Home > Blog > What it’s like to work as an Aircraft Mechanic for SkyWest Airlines
by SJVC on December 19, 2018 · 9:00 am
By Tom Himka – SkyWest Airlines Colorado Springs, Maintenance Manager
Starting a new career can be a bit overwhelming and you probably have plenty of questions. For instance, what is it like being a SkyWest mechanic? I can tell you, there isn’t anything more exciting than working nose to tail on state-of-the art aircraft. And that’s exactly what every A&P mechanic at SkyWest does. With safety at the forefront of every task, each mechanic is responsible for the miracle of flight. Our maintenance team of industry-leading professionals uses the most up-to-date technology to keep a fleet of over 450 aircraft safe in the skies.
Keep reading for a realistic view of what your first night, week and year as an entry-level aircraft mechanic could look like. We look forward to possibly seeing you at work on the hangar floor!
Your first night at the maintenance hangar starts by attending a pre-shift meeting with all mechanics. Here, you’re assigned a Crew Lead, team and the aircraft you will be working on. Maintenance Crew Leads oversee 3-4 aircraft, plus one heavier inspection aircraft. All work must be wrapped up and the aircraft positioned to head back to the gates by 4:30 a.m.
SkyWest’s approach to teaching about the different aircraft is a mixture of hands-on and classroom experience. You can expect to spend 3-4 weeks on the hangar floor with the aircraft and an on-the-job trainer. You will also attend familiarization classes for each fleet type.
To help with the steep learning curve of your first week, you will meet with a Designated Trainer. A Designated Trainer is a Level III mechanic who works with Inspection and Production, and will specifically train you on SkyWest’s policies, procedures, and SkyTrack computer maintenance documentation. The Designated Trainer acts as your mentor and coach as you work through assignments and sign-off tasks.
Your first month, you’ll have hands on the aircraft with walk-arounds, learning component locations and inspection trainings. For the first 30 days, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations require all work to be signed off by a trainer.
Within your first year, you’ll reach Level II mechanic status, working on Level III tasks with the intent to attain Level III at around 18 months. You’ll continue class training for each aircraft type and module classes for specific systems like hydraulics, fuel or air conditioning.
Our Accelerated Training Program is designed to get every mechanic from Level I to Level III in approximately 18 months, allowing the flexibility to work independently as well as lead or assist new mechanics. Keep in mind that each level upgrade is accompanied with a pay increase.
It is always SkyWest’s goal to attract the most talented individuals who want to contribute and innovate, and SkyWest’s unique partnership with SJVC gives you a jump start on your aviation maintenance career through the SkyWest Maintenance Apprentice program. Interested? Learn more and apply here.
Not yet a student in SJVC’s Aviation Maintenance program? Request information now, or call (559) 453-0123 to learn about our aircraft mechanic training.
Already have your A&P? You can apply to SkyWest’s Maintenance Apprentice program here!
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Posted in Aviation / Aviation Maintenance Technology / Fresno