Aircraft Mechanic  What They Do

Just the Facts


Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians Career Video



Diagnoses, adjusts, repairs, or overhauls aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Includes helicopter and aircraft engine specialists.

This career is part of the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics cluster Facility and Mobile Equipment Maintenance pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Examines and inspects aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
  • Conducts routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
  • Inspects completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
  • Reads and interprets maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.
  • Maintains repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
  • Modifies aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.
  • Inspects airframes for wear or other defects.
  • Measures parts for wear, using precision instruments.
  • Obtains fuel and oil samples and checks them for contamination.
  • Maintains, repairs, and rebuilds aircraft structures, functional components, and parts such as wings and fuselage, rigging, hydraulic units, oxygen systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, gaskets, and seals.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Aircraft Maintenance Director --
  • Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor --
  • Aircraft Maintenance Technician (Aircraft Maintenance Tech) --
  • Aircraft Restorer --
  • Aircraft Technician --
  • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A and P Mechanic) --
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) --
  • Aviation Mechanic --
  • Helicopter Mechanic -- Regularly inspect parts of helicopters such as propellers, landing gear, hydraulic equipment, engines and bodies, making needed repairs or replacing malfunctioning parts.