Aircraft Mechanic Careers
If you want to become an aircraft mechanic licensed to work on airplanes or helicopters, you will need to get an Aviation Maintenance Technician license with Airframe and/or Powerplant (A&P) ratings. Depending on what kind of job you wind up taking, you may also need certification to work on aircraft electronics (avionics), and you will need additional training as an Avionics Maintenance Technician with an FCC Radiotelephone Operator License. You'll need to develop a thorough understanding of the theories of hydraulics and pneumatics, flight, weight, & balance, electrical systems, navigation systems, engine propulsion (jet, piston, and turboprop), and more.
To pass the required tests to get your license as an aircraft mechanic, you will need to learn all about the construction, systems, and maintenance of airplanes, and also learn the Federal Aviation Regulations that govern aviation airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics. You also need to love airplanes. You do not need a pilot's license, and you do not need to know how to fly, but it does help if you are interested in what you are doing, and employers prefer a mechanic who can take an airplane for a test flight.
Working on airplanes as a mechanic must be a labor of love, because airplanes are physically difficult to work on. They're large, so they tend to be out in the weather or at best in drafty hangars, and you need ladders to work on them. They also must use every bit of available space and save weight when possible, so the mechanical systems are squeezed into impossibly small places. As an aircraft mechanic, be prepared to find yourself wandering atop an icy slick or scorching hot wing far above the concrete, or stuffed upside down in a sweltering or freezing cockpit with your head where a pilot's feet belong.
If you are still reading, you probably have the genuine interest in aircraft that is required for a successful career as an aviation mechanic. The highest paying aviation maintenance jobs provide a hefty paycheck, but many jobs in aviation mechanics with more modest pay, and all come with some difficult working conditions. Still, you are working on airplanes, and airplanes are just endlessly fascinating to some people.
If you want to pursue a career as an aircraft mechanic, read more on this site to get an overview of the things you will need to learn, the experience you will have to show, the ways to get that knowledge and experience, the time and money required, and the job opportunities that await licensed A&P mechanics and avionics technicians.