Helicopter mechanics are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of helicopters. Helicopter mechanics’ tasks include:
- Performing routine inspections of helicopters
- Replacing broken or damaged parts
- Calibrating and testing equipment and parts
- Determining why a specific mechanical issue is occurring and correct it
- Utilizing software programs to diagnose issues
As a mechanic, you have the important task of keeping the crafts safe and well-maintained.
Requirements To Become A Helicopter Mechanic
Before you can work as a mechanic, you must go through training and certification. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires you to receive its Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate, which allows you to work on the entire aircraft.
To become a helicopter mechanic, you must fulfill the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be able to read, write, and speak English
- Have 18 months of experience working with either powerplants or airframes, or graduate from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school
- Pass aircraft tests: computerized knowledge exams, an oral test, and a practical exam
Find aircraft maintenance training programs near you.
Going The School Route
Many people choose to go to one of the FAA-approved aviation maintenance technology schools to become a helicopter mechanic. To enroll, you need your high school diploma or GED. Training typically can be completed in 12-24 months, and you will be able to take the exams for the A&P once you graduate.
Here are some of the first classes you'll take:
- Introduction to Aviation: This course explains how things such as heat and pressure affect fixed and rotary wing aircrafts and aircraft power plants.
- Aircraft Weight and Balance: Here, you'll look at how to weigh aircrafts and document the weight and balance, as well as how to calculate a correction of adverse load capacity.
- Aircraft Materials: Learn how hand tools are used on the job and the proper safety measures to take when using them and making measurements. This class also teaches how to identify and use aircraft hardware.
Start Your Training
It’s going to take some effort, but becoming a helicopter mechanic is a great choice. In 2019, aircraft mechanics made an average pay of $67,110, and the top 10% made $101,070 (bls.gov). You’ll get to solve problems and work with the tools and equipment you enjoy. It all starts with finding a school near you.