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Keith Lynch

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Defence Forces

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  Keith Lynch
Only enter the Defence Forces if you are willing to commit to it 100% as it is a long tough road which can be extremely rewarding if you fully engage it. Like everything in this life, you get out what you put in.
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Aircraft Mechanic
In Summary header image

Aircraft Mechanic

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. 

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.

Opportunities arise from time-to-time for promotion to supervisory level. Many people use an apprenticeship as a first step in proceeding to such occupations as instructors, teachers, training advisers, managers and owners of businesses.

Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.


Training header image

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.


Personal Qualities header image

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

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


Work Activities header image

  • Learning and developing new practical craft related skill, knowledge and competence
  • Working with and learning from experience 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


Pay & Fees header image

Funding Arrangements

All apprentices are paid a Training Allowance while attending off-the-job training in training centres or college, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship.

Details of the Training Allowances payable are available here.

What apprentice rate wages are paid?

Apprentice rates are paid for the on-the-job phases of apprenticeships. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer. Generally, the rates will increase in a number of steps during the apprenticeship. For example:

 

All other Trades

Electrical

Apprentices

APPRENTICE RATE

€ / hr

€ / hr

1st Year Rate

2nd Year Rate

3rd Year Rate

4th Year Rate

5.73

8.61

12.91

15.49

6.22

9.33

13.48

16.59

Note: You should always seek details of specific rates of pay for apprentices from prospective employers.

Apprentice Student Contribution

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of the changes included in Budget 2014, 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. 

Female Apprentices' bursary for employers

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, a bursary is available to employers to encourage an increased level of recruitment of female apprentices.

For more information Click here or contact your local ETB Training Centre.


Entry Requirements header image

The minimum age at which the employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age. 
The minimum educational requirements are: 
1. Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
or
2. The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course 
or 
3. Three years’ work experience gained over sixteen years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable 

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
Note: Experience has shown that higher grades of entry than those suggested by SOLAS are preferred for certain apprenticeships, due to the technical nature of the trade.

Employers typically seek applicants who have completed Leaving Cert including Maths (with at least a grade O5 (grade C3 pre-2017) in Ordinary Level Maths) and preferably Physics.


Getting an Apprenticeship header image

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.


Career Opportunities header image

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

Where craftspersons have the necessary ability and initiative, opportunities are available for advancement. These include advanced technology courses and management courses which are available in Institutes of Technology, Schools of Management and Professional Institutes.

Many craftspersons use their qualification as a platform to launch careers such as engineers, managers, owners of businesses, teachers and instructors amongst others.


Occupation Profile header image

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Progression Routes header image

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Occupation Data

Aircraft Mechanic

Industry Expert(s)