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  1. #1
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    Default Interested in this career but don't know where to start.

    Have always loved aircraft so a career around them sounds ideal to me, aside from being a pilot.

    I live in a city with 2 known airfields, McCllellan and Mather in Northern California. Is this enough to say there's good opportunities? Also seen that a local community college has courses in Mclellen, I think.

    And then personal issues that I barely have any money, and have seen that getting the a&p license costs around $10-30,000 dollars. Joining the military doesn't seem ideal to me.

    And how necessary is needing a pilots license?

    Un-relatrd-ish but if there's one thing I'd love to do it would becoming a blimp/airship pillot or mechanic, but that seems leagues away from me and the very limited market of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerme1 View Post
    Have always loved aircraft so a career around them sounds ideal to me, aside from being a pilot.

    I live in a city with 2 known airfields, McCllellan and Mather in Northern California. Is this enough to say there's good opportunities? Also seen that a local community college has courses in Mclellen, I think.

    And then personal issues that I barely have any money, and have seen that getting the a&p license costs around $10-30,000 dollars. Joining the military doesn't seem ideal to me.

    And how necessary is needing a pilots license?

    Un-relatrd-ish but if there's one thing I'd love to do it would becoming a blimp/airship pillot or mechanic, but that seems leagues away from me and the very limited market of it.
    Go to those airports, look for a job doing anything, and see where it leads. You will find yourself working around pilots and mechanics. These are the people who will show you the way and eventually get you jobs. It's very risky to invest in aviation, especially if you have to borrow money to do it. So make sure it's a sure thing for YOU. Any downturn in the economy will shut you out for a while. It's no fun paying for A&P school by waiting tables or pushing a lawn mower. This is what happened to most new guys in the early 90s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerme1 View Post
    Have always loved aircraft so a career around them sounds ideal to me, aside from being a pilot.

    I live in a city with 2 known airfields, McCllellan and Mather in Northern California. Is this enough to say there's good opportunities? Also seen that a local community college has courses in Mclellen, I think.

    And then personal issues that I barely have any money, and have seen that getting the a&p license costs around $10-30,000 dollars. Joining the military doesn't seem ideal to me.

    And how necessary is needing a pilots license?

    Un-relatrd-ish but if there's one thing I'd love to do it would becoming a blimp/airship pillot or mechanic, but that seems leagues away from me and the very limited market of it.
    If it's a community college is should be cheaper than that if you have FASFA. As for the pilots license, not really needed unless you're staying in GA than it's almost a requirement. Everything I work on needs a type rating to fly and you can't afford that

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerme1 View Post
    Have always loved aircraft so a career around them sounds ideal to me, aside from being a pilot.

    I live in a city with 2 known airfields, McCllellan and Mather in Northern California. Is this enough to say there's good opportunities? Also seen that a local community college has courses in Mclellen, I think.

    And then personal issues that I barely have any money, and have seen that getting the a&p license costs around $10-30,000 dollars. Joining the military doesn't seem ideal to me.

    And how necessary is needing a pilots license?

    Un-relatrd-ish but if there's one thing I'd love to do it would becoming a blimp/airship pillot or mechanic, but that seems leagues away from me and the very limited market of it.
    McCllelan and Mather are both Air Force bases, there may or may not be civilian maintenance jobs there. At least not entry level.
    There is an FAA certified maintenance school in McClellan, at Sacramento City College. They have certificate programs for Airframe and Powerplant, that is all you need and will be the cheapest route.
    If you enroll in the combined A&P certificate program its 66 units, and if you are in state resident, it's currently $46. Per unit. That's $3,036.00 plus books and parking pass, etc. I'm guessing that cannot be beat. And, most mechanics are not pilots. Good luck!
    Last edited by GlennAB1; 03-05-2018 at 04:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennAB1 View Post
    McCllelan and Mather are both Air Force bases, there may or may not be civilian maintenance jobs there. At least not entry level.
    There is an FAA certified maintenance school in McClellan, at Sacramento City College. They have certificate programs for Airframe and Powerplant, that is all you need and will be the cheapest route.
    If you enroll in the combined A&P certificate program its 66 units, and if you are in state resident, it's currently $46. Per unit. That's $3,036.00 plus books and parking pass, etc. I'm guessing that cannot be beat. And, most mechanics are not pilots. Good luck!
    I was told the Air Force left both of those? My step dad who used to fly for the police worked at both and that's what he said. I remember visiting the hangars at mather too, long ago.

    And I was wondering about the specifics of the courses, thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by kevbo View Post
    Go to those airports, look for a job doing anything, and see where it leads. You will find yourself working around pilots and mechanics. These are the people who will show you the way and eventually get you jobs. It's very risky to invest in aviation, especially if you have to borrow money to do it. So make sure it's a sure thing for YOU. Any downturn in the economy will shut you out for a while. It's no fun paying for A&P school by waiting tables or pushing a lawn mower. This is what happened to most new guys in the early 90s.
    Seems like a cool idea, thanks.

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    The map I pulled up online showed them as Air Force bases. No, I didn't look any further than that at the time.
    The school curriculum is online.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerme1 View Post
    I was told the Air Force left both of those? My step dad who used to fly for the police worked at both and that's what he said. I remember visiting the hangars at mather too, long ago.

    And I was wondering about the specifics of the courses, thanks.




    Seems like a cool idea, thanks.
    The only easy way into aviation maintenance is by starting at an passenger or freight airline before you commit to school. This way has the best possible outcome career wise. Going to school first is risky because there are way too many mechanics out there keeping jobs scarce and wages low. An experienced A&P can get a job making a basic living wage but all the high paying places are union/seniority based. I would like to get back into maintenance full time but cant afford to take the jobs that are available and Im too old to start at the bottom at an airline.
    Last edited by kevbo; 03-10-2018 at 04:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevbo View Post
    The only easy way into aviation maintenance is by starting at an passenger or freight airline before you commit to school. This way has the best possible outcome career wise. Going to school first is risky because there are way too many mechanics out there keeping jobs scarce and wages low. An experienced A&P can get a job making a basic living wage but all the high paying places are union/seniority based. I would like to get back into maintenance full time but cant afford to take the jobs that are available and Im too old to start at the bottom at an airline.
    That's not true, at all. There are not nearly enough techs right now.
    Last edited by brettboat; 03-10-2018 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brettboat View Post
    That's not true, at all. There are not nearly enough techs right now.
    Ill believe it when wages start to rise like they did in 1999. Right now everyone is busy but nobody wants to pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevbo View Post
    Ill believe it when wages start to rise like they did in 1999. Right now everyone is busy but nobody wants to pay.
    Dude we're starting guys here between 35 and 38 an hour and several of us are in the mid 40s. No one here brings in less than $100k a year. The pay is going up.... Hell I know guys that got hired in at gulfstream fresh outta AP school at $19 14 months ago and their already at $25

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