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Level
Duration
4 Years
Job Zone

In Summary

Aircraft Mechanics are employed throughout the aviation industry in a wide range of facilities designed to maintain light, rotary and large commercial aircraft.

Aircraft Mechanics inspect, maintain and repair airframe structures, engines, electronic and avionic systems. 

Click on the photo above to view the brochure

The work is diverse, disciplined and highly regulated, both nationally and internationally.

The aviation industry uses advanced technology and new aircraft, which with their increasing reliance on computerised flight control and aircraft management systems, means that the use of electronic and computer equipment is an important aspect of an aircraft mechanic’s skills.

View details from Apprenticeship.ie

View Occupational Profile 

To view full details of this occupation, view information from our Careers database for the following occupation: Aircraft Mechanic

Entry Requirements

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age.

The minimum educational requirements are:

Grade D or "Achieved" in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,

or

The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course,

or

Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable.

You must obtain a job as an apprentice in your chosen occupation. Your employer must be approved to train apprentices and must register you as an apprentice within 2 weeks of recruitment.

In this apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS. 

Note: These are the current approved minimum educational requirements for apprenticeship programmes, however, previous experience of the following subjects would be an advantage but not essential:

  • Mathematics
  • Technical Drawing/Graphics
  • Technology
  • Physics
  • Engineering

Training

Apprenticeship Training Programme

Phase 1:
 With Employer

  • Induction Training
  • Introduction to Health & Safety
  • Introduction to Tools & Equipment
  • Introduction to Basic Skills 

Phase 2 A: Delivered in Training Centre (32 weeks) 

Course Content:

  • Induction
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Electrical Fundamentals
  • Digital Techniques
  • Materials and Hardware
  • Maintenance Practices
  • Basic Aerodynamics
  • Human Factors
  • Aviation Legislation
  • Turbine Aeroplane Aerodynamics, Structures and Systems
  • Piston Aeroplane Aerodynamics, Structures and Systems
  • Gas Turbine Engine
  • Piston Engine
  • Propeller

Phase 3A: With Employer

  • Work Based Training and Assessments with portfolio of evidence

Phase 2 B: Delivered in Training Centre (8 weeks) 

Course Content: (EASA Category B1/B2)

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Materials and Hardware
  • Basic Aerodynamics
  • Human Factors

Phase 3A: With Employer

  • Work Based Training and Assessments with portfolio of evidence

Phase 4: Delivered in Educational Colleges (35 weeks) 

Course Content: (EASA Category B1/B2)

  • Electrical Fundamentals
  • Electronic Fundamentals
  • Digital Techniques
  • Maintenance Practices
  • Aviation Legislation
  • Turbine Aeroplane Aerodynamics, Structures & Systems
  • Piston Aeroplane Aerodynamics, Structures & Systems
  • Helicopter Aerodynamics, Structures & Systems
  • Aircraft Aerodynamics, Structures and Systems
  • Propulsion
  • Gas Turbine Engine
  • Piston Engine
  • Propeller 

Phase 5: With Employer 

  • Work Based Training and Assessments

The overall duration of this apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years provided all phases are successfully completed. 

On successful completion of the programme the learner is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Aircraft Mechanics.

To check whether courses are running in your area for Apprenticeships, check with your local ETB using this link and select your county. 

Skills & Qualities

As an Aircraft Mechanic you will need to be physically active and to be able to work with your hands.

An awareness of health and safety and good housekeeping is essential as well as attention to detail and an eye for the aesthetic.

The Aircraft Mechanic must have the ability to:

  • Plan and organise
  • Communicate effectively
  • Solve problems
  • Work independently and as part of a team
  • Show a positive attitude
  • Recognise the need for good customer relations
  • Demonstrate good work practices including time keeping, tidiness, responsibility, quality awareness and safety awareness

Skills

Aircraft Mechanics require many skills including: 

  • Understanding and application of physics
  • Understanding the scientific uses and properties of materials
  • Interpreting technical drawings and diagrams
  • Using mathematics to solve technical or scientific problems
  • Knowledge of electricity and electronics
  • Controlling or adjusting equipment
  • Inspecting and testing of systems and fault diagnosis
  • Performing routine maintenance and repairs
  • Accurate report writing skills and record keeping
  • Service, replace, fault diagnose, repair, function test, inspect, adjust test, rig trouble shoot, adjust and test aircraft structures, systems and engines and their components
  • Composite repairs
  • Non destructive inspection
  • Sheet metal repairs

Safety

  • Hazards avoidance
  • correct use of tools and equipment
  • correct use of personnel protective equipment
  • manual handling
  • evacuation procedures

Standard practices

  • Read and interpret relevant technical documentation
  • read and interpret drawing and the relevant use of computers

Note: A person wishing to become an apprentice Aircraft Mechanic must pass a colour–vision test approved by SOLAS.

Work Activities

  • Learning and developing new practical craft related skill, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experienced craftspersons
  • Seeing a job through from start to finish
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements
  • Working with technical drawings and diagrams
  • Using mathematics to solve technical or scientific problems
  • Understanding the scientific uses and properties of materials
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Being well organised and careful with practical tasks
  • Keeping accurate records or reports
  • Being responsible for controlling or adjusting equipment
  • Working with Electricity or Electronics
  • Taking responsibility for own learning, including the allocation of study time
  • Installing and repairing aircraft components
  • Being physically active
  • Passing all your phase exams (theory, practicals skills demonstration)
  • Earning as you learn

Career Progression

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, apprentices are qualified to work within the recognised trade or profession. 

Opportunities arise from time-to-time for promotion to supervisor level. Many craftspersons use their apprenticeship qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.

People anxious to advance themselves in their careers are advised to discover for themselves what apportunities are available.

Where apprentices and crafts persons have the necessary ability, initiative and basic qualifications, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technological and management courses which are available in institutes of technology, schools of management, professional institutes, etc.

Getting an Apprenticeship

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen occupation.

  • The employer must be approved to train apprentices.
  • The employer must register you as an apprentice within two weeks of recruitment.

Note: Aircraft Mechanic Apprenticeship applicants are required to pass a colour vision test approved by SOLAS.


Finding Vacancies

Finding an employer or registering your interest with an official Coordinating Provider is one of the first things you need to do to start an apprenticeship.

Opportunities for this apprenticeship may be available from the following organisations:

Opportunities for this apprenticeship may be available from the following organisations:

Online Jobsites

Here are some direct links to employment websites that frequently list apprenticeship vacancies.
Note: These websites may include vacancies that are not QQI accredited Apprenticeships.

Current Apprentice Aircraft Mechanic Jobs (Where Available)

Pay & Fees

The employer pays the apprentice while s/he is being trained on-the-job. A training allowance is paid by the local ETB while the apprentice is attending the off-the-job training, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship. Generally, the rates of pay are based on a percentage of the fully qualified rate for the occupation:

  • 1st Years – 33.3%
  • 2nd Years – 50%
  • 3rd Years – 75%
  • 4th Years – 90%

Training Allowances

A training allowance is paid by the local ETB to apprentices while attending off-the-job training. In some cases, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs may be paid if deemed eligible. The sector the apprentice's employer is engaged in will determine the allowance payable. These allowances are calculated on the gross wages paid by industry in each sector. The amount the apprentice gets will generally be less than that, as it is based on the net take-home pay of the relevant sector. The weekly gross wage norms for different industries can be found here 

Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is charged to students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology (IoT). Apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.

The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.

Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. For further information, click here.

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