Entry level wage for a mechanic?

TheGirlinPurple

Well-Known Member
I've been out of the MTX for 10 years, but this depends on Part 121, Part 135, or Part 91. If I were to go back, I wouldn't accept a wage less than $16/hr.

It also depends on if you already have your A&P. Part 121 mechanics are in high demand at the moment. I have heard from friends some regionals are hiring as high as $20/hr for an A&P fresh out of school. Again this is hearsay and I have yet to find which ones hire that high. If I were to go back, I wouldn't accept a wage less than $16/hr.

GA and Part 135 can be as low as $10-$13/ hr.

Hope this helps.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
I work for a large 135 with a couple of new people that I can ask, although I think they might have had "some" piston private GA experience before they got here. It's been over 25 years since I was asking that question. These days a lot of wet ink A/Ps use contract agencies like Aerotek to find work, perhaps contacting them would be a good way to find out?
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
I think most regionals are still in the $15 range to start. 135/91 are all over the place from what I’ve heard. Unless you score that sweetheart 91 job where you polish tires and add oil and send all the real work to a service center, the only real career imho is a major airline, and that means decades of night shift and wrecking your body with the work and the chemicals.
 

Low&Slow

Ancora imparo
An FBO just down the road is offering me $17-$20/hr to start, but pay goes up after probation period. I thought that was kinda low, I was expecting at least $20-$25 to start. Based on what I'm reading in this thread though, it's a fair staring wage. Cost of living here isn't too bad either, so that helps.
They service helicopters, taildraggers and tricycles, floatplanes, multiengine, horizontally opposed, radial, turboprop, turbine, and they do complete paint jobs too, pretty much everything.
 

QXDX

Well-Known Member
Well, so much for being a mechanic. Given the education, responsibility, and working conditions, I would have thought $30 an hour as a starting wage. But half that? There's easier ways to starve to death.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
Well, so much for being a mechanic. Given the education, responsibility, and working conditions, I would have thought $30 an hour as a starting wage. But half that? There's easier ways to starve to death.
Everyone has to put in some time and prove themselves. An A/P cert is nothing more than a license to learn, book knowledge is not very useful on the floor. I've seen mediocre mechanics get promoted due to people skills and excellent mechanics held back because they're grumpy and the company can't afford to not have them actually working on the aircraft. There's lots of money to be made, finding the right spot is paramount, but you're going to have to put some time in and get some experience. I'd never suggest that anyone that likes airplanes should try to make a living working on them, it strips all of the mystique and splendor and shows the dirty side.
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
Everyone has to put in some time and prove themselves. An A/P cert is nothing more than a license to learn, book knowledge is not very useful on the floor. I've seen mediocre mechanics get promoted due to people skills and excellent mechanics held back because they're grumpy and the company can't afford to not have them actually working on the aircraft. There's lots of money to be made, finding the right spot is paramount, but you're going to have to put some time in and get some experience. I'd never suggest that anyone that likes airplanes should try to make a living working on them, it strips all of the mystique and splendor and shows the dirty side.
The local union electrical shop takes kids out of high school that had A's or B's in their math classes, pays them $20/hr and teaches them on the job. I can't imagine why'd you'd accept less than that with certifications and tools you paid for.
The whole putting in time and proving yourself while starving is a very unique thing to aviation. Any other trade pays you while they teach you and the seeing if a person works out is on the one hiring.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
The local union electrical shop takes kids out of high school that had A's or B's in their math classes, pays them $20/hr and teaches them on the job. I can't imagine why'd you'd accept less than that with certifications and tools you paid for.
The whole putting in time and proving yourself while starving is a very unique thing to aviation. Any other trade pays you while they teach you and the seeing if a person works out is on the one hiring.
I don't make the rules, I just play by them. If I had it all over to do again and I knew what I know now I'd stay as far away from an airport as I could as a kid.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
Well, so much for being a mechanic. Given the education, responsibility, and working conditions, I would have thought $30 an hour as a starting wage. But half that? There's easier ways to starve to death.
As mentioned earlier, it all varies depending on where you live and what line of work you're doing. I've seen FBO & flight school mechanics earning $25/hr out of school and cutting their teeth on C-152 heavy 100hr inspections. I've also seen entry level positions that only allow you to remove inspection covers and pushing brooms until you earn their trust starting at $15/hr. A newbie at the 121 regional working midnight shifts are close to $30/hr. There's one recruiting firm posting regular openings for more specialized work (cabinetry, sheet metal, avionics) that are in the $40-$50 an hour.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
As mentioned earlier, it all varies depending on where you live and what line of work you're doing. I've seen FBO & flight school mechanics earning $25/hr out of school and cutting their teeth on C-152 heavy 100hr inspections. I've also seen entry level positions that only allow you to remove inspection covers and pushing brooms until you earn their trust starting at $15/hr. A newbie at the 121 regional working midnight shifts are close to $30/hr. There's one recruiting firm posting regular openings for more specialized work (cabinetry, sheet metal, avionics) that are in the $40-$50 an hour.
Those $40-50/hour jobs for a mechanic are going to require a lot of experience and a proven track record of being able to not only perform inspections but also successful troubleshooting. Right now avionics can be very lucrative, especially for installers. Sheet metal seems like it should be a science, but it's actually more of an art and talented artists get paid accordingly. No one is going to pay someone just out of school that kind of money.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
As mentioned earlier, it all varies depending on where you live and what line of work you're doing. I've seen FBO & flight school mechanics earning $25/hr out of school and cutting their teeth on C-152 heavy 100hr inspections. I've also seen entry level positions that only allow you to remove inspection covers and pushing brooms until you earn their trust starting at $15/hr. A newbie at the 121 regional working midnight shifts are close to $30/hr. There's one recruiting firm posting regular openings for more specialized work (cabinetry, sheet metal, avionics) that are in the $40-$50 an hour.
That seems high for regionals.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
Those $40-50/hour jobs for a mechanic are going to require a lot of experience and a proven track record of being able to not only perform inspections but also successful troubleshooting. Right now avionics can be very lucrative, especially for installers. Sheet metal seems like it should be a science, but it's actually more of an art and talented artists get paid accordingly. No one is going to pay someone just out of school that kind of money.
Oh I agree, specialized with experience. I mentioned that to give the OP a gauge to measure what the market currently requires for a wage above $30.

The ads I’ve seen we’re in the range of $23-$27 for the airlines. Of course that’ll vary with location. Alabama versus Los Angels or San Fran.
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
Oh I agree, specialized with experience. I mentioned that to give the OP a gauge to measure what the market currently requires for a wage above $30.

The ads I’ve seen we’re in the range of $23-$27 for the airlines. Of course that’ll vary with location. Alabama versus Los Angels or San Fran.
The airlines used to be the best jobs in the industry, these days they top out at somewhere in the $30-40/hour range. There are enough jobs out there that pay better than that with a bit of experience and a good reputation that I'd never steer any new mechanic in that direction unless I thought that routine mind numbing repition and 3rd shift were all they'd be capable of.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
The airlines used to be the best jobs in the industry, these days they top out at somewhere in the $30-40/hour range. There are enough jobs out there that pay better than that with a bit of experience and a good reputation that I'd never steer any new mechanic in that direction unless I thought that routine mind numbing repition and 3rd shift were all they'd be capable of.
False. Delta, FedEx, etc are over $50/hour topout.
 
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