£30,000 Starter - £60,000 Experienced
42 to 44 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeshipa graduate training schemethe armed forces
You'll need an engineering qualification and maintenance experience to apply for a licence to become a helicopter engineer.
You'll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in aerospace engineering, avionics, or a related subject like:
- aeronautical engineering
- electrical or electronic engineering
- mechanical engineering
- manufacturing or product engineering
- physics or applied physics
- software engineering or mathematics
You'll usually need at least 1 A-Level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree. You'll need between 1 and 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma or degree.
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include the Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Aerospace and Aviation Engineering.
You'll usually need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a Level 2 course. You'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course.
You can get into this job through an aircraft maintenance certifying engineering higher apprenticeship. You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A-Levels, or equivalent.
The way into this job is usually through an aircraft engineering company, some of which offer graduate training schemes.
Flight engineering experience gained in the armed forces may count towards your licence application.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- practical skills for repairing and maintaining equipment
- persistence and determination
- the ability to repair machines or systems
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to work well with your hands
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need a Part-66 engineering licence issued through the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
There are different categories to the licence, depending on the type of work you want to do, but common ones are:
B1 mechanical for work on an aircraft's structure and electrical systems, B2 avionics for work on navigation, communication and electronic instruments.
What you’ll do
In this role you could:
- carry out scheduled inspection and maintenance checks
- use software programs to diagnose faults
- find and fix faults
- report defects to the maintenance manager
- make sure aircraft meet flight safety regulations
- work on aircraft and instrument modifications
- refit aircraft
- respond to repair call outs
- record completed work
You could work at an airport or on an aircraft.
Your working environment may be physically demanding and you'll travel often.
Career path and progression
With experience you could become a maintenance engineering manager or senior design engineer, working on modifications and enhancements to aircraft.