Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 01-19-2021, 07:46 PM
Flying8 Flying8 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Mayport FL
Posts: 15

Search jobs on jsfirm website. There are lots of jobs out there that pay well if you are willing to move. (There were wayyy more before COVID...)
RV-8 tail complete 11/3/20
Standard fuselage in-work 1/7/21
RV-6 N926DG: Purchased & Sold
A&P, Comm. SEL/Rotortrash
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 10:07 PM
georgedouglas georgedouglas is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: florida/tennessee
Posts: 26

A new A&P needs to gain experience before they have many choices of work and pay. If one wants to stay in GA then they have to accept low pay. Once they have enough experience and obtain their IA ticket they could actually go into business for themselves and still be broke after the overhead of liability insurance and a place to work out of. A GA mechanic will never earn what a top notch auto mechanic at a dealership earns and they have very little liability.

The real money is with the airlines. Many mechanics are earning close to $50.00 an hour now since the airlines have dropped their defined pension plans and expect the employee to fund their own retirement. There is many draw backs to airline work, mostly quality of life concerns, as most mechanics work the graveyard shift.

I left the airlines after 30 years in line maintenance and management to work my oil business over 20 years ago. I work on my own aircraft, but will not put my name in anyone's logbook out of fear of losing my estate I have built up over the years from some ambulance chasing lawyer. When you are young you don't worry about things like that, but at my age I don't plan or have the time to start all over again.

Would I recommend an aviation career in maintenance? Yes I would but with a clear understanding of the industry.
2TN7 Wolfcreek
President EAA Chapter 17
Knoxville TN
A&P & Private Pilot
USAF 1966-1970
1970-2001 DAL
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 11:04 PM
flyboyedwards flyboyedwards is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Richland Center, Wisconsin
Posts: 35
Default A&P?

I can only choose to echo those above. Getting the A&P is a great accomplishment and should be celebrated as a great first step, but to really get in, the IA is required. I’m creeping up on 20 years of being in the GA sector.
I have had some very rewarding experiences in this career, like being a Crew Chief for Gene Soucy at an air show. Also have flown all over doing pre-buy work and repairs. That said, the wage amount isn’t NEARLY what it should be. I run my own maintenance shop and it’s feast or famine. Sometimes you can’t keep up and then suddenly there’s a good lull. I think what bothers me the most is that there aren’t many younger kids learning to fly, that hurts the industry as a whole.
When people ask me “should I get my A&P?”, I ALWAYS say yes, that way they’ll understand why I protect mine so much. If you can find an apprenticeship program, do it that way. Way better experience in my opinion.
Feel free to call if you’d like to talk about it, 608-459-5949
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2021, 11:36 PM
cajunwings cajunwings is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: new iberia la
Posts: 815
Default Mid life A&P

Good info from previous posters. I got my A&P right after high school 45 years ago and the IA 10 years later. Spent 20 really enjoyable years in GA maintenance in a variety of positions ending up as Service Manager at a busy Cessna dealership. The pay was decent, but with 2 little kids and college in the future I needed more income. Transitioned to flying, first corporate then fractional and did well enough to accomplish those goals. Still do a couple annuals a year plus some consulting outside of the day job. Depending on where you are located it’s possible to earn a living in GA aircraft maintenance. Starting out you probably won’t see “big bucks” with good benefits however you define that. I had no interest in being a airline mechanic, but some of my Spartan classmates went that route and did quite well (most of them are retired now and I’m still working). Corporate flight departments are another option. Flipping planes for profit can be done, but it takes market knowledge and buying the right candidate to have a chance at success.

Don Broussard
RV9 Rebuild in Progress
57 Pacer
Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2021, 08:21 AM
Skeejere Skeejere is offline
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Fruita, CO
Posts: 16
Default Grateful for the feedback

Thank you everybody. All your responses have been extremely helpful. At my age and station in life, I’m realizing that I may not have enough “years left in the bank” to achieve the AMT and IA, plus the years of experience needed to excel in the general aviation setting. I’m now looking into some certificate programs specializing in avionics/electrical. At the very least, this will help me when it’s time to install the avionics on my RV-10. Thanks again everyone.
One last question, anybody have any experience with the avionics programs at either Everett Community College or Clover Park Technical College in Washington State? Happy flying everyone!
Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2021, 05:51 PM
AK4x4's Avatar
AK4x4 AK4x4 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PAWS (Wasilla, Alaska)
Posts: 139
Default GA maintenance

Back in the late 1980's Clover Park Technical College had great aviation programs. I don't know anything more current however. As far as General Aviation maintenance, the ONLY reason to get into it is a love of the business. The return on invested time and money is poor. Here in Alaska (general aviation central) a new A&P working in GA only starts at $22-23/hr after several years experience and gaining your IA you will max out between $38-45/ DOE, BTW benefits in GA are minimal to none. You cannot make a sound financial argument for a carrier in GA MX. But it can be enjoyable if you figure out the money issue. Good Luck, Russ Just an A&P/IA working in General Aviation......
Russell Brown
"Happiness may never be sensibly pursued as an end in itself, because happiness is the by-product of achievement." -- Northcote Parkinson (paraphrase)
Wasilla, Alaska
Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2021, 10:19 AM
Rallylancer122 Rallylancer122 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oconto, WI
Posts: 192

Fixing and flipping is pretty hard. Just look at what most "tired" planes sell for, then add in the cost of an o/h, new avionics, paint, etc..., and finally compare the total to what cream puffs of the same model are selling for. Most of those sellers will admit to losing money. You can save by applying your own labor but probably not as much as you think.

Most car flippers will tell you that you make your money on the buy. It's hard work. You have to really know the market, scour for deals constantly, be Johnny on the spot when you find one, and be a ruthless negotiator. I've done it a few times and it's helped subsize my flying, but there is no way I could make a living at it.

There are a few shops out there doing wreck rebuilds but I think you'll find they have developed special tools and jigs, and some specific skill sets.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2021, 11:47 AM
tafish2 tafish2 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Buckingham
Posts: 1
Default not a good way to make a living

while a good hobby, if you have to pay a mortgage, have a family and other normal expenses take your skills and look elsewhere. I worked for 7 years as a GA mechanic, IA and finally gave it up. You can make a lot more money in the airlines (working nights, weekends and holidays). I tried that but the hours were killer. So I went to work for Lockheed Martin and have never regretted the move. From a financial perspective I wasted 7 years in GA. Be afraid.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:34 AM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.