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Leaving the Army as a Mechanic


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#1 KevinKrut321

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 11:10

So after ten years in the Army I'm deciding to cut sling load!! My dilemma now is do I goto school for my rotary license or my maintenance management degree. A little back story about me, I'm a CH-47 mech in the Army with my A&P. I set my goals of getting the experience to attain my A&P and if things got bad I would leave the Military. Well things are getting bad so I'm leaving this August. I have started my degree with ERAU this year with the intent of being a manager somewhere. Well I'm at a crossroad now wanting to attain my rotary license with the GI bill and work for a small helicopter operation out west. I want to stay in a management role but, with my past experiences with being a leader in the Army I just want to be responsible for myself. 

 

My question for you guys, is the prospect of being a helicopter pilot / mechanic a good future plan? I plan on using my A&P over being a pilot and having the license to maybe pick up a few hours here and there if needed. My dream job would be to just hang out at a flight school some where and turn wrenches with the occasional use of my CFI. The only reason I want to do the pilot license is that it will be covered while using the GI bill. But if I have the opportunity to be pilot I would take it. The degree would be nice to have but, I just want to have a relaxing career where I can get paid to take a break for a little while!!!



#2 Wally

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 18:33

I know more mechanics who did well in management than pilots.  Management isn't a relaxing career, those were markedly type A personalities who wanted TO DO stuff their way.


Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#3 KevinKrut321

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 19:16

I know more mechanics who did well in management than pilots.  Management isn't a relaxing career, those were markedly type A personalities who wanted TO DO stuff their way.

 

 

See thats my dilemma I'm not a type A type person and have had the pleasure of working for many of them. Thats why I would always look back and say I don't wan to be a boss like that. 



#4 r22butters

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 20:53

,...I just want to have a relaxing career where I can get paid to take a break for a little while!!!


That's what I was thinking when I wanted to be a tour pilot! Ha, Ha, Ha!
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#5 Dnr032

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 06:40

...... I just want to have a relaxing career where I can get paid to take a break for a little while!!!

 

I hate to break the news to you, but there is no such job in the civilian world.  If this is the main reason you are leaving the military then you will be vastly disappointed.  All jobs are stressful. Some more than others.  That is why it is called a JOB.  Remember WORK is a 4 letter word.  I think it may be difficult to find a job turning wrenches at a 'relaxing pace... getting paid...while taking a break.'  Unlike the military, helicopters in the civilian world are used to make money. If the aircraft is down for maintenance, then it is not making money.

 

Your best option may be looking for a job at a local or State law enforcement agency aviation unit. Unfortunately you don't have any experience working on civilian aircraft and most agencies will require some experience turning wrenches on their model aircraft.

 

All jobs are what you make of them.  Only you can control your attitude. 

 

Thank you for your service and good luck.



#6 KevinKrut321

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:30

 

...... I just want to have a relaxing career where I can get paid to take a break for a little while!!!

 

 I think it may be difficult to find a job turning wrenches at a 'relaxing pace... getting paid...while taking a break.'  Unlike the military, helicopters in the civilian world are used to make money. If the aircraft is down for maintenance, then it is not making money.

 

I'm ok with this, as long as I'm working for a purpose rather than a number. There has been many days wasted just to get the aircraft off of the board as being down. If I was turning wrenches on an aircraft that had a mission I would be more than happy to extend my days. I have spent weekends fixing aircraft that had no mission the following day or week. The ORR rate is the mission in the Army, take for instance a bird that was a hard red X waiting for a part. This said bird sat for three weeks, the part comes in on a Friday afternoon. Well to replace said part Is a ten hour job. We reached duty day so we can't continue working, we come in on Saturday just to finish. The bird doesn't fly for test flight until Wednesday. The only reason they had us get the job done was to clear the board and get the numbers up. I have no issues working for a cause in the civilian world, I think it will be much more rewarding actually. Seeing your hard work and late nights pay off the following day will be true a motivation. 



#7 superstallion6113

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 20:48

If working a weekend or long day just to get a an NMC aircraft up again for no reason other than having an up aircraft, you'll be shocked to find out that the civilian aviation world doesn't like to have aircraft sitting down for maintenance either. Down aircraft can't fly when on a contract or being paid by a customer to fly. The parts come in, you bust your ass to get it back up again, wether it has a mission or not. All aircraft have a mission. The mission is have up aircraft ready for hire. As for the Embry Riddle aviation maintenance degree, i personally would pass on it. At my last job where 98% of us were vets, 15 or so were enrolled in that program. They all had military experience, they all had 10+ years of rotary wing maintenance experience, they all had an A&P license, and when done, they will all have the same degree. So many veterans that have an A&P attend that program hoping they'll find a job as a maintenance manager. Not one maintenance manager I have worked for had a degree in aviation maintenance management. To me it is a very general degree that doesn't do enough to set you apart from everyone else in this field. Just my opinion. 



#8 Wally

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 12:01

Civilian maintenance seems even more demanding than military.  Usually one technician to the aircraft, on your own, and whatever tools he owns.  And every. freakin. second. that. pig. is. in. the. dirt. it's. on. every. managers. computer. in. the world.


Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#9 KevinKrut321

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 11:52

If working a weekend or long day just to get a an NMC aircraft up again for no reason other than having an up aircraft, you'll be shocked to find out that the civilian aviation world doesn't like to have aircraft sitting down for maintenance either. 

 

I'm ok with this! Because I know I'm helping to make a mission happen. The job is getting done to provide a product, not to provide a person a bullet on there yearly performance report. I'm not knocking Army maintenance at all, I just look at the bigger picture and time sacrificed for no reason. If I'm busting my ass to contribute to a cause I will feel more accomplished in what I have done. 



#10 UH60L-IP

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 17:34

 

I'm ok with this! Because I know I'm helping to make a mission happen. The job is getting done to provide a product, not to provide a person a bullet on there yearly performance report. I'm not knocking Army maintenance at all, I just look at the bigger picture and time sacrificed for no reason. If I'm busting my ass to contribute to a cause I will feel more accomplished in what I have done. 

 

 

I think you are going to be quite disappointed. You may not realize it (most don't until they are out) but the job you are doing in the Army is very much to make mission (not just to earn someone else a bullet point). But to that issue, in the civilian world you will also have plenty to complain about, including doing work for a reason that you cannot determine for an end that you cannot understand. You will always be a cog in the system. The system generally does not justify why you are needed. You are paid to perform a service, not understand why. Just like in the Army.

 

I am an Army contract pilot. Some of the things we do are perplexing to me. However, my paycheck clears every two weeks so I do the job that they ask me to do, just the way they ask me to do it. They certainly pay me to think, but they don't pay me to think about things that are not in my lane and therefore simply become complaining.

 

I've spent a long time as a civilian, active duty, guard, and Army civilian. Your pleasure must come from other things, not the warm feeling you get from doing a job where there is no B.S., because that job does not exist.

 

Last word, it is my belief that you will earn much more in the long term utilizing the skills you already have than working towards your helicopter ratings. The time you spend learning a skill that does not pay well for a long time is probably better used on a well paying career you are already skilled at. You will be climbing the income ladder earlier and, therefore, even if you technically topped out more as a pilot later, dollar for dollar you earn more doing what you do now.


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