't be your first time.

AC was doing 'A' checks in China 6 years ago while laying off in Canada.

Aveos has been sending customer work to Costa Rica for several months - while layoff notices have been handed out at AC. AC is now just another customer of Aveos. The "future" is already here. These guys are talking about coming out of school two years or so from now. The process will be that much further along by then.
Proof required of this, sorry.....

I used to work there and have many friends who are still working there whom I talk to on a regular basis (one of which is a union rep). I've asked them about your allegations and no one has heard about this before. They also mentioned to me that Aeroman, who Aveos now owns, is located in San Salvador so why would AC send their aircraft to some other company (unquestionably, a competitor) in a different country? The reason for the recent layoffs is the approval for reduction in maintenance schedules with the Airbus aircraft. At times, AC has sent their aircraft to Empire Aero in Rome, NY but having heavy checks done somewhere in Costa Rica is news to just about everyone except you.
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