The first step to obtaining your FAA A&P Certificate after military service.
That is the question that many ask time and time again. Why does it matter? What does it bring me? It’s just a license to learn, right? Does it satisfy your personal goals?These are all things that are constantly brought out into a conversation when discussing FAA Airframe and PowerPlant Certifications. So, let’s take a few minutes and break this down.
Why does it matter?
In this first question it should be reversed to “Why does it matterto you?” It is true that there are many jobs that exist within the world that you can maintain aircraft without having an FAA Certification. However, is that where you want to be? Is that the market that you want to stay in? Even the military is slowly requiring FAA A&P certification to maintain their newer aircraft. Why? Previously aircraft were designed and developed specifically for public use. This meant that they did not have to have Federal Regulation requirements met during their engineering process. The military would pay to have aircraft developed, tested, and purchased outside of the civil aviation realm. Well, those days are gone. Manufactures are no longer handedmoney and told to start a new project. Now manufactures develop andengineer aircraft on their own dime. This means that they satisfy two markets simultaneously, they design the aircraft to civil and military requirements at the same time. They certify the aircraft for civil use, and then produce a military model based on that civil design. Therefore, civil certification for maintenance is becoming more of a requirement. The military may want to sell that aircraft in the future and they want it to have civil value and maintenance records to back up that value. Thus, the requirement for certified maintenance technicians. Obtaining your A&P should be of value to you. It should be a goal that you want to reach. No, it will not guarantee you a job. It will however hold open doors that would otherwise be closed to you. There may be a day when you have the experience and the knowledge, and a friend calls you to offer you a new exciting career. That is not the time you should be wishing you had your A&P.
What does it bring me?
Obtaining your A&P is the foundation of other certifications that may now be available to you. There are more to be obtained in the aviation maintenance industry. Once you have met the requirements Inspection Authorization (IA) can now be an option. After that Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) might be a goal. If you are more daring Designated Maintenance Examiner (DME) may be in your sights. These are things that many don’t think about or even set as a goal. Even from the income value stand point the A&P can be the beginning of your entrepreneur adventure. Once again reiterating the point that more doors will be open and available to you. There may byopportunities that you may miss or not be qualified for.
Does it satisfy your personal goals?
There are many factors that will come into play about whether youget your A&P. I have put together 3 more articles to assist in laying out the path to complete that goal. The most important question to ask yourself is, what is your overall goal for your maintenance career? If your goal is to have the most opportunities within aviation maintenance, then the next article will show you the requirements andassist you on your path of getting the right information.