Composite Mechanic

Job Description

An Aviation Composite Mechanic repairs or replaces the composite components of an aircraft, including wings, pylons, fuselages, and nacelles. Composite parts comprise many different materials, including carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar. Composite Mechanics perform complex structural repairs to keep aircraft up to specifications. Also, an Aviation Composite Mechanics fabricate replacement parts for aircraft as needed.

Aviation Composite Mechanics must have an understanding of metal and alloys to create solutions to issues with composite components and suggest substitutes where needed. Repairing composite components is complicated work, so Aviation Composite Mechanics must be able to understand aircraft repair manuals and engineering documents. An Aviation Composite Mechanic needs to know how to properly use, handle, and dispose of hazardous materials during their work.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Inspect aircraft composite components for wear, warping, cracks, and leaks
  • Analyze and understand aircraft blueprints, specifications, and maintenance manuals to make repairs
  • Conduct maintenance operations like removing and replacing aircraft and power plant components, including wings, pylons, fuselages, and nacelles
  • Fabricate replacement parts as needed
  • Ensure all repairs are up to FAA and manufacturer specifications
  • Order supplies, equipment, materials, and parts for repairs and general maintenance
  • Keep detailed records of inspections, maintenance, repairs, and parts inventory

Education and Background

This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent and an Airframe and Powerplant License certificate from a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Some companies may require Aviation Engine Mechanic candidates to have an associate degree.

Skills and Competencies

  • Analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Mechanical aptitude and ability to understand engineering documents and schematics
  • Knowledge of metal, alloys, composite materials, aircraft adhesives, and sealants
  • Strong hand-eye coordination and proficiency in using tools
  • Sufficient physical strength and dexterity to climb on aircraft and manipulate replacement parts
  • Knowledge of the use, handling, and disposal of hazardous materials
  • High-level organization skills

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of an Aviation Composite Mechanic with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $37,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $39,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $41,000
  • Miami, Florida: $48,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $53,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $55,000
  • Houston, Texas: $50,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $56,000
  • New York City, New York: $52,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $41,000
  • Overall: $48,000

5 Years of Experience: 

  • Orlando, Florida: $48,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $50,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $47,000
  • Miami, Florida: $54,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $58,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $64,000
  • Houston, Texas: $61,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $61,000
  • New York City, New York: $63,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $59,000
  • Overall: $58,000 

Similar Job Titles

  • Composite Technician
  • Aircraft Composite Technician
  • Composite Repair Technician
  • Composite Engineer
  • Composite Lay-Up Engineer
  • Composite Design Engineer
  • Composite Structures Engineer

Career Path

This position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent and an Airframe and Powerplant License certificate from a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Some companies may require Aviation Composite Mechanic candidates to have an associate degree. Successful Aviation Composite Mechanics can advance into leadership roles such as Lead Mechanic, Lead Inspector, or Shop Supervisor.

Position Trends

According to the construction program management firm Hoar Program Management (HPM), composite materials in the aerospace and aviation industries are on the rise. They’re a more fuel-efficient alternative to metals like steel and aluminum. So far, the trend has mostly applied to wide-body jets more than narrow-body aircraft. But, as more manufacturers turn to these materials to manufacture and update modern aircraft, the need for qualified Aviation Composite Mechanics to install, repair, and maintain these components will likely increase.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians field should grow by three percent between 2018 and 2028. That’s slower than average.

Typical Hours

Aviation Composite Mechanics usually work rotating eight-hour shifts. That means overnight, weekend, and holiday shifts are common in this field.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster 
  • Aviation Job Search
  • Aerospace Crossing

Are You Interested in Becoming an Aviation Composite Mechanic?

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