Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Mataaro Whakatika Waka Rererangi

Aircraft maintenance engineers install, maintain and repair aircraft structures, airframes and engines, and aircraft radio, avionic (electronic) and mechanical systems.

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All aircraft maintenance engineers who supervise aircraft engineering and maintenance work need to be Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (LAMEs), approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Aircraft maintenance engineers may do some or all of the following:

  • check engines, airframes, electronic and mechanical systems of aircraft to ensure they work correctly and meet safety requirements, in accordance with Civil Aviation Authority regulations
  • read diagrams
  • repair or replace faulty or old parts or systems
  • test parts and systems to make sure they work
  • use electronic test equipment to view structures without taking them apart (non-destructive testing)
  • keep records of repairs.

Licensed aircraft engineers also inspect and approve the work of other aircraft maintenance engineers.

Physical Requirements

Aircraft maintenance engineers need to have a good level of fitness because they spend a lot of time on their feet, working in and around aircraft, and may do heavy lifting. The must also have normal colour vision, because some aircraft components are colour-coded. They should also be comfortable working in confined spaces, as they work in cockpits and wheel cavities.

Useful Experience

Useful experience includes:

  • mechanical work
  • panelbeating, or work with sheet metal
  • electronics or electrical work
  • other aviation work.

Personal Qualities

Aircraft maintenance engineers need to be:

  • skilled at solving problems
  • good listeners and communicators
  • practical, methodical and logical
  • patient and accurate
  • able to work well under pressure and make good decisions.

Useful Experience

Useful experience includes:

  • mechanical work
  • panelbeating, or work with sheet metal
  • electronics or electrical work
  • other aviation work.

Subject Recommendations

NCEA Level 2 in English, maths and science is usually needed to enter tertiary training. Processing technologies, and construction and mechanical technologies may also be useful.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Aircraft Maintenance Engineers can earn around $37K-$60K per year per year.

Aircraft maintenance engineers may progress to become licensed aircraft engineers, who supervise and sign for completed work.

They may then move into management roles, or do further studies to move into aeronautical engineering.

Aircraft maintenance engineers may specialise in:

  • gas turbine engines and other mechanical systems of aircraft
  • aircraft structures and frames
  • aircraft electrical systems, instruments and radios (avionics).

With further training, aircraft maintenance engineers specialising in avionics may progress to become aeronautical or electronics engineers.

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

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