Veterans Transitioning into Civilian Aircraft Maintenance Careers

26 February, 2020
Veterans Transitioning into Civilian Aircraft Maintenance Careers

The unrivaled experience and skill set gained through military service can set a strong foundation for a career in aviation maintenance. 

Veterans come to private industry with the technical abilities and drive that companies are trying to find in applicants. In fact, veterans who transition to a career in aviation maintenance often do not have a military aviation background. Truck mechanics, those who operated heavy equipment and with some kind of mechanical experience are well-suited for transitional training programs in aviation maintenance. 

Countless veterans have transitioned to prosperous post-military careers in aviation maintenance. From aviation technicians to aviation executives, many professionals in aviation have a military background. 

The Main Difference Between the Military and Civilian Employment 

Unfortunately, people coming out of the military frequently don’t understand key differences between civilian industry and the military. There are many myths and a great deal of misinformation that can keep skilled veteran job seekers from getting the careers and jobs they want. It is vital to recognize the key differences and let go of the misconceptions as quickly as possible when transition to civilian jobs. 

When it comes to aviation, the military is not worried about customer satisfaction, profits, competition or labor issues. The government is able to afford the training of men and women right out of high school, provide them with a specialized education and train them for a specific job. Companies, on the other hand, want to hire fully skilled individuals and staff their operations with as few people as possible.  

Gaining Valuable Skills 

Because “jobs” in the military tend to be highly specialized, many veterans entering a civilian aircraft maintenance career have to almost start over and learn many new skills. This often involves taking on an apprenticeship. 

For apprentices, there is very little pressure to handle important jobs or maintain a high level of productivity. Instead, the focus is on learning as much as possible. Making use of the discipline and regard for structure learned in the military, veterans tend to be capable of “fast tracking” their training. Veteran apprentices swiftly begin working on projects, taking on more responsibilities and preparing for the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license. 

Some veterans come out of the military with A&P licenses, but don’t have the practical abilities needed for private industry. They may think they are ready to get a great job as an aviation mechanic, and not realize the A&P license more of a “license to learn.”  

Career progress in private industry can move very slowly compared to the military, which can be frustrating for some veterans. If a veteran already has an A&P license, they should look to gain key abilities held by the typical civilian aviation mechanic. An A&P school is often the best route to do just that. With an A&P school education, a veteran a much more appealing applicant for a any aviation mechanic job. 

Let Us Help You Transition from the Military to a Successful Career 

At Quanta, we often help men and women transition form a successful military career to a successful civilian career. If you are a military veteran, we’d like to thank you for your service and help you on your way to career success.  


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