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What Skills Do You Need to be an Aircraft Mechanic?


Are you considering with you want to take an aircraft mechanic program? Want to know if you have the skill set to become an aircraft mechanic? The good news is that you can learn a lot of skills you need during an aircraft mechanic program at a trade school. Skills like communication, attention to detail, stamina, dexterity, teamwork, and problem solving can be learned during an aircraft mechanic program. The qualities that you can’t learn are a good work ethic, an interest in fixing things, and a passion for aircraft. If you have the passion, then becoming an aircraft mechanic may be the right career path for you. So, what skills will you need to be an aircraft mechanic?

What Skills Do You Need to be an Aircraft Mechanic?

There are many different skills that come in handy as an aircraft mechanic. Some of the more valuable skills that you will learn during an aircraft mechanic program include communication, teamwork, attention to detail, and problem solving. You will also build up your stamina and dexterity while you work on real world aircraft.

Skill #1: Communication

One of the most important skills that you can learn is communication. As an aircraft mechanic, you will spend a lot of your time talking with supervisors, teammates, and clients when you are and are not actually fixing an aircraft. It is important to be clear and concise with your communication because someone’s life may depend on it. As you fix aircraft, there will be passengers, and it is important to not only communicate but work as a team and have a strong attention to detail to keep those passengers safe.

Written communication is also important for an aircraft mechanic. After completing a fix or going through a checklist, you will need to make notes of anything that needs fixing or may need maintenance. The ability to communicate both verbally and in writing is an important skill for any aircraft mechanic.

Skill #2: Teamwork

Part of good teamwork is communication, but it is also about moving toward a shared goal and building trust with co-workers. More than one person will fix an aircraft at any one time. There are many different jobs to perform and checklists to complete. If everyone is working together, the aircraft will come together faster, be safer, and get completed on time.

Skill #3: Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is an important skill for anyone but very important for an aircraft mechanic. Each aircraft is made up of little pieces and precise mechanics. Even the smallest malfunction can be catastrophic. During an aircraft mechanic program, you will learn to be meticulous and identify even the smallest of issues so the aircraft is safe.

Skill #4: Stamina & Dexterity

A lot of what you will do as an aircraft mechanic is stand, reach into tight spaces, and crouch to reach a part of the aircraft. Not only will you need to withstand a lot of physical effort to stand and crouch, but you will need mental stamina as well. It can be a long day of fixing aircraft for an aircraft mechanic, and it is important that you build up your stamina so you can finish any project that you start.

Finger dexterity is also important as an aircraft mechanic. You will be working with little parts, nuts, and bolts in tight spaces and with different types of tools. The ability to hold, squeeze, and turn these tools throughout the day takes dexterity in the fingers and hands.

If you don’t have the stamina and dexterity yet to be an aircraft mechanic, don’t worry. You will get a lot of practice during an aircraft mechanic program. You will work on a variety of aircraft types and build up your stamina and dexterity while you put your practical knowledge and theory to work in the hangar fixing an aircraft.

Skill #5: Problem Solving

There are always problems to solve, so it is just important to think logically, have a step-by-step process, and come up with the best solution to the problem. There may be multiple ways to fix an aircraft that is malfunctioning, but it is important to work through a checklist, make sure everything is reviewed, and find a proper solution to the problem.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about the skills that it takes to be a successful aircraft mechanic, do you think you are ready to join the industry? Even if you don’t have all the knowledge and skills yet to be an aircraft mechanic, a lot of what you need to know will be taught during an aircraft mechanic program. Everything else will be learned on the job as long as you are committed to continuously learn. Your passion for the aircraft industry, and your strong work ethic is all you need to become a successful aircraft mechanic. The rest will be learned throughout the journey.

Ready to learn more about becoming an aircraft mechanic? The Airframe and Powerplant Technician Program from MIAT College of Technology provides the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career. At MIAT College of Technology, our aviation maintenance training focuses on teaching you the advanced precision skills necessary to become FAA Certificated Airframe and Powerplant Technicians. With the strong foundations that we provide, you will be prepared to start your exciting career immediately after graduation.

To learn more about the Airframe and Powerplant Technician Program and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us if you are interested in becoming an aircraft mechanic today.

Is Wind Turbine Technician a Good Career?

Want to work in an emerging field that is one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.? Don’t mind heights and want a good challenge? If this sounds like you, then consider a career as a wind turbine technician. Before we look into what a wind turbine technician does, where they work, and whether they are in demand, let’s first understand how wind energy works.

How Does Wind Energy Work?

Wind energy is the process of creating electricity using the wind, a natural occurrence in the earth’s atmosphere. When the wind blows past a wind turbine, the blades capture the wind’s kinetic energy through rotation of the blades and turns it into mechanical energy. The rotation turns an internal shaft connected to a gearbox housed in the nacelle. The gearbox spins a generator which produces electricity, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

A larger number of wind turbines that are built close together may have the moniker of “wind farm.” A wind farm sends its electricity to the grid like a traditional power plant would. Once the wind energy reaches the grid, utilities will send the electricity through the power lines to consumers that need to power their homes.

 What Does a Wind Turbine Technician Do?

 Wind turbine technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind turbine service technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect the exterior of the wind turbine towers
  • Inspect or repair wind turbine equipment, blades, gearbox, and generator
  • Perform routine maintenance one to three times a year
  • Use computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions
  • Troubleshoot and test electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components and systems
  • Repair and replace worn or malfunctioning components
  • Collect data for testing or research and analysis

 Is Wind Turbine Technician a Good Career?

 Wind turbine technician is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. Alongside many allied health professional careers, wind turbine technicians growth is to be 61 percent in the coming decade. The median wage salary for a Wind Turbine Technician is $52,910 (based on BLS data from May 2019), and those with extensive experience can make up to $80,150, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind turbine technicians are also in demand. Clean energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Although wind energy can’t supply all the energy the world needs, it is definitely an integral part of the overall electrical grid.

There are over 57,000 wind turbines in the United States alone, and each year an additional 3,000 wind turbines are built, according to the USGS. Technical innovations and the need for cleaner energy has accelerated the demand for wind turbine technicians to service the many wind turbines that are being installed all across the country. Not only are they built on land but like oil rigs, they are also built offshore. All wind turbines need maintenance, monitoring and repair. That is where you come in.

Where Do Wind Turbine Technicians Work?

Wind turbines have been growing in number all across the United States. They are found wherever the conditioners are right and wind is abundant. There are many rural wind farms that offer clean energy to the bigger cities. The states with the most wind turbines are Texas, Iowa, California, Oklahoma and Illinois, in descending order. With a campus in Houston, Texas, MIAT is a great place to learn the ropes as a wind turbine technician.

Wind turbine technicians primarily work outside and can scale ladders as high as 260 feet tall. They wear protective gear as they rappel from the nacelle to the section of the blade that needs servicing. However, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), wind turbine technicians can now monitor the performance of wind turbines from a far using a laptop and Internet connection.

 How Long Does It Take to Become a Wind Turbine Technician?

 Most wind turbine technician programs can be completed in under one year. At MIAT, a full-time student can become an entry-level wind turbine technician in 7 months. As a graduate of this program, you would be knowledgeable about wind turbine tools, rigging, welding, AC & DC electrical theory, renewable energy sources, and hydraulics and gears. You could expect smaller class sizes and one-on-one attention from industry experienced instructors. There is a need for wind turbine technicians, and you want a great career. It’s a win-win.

Final Thoughts

If you can climb high and think quick on your feet, then becoming a wind turbine technician may be the right career for you. You will spend most of your time outside the office and learning about new technological advances. What is better than that? Start earning in as little as 7 months after graduating from a wind turbine technician program at MIAT. Start a career in a field that is growing and will be in demand for many decades to come.

 Does a career as a wind turbine technician interest you? Want to have the power of an entire nation at your fingertips? The Wind Turbine Technician Program from MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career in just 7 months. Wind turbine technicians must inspect and service a turbine’s blades on a regular basis. This is done by entering the turbine through the base of the tower and climbing a ladder or riding an elevator up through the tower shaft. Depending on the task at hand, technicians may be suspended hundreds of feet in the air! When needed, it’s not uncommon for helicopters to raise wind turbine technicians up to the desired working height.

 MIAT’s goal is to produce graduates who are in the top echelon of their initial on-the-job training due to the foundational knowledge they receive at MIAT.  To learn more about Energy Technology career training and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page.

 Contact us if you are interested in becoming a wind turbine technician today.

 For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of the students who attended this program visit the following disclosure links.

Wrapping Up 2020 with Gratitude for Gifts Received, Ramping Up for a Sparkling New 2021

By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

Most years when I turn the page in the calendar to December, I wonder “where did this year go.”  But like many, I have more than once thought “when will this year end?”  It is easy for each of us to be burdened with the stress and uncertainty of 2020.  But as the year closes, I choose to look forward to a more hopeful 2021 and reflect on many positives that 2020 has created. Personally, I am extremely grateful for the unexpected gifts that arrived this year in the form of growth opportunities, successful graduates accomplishing their goals in extraordinary circumstances, and the contributions of our MIAT community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and employer partners.  

Here is a quick review of some of the initiatives and developments that made a positive impact on our Houston campus in 2020:

  • Over 200 students successfully graduated this year through on-campus and online modes of instruction.
  • Despite the pandemic , our new student enrollment continued to climb, with our current Houston campus student population exceeding 600 compared with a population of close to 450 in 2019 . (In 2015, only 45 students were attending MIAT Houston, which means we have grown by well over 100 percent in just five years!)
  • Every one of our programs grew, which means that our school is addressing the critical need for essential training for essential workers in categories deemed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as “critical infrastructure” and transportation. Skilled workers can turn to MIAT for career and technical education  in the areas of aviation maintenance; welding; wind power; energy;  non-destructive testing;  and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR). 
  • Cleaning and sanitizing our Houston physical space has become one of our highest priorities.  We have added staff and equipment to help with this initiative including new disinfecting sprayers, a new air filtration system on the campus, and plexiglass barriers for students and staff as well as making many areas contactless.   
  • Technology became our instructional “life preserver,” enabling our instructors and students to continually engage in online learning even while fully remote; as well as streamlining our admissions, financial aid, and payment processes.
  • Our Welding Technology program has added new equipment to accommodate up to 49 students in both morning and evening classes.
  • We successfully launched our Non-Destructive Testing program, with over 40 students enrolled in 2020.
  • We identified and hired new instructors for our NDT, Welding, and Aviation Maintenance Programs.
  • We have continued to receive donations of new and used equipment from our employer partners.
  • Twice this year we have conducted highly productive virtual Program Advisory Committee meetings for all  our programs
  • We have continued to focus on supporting our community by working on causes such as Women in Aviation International’s Aviation for Girls App and  the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink Campaign, through which we raised more than $5,000 for breast cancer research and treatment.

In 2021, we are excited to be launching our Robotics and Automation Technician program. We are also in the process of finalizing details to support a scholarship program with a widely popular foundation focused on skilled trades education and training. So, stay tuned for more information to come early next year.

Our students will be on break for the holidays starting Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Instruction will resume on Monday, January 4, 2021.  Administrative offices will be open normal times except for December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1.   Individuals wanting to start school can do so on January 12.  We are enrolling now, and I encourage you to reach out to our admission office to learn more. Please visit www.miat.edu for more information.

As this memorable year draws to a close, my sincere wish for everyone is that you take a moment and take stock of what you have learned this year and the accomplishments you have achieved.   Everyone has his or her own story to tell of 2020.  

I hope your holidays will be filled with a hopeful spirit, the wonder of a child, and the attitude that anything is possible for those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.   I wish you, your family, friends, and neighbors a blessed holiday season and the peace and hopefulness that a New Year brings.  

I welcome your comments, questions, and feedback. Please contact me any time via email at JWillis@miat.edu.

U.S Military Veterans are Always Welcome at MIAT College of Technology and Can Become  “Workplace Ready” in Less than a Year


By Jennifer Paugh, Canton campus president, and John Willis, Houston campus president

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp)

With its origin dating back to the end of World War I, Veterans Day is officially celebrated each year on November 11. MIAT College of Technology campuses in Canton near Detroit and in Houston will be closed this Wednesday in honor of all U.S. military veterans.  (more…)

Committing to community engagement in October. Supporting Girls in Aviation and The Real Men Wear Pink Campaign


By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

Being a good community partner should be the goal of every organization.  With the onset of Covid-19, it is even more critical that we support our local and national non-profit organizations as many companies have been unable to keep up that support.  MIAT continues to make community engagement a focus.  As a part of the aviation community, we know that supporting females in their pursuit of a skilled trade and also focusing on their health and wellbeing is critical for us.  That’s why MIAT has committed to being a Contributing Partner with Women In Aviation International for the  recent launch of the Aviation for Girls App and why I have agreed for the second year in a row, to serve as a fundraiser for the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign to support the American Cancer Society during the month of October.

The reality of this pandemic is impacting everyone, and the “new normal” is continually evolving.  Normally, Women in Aviation International hosts an Girls in Aviation Day across the United States and in many other countries.  But with restraints due to COVID-19, Women in Aviation International has tapped into innovation, technology, and key relationships with strategic sponsors and partners to introduce the Aviation for Girls app so that the organization can host this event virtually.  In past years, MIAT has sponsored  Girls in Aviation Day in-person events designed to encourage girls to pursue a career in aviation. Our faculty, staff and students have demonstrated tools and techniques used for aircraft to groups of girls at Lone Star Flight Museum in 2018 and at Hooks Airport in north Houston in 2019.  This year, MIAT team members will contribute our experience and perspectives with written tips and short videos that will be incorporated into the free Aviation for Girls App. This app launched on Saturday, Sept. 26 – the original date that was set aside for Girls in Aviation Day events all over the world. (more…)

A Few Thoughts on Labor Day, Back to School Timing and Equipping Essential Workers!


By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

Labor Day is more than just a legal holiday, more than the signal of summer’s end, and more than the beginning of a new school year. This national holiday honoring the American worker has been observed on the first Monday of September in the United States since President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into law on June 28, 1894. Along with most  schools  and businesses of all types in  the United States, MIAT will be closed in observance of Labor Day this year on Monday Sept 7th.    As an institution that is proud of our ongoing contribution to the American Skilled Trades work force, we know that Labor Day is much more than a “day off on a Monday in September.” As we prepare to enter another Labor Day weekend, it is important to reflect on the meaning of Labor Day, its origins, its association with back to school timing, and the role of career schools like MIAT in training and educating essential workers. (more…)

2020 High Schools Grads are Most Welcome at MIAT College of Technology for Essential Workforce Training

By John Willis, MIAT Houston Campus President

The year 2020 certainly will  be memorable  because of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.  As a career college administrator for over 20 years, I have been especially concerned about the 2020 high school grads and how they are faring in this era of uncertainty about their health, safety, higher education options, and employment outlook. This crisis has hit many 2020 high school seniors especially hard — not only in the greater Houston area, but across the nation. For the 2020 high school graduates, they will likely remember this year as one of “missed opportunities and memories.” Most were not able to complete their last few critical months of their “traditional” high school experience  that often help shape their next steps.  Critical interactions with teachers and counselors were unable to take place.  On top of that, recent high school grads have missed out on the  “rights of passages”  from their high school days to the next phase of their life – such as attending senior prom, walking the stage in a cap and gown at their commencement ceremony to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” being guests of honor at celebratory parties with large numbers of family and friends, or taking senior trips. 

At MIAT, we understand that for young people in the 16 to 20 age range, making decisions about  which college or career and technical education program to attend or whether to work part-time or full-time straight out of high is especially stressful any year – but even more so this year. For the past several months, our Admissions Department, which is led by Chad Rogers, has been having numerous conversations with recent high school grads, their parents and mentors to help them discern the best path forward. To that end,  I am pleased to welcome 20 recent high school grads to our Houston campus programs with an estimated 80 to 100 more  recent high school grads expected to enroll in our Houston campus programs in our Fall class session. During their transition to college, we are here to provide them and all our students exceptional guidance and support in the  form of orientation to our online learning platform, tutoring, financial assistance, housing assistance and other services that they may need from us now or in the future. (more…)

We are Back, Better and Stronger Together!


By Jennifer Paugh, MIAT Canton Campus President, and John Willis, MIAT Houston Campus President

For college administrators, it is reasonable to assume that the last three months of the Covid-19 pandemic have been some of the most difficult of their careers. Long days and sleepless nights have been physically and emotionally draining. That said, we are and always will be committed to working together as one, united MIAT College of Technology to do what is needed to continue to deliver the career training that our students and employers who hire our graduates expect from us. 

We are extremely proud to see how resilient and resourceful our faculty, staff and students at both campuses have been throughout this experience   —  first, transitioning within less than two weeks  to a 100 percent remote instruction platform on March 30 and then re-opening  our campuses over the last month to allow for small group lab instruction.  We are operational now and for the foreseeable future in new and creative ways. And, most important of all, we are back together safely with the help of technology and strict health and safety protocols. We are better and stronger together because of this shared, disruptive growth experience.

Our journey to reopening both campuses with care, compassion and compliance is the subject of an article that we submitted for the current issue of Career Education Review, which was mailed recently to subscribers. Our article will also be posted online by editor Jenny Faubert in early July. We encourage you to access the Career Education Review Web site (CareerEducationReview.net) to learn more about what we and other article contributors are saying regarding our experiences with adjusting to life, work, and career and technical education in the “new normal.” We are especially grateful to Jenny for this opportunity to share our insights and perspectives with her readers, fans and followers throughout the United States. (more…)

Aviation Mechanics are Needed in this Time of Crisis

During times of crisis or the grounding of planes, many think that aviation mechanics would not be in demand. Actually, the opposite is true. As many airlines park planes, the aviation mechanic is still widely used to service the planes as they are grounded. Aviation mechanics are also needed to service all of the planes, helicopters and light aircraft that the government agencies, police, emergency rescue, military and private jet companies are still using amid this crisis. Aviation mechanics are still in high demand, even during this crisis.


How Do I Get Started in HVACR?

Interested in learning more about how to get started in HVACR? During an HVACR program, you will learn all about HVACR systems. This program will also prepare you to get certification in the field. This certification will help you get started in a rewarding career offering HVACR services to both residential and commercial spaces. Be a part of the revolution, striving to help heat and cool the citizens of the planet in an energy efficient way.