is this a male dominated field?

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chris in San Antonio, Texas

79 months ago

What are your thoughts on women in this career? I am considering it, I've always been mechanically inclined. I'm not really "college type"... would prefer a technical school or trade school. My local community college offers aviation training (Airframe mechanic and whatnot). I need training in something that will provide a decent wage to support my family. Thoughts?

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Sadie in Boise, Idaho

79 months ago

chris in San Antonio, Texas said: What are your thoughts on women in this career? I am considering it, I've always been mechanically inclined. I'm not really "college type"... would prefer a technical school or trade school. My local community college offers aviation training (Airframe mechanic and whatnot). I need training in something that will provide a decent wage to support my family. Thoughts?

I've been an aircraft mechanic for over 25 years and love the job! I was always into my father's tools as a kid and when I joined the Air Force, I decided to go into a non-tradional career as a mechanic. It's the best thing I ever did. I'm no longer in the military, but the training I recieved enabled me to get civilian jobs. So, get your A&P license or join the military. There's plenty of work and the pay is good!

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Sadie in Boise, Idaho

79 months ago

Sadie in Boise, Idaho said: I've been an aircraft mechanic for over 25 years and love the job! I was always into my father's tools as a kid and when I joined the Air Force, I decided to go into a non-tradional career as a mechanic. It's the best thing I ever did. I'm no longer in the military, but the training I recieved enabled me to get civilian jobs. So, get your A&P license or join the military. There's plenty of work and the pay is good!

Also, I forgot to mention that there seems to be a lot more women. It's still male dominate, but I find them easier to get along with than most women.

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chris in San Antonio, Texas

79 months ago

Thank you so much for your reply!

I have another question. How is it on you physically? I know various jobs have the possibility of hurting your back, neck, whatever. Even typing with carpal tunnel... but would you say this career is "hard on the body"? Is there heavy lifting? I have an old back injury that occasionally rears it's ugly head and causes me pain, in my jobs recently here (pizza cook, convenient store clerk)... where I was on my feet non stop or having to lift lots of stuff.

Of course maybe if I ever had a job with BENEFITS I could go to the doctor (novel thought)...

I would love to join the military but I have poor vision in my left eye. It's correctable but wouldn't that keep me out of the AF?

I am 32 btw.

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Sadie in Boise, Idaho

79 months ago

Hi! I'm glad to be of some help.

I've had back and neck pain since I was in my early teens and this job has definitely taken a toll on me; but I think any job would do that. I haven't ever had much heavy lifting, but standing on a stand or ladder all day and working in cramped positions at times. Anyway, it pays well enough for me to affortd to go to the Chiropractor and get massages.

I don't know if your poor vision would keep you out, especially if it's correctable. You could call a recruiter and ask.

BTW, I'm just about 45.

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chris in San Antonio, Texas

79 months ago

LOL that's a great point...having money to go to a chiro vs. working your butt off in pain, with an out of joint shoulder, back problems, mopping and carrying and hustling for $7 an hour with no health insurance! Last time I got desperate and went to the ER's nearby clinic when the boss forced me to go since I was working with one arm at work. Have the $400 bill to show for it and got a paper-fiber sling and a prescription for 800 mg ibuprofen as "treatment" by a doc who told me I had a rotator cuff injury (it's actually nerve damage from a back injury when I was 14). Eventually it stopped hurting on it's own, but no thanks to the doc there.

Yeah, everything I've looked at has "some" toll on the body anyway. Thanks again for the input.

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Sadie in Boise, Idaho

79 months ago

chris in San Antonio, Texas said: LOL that's a great point...having money to go to a chiro vs. working your butt off in pain, with an out of joint shoulder, back problems, mopping and carrying and hustling for $7 an hour with no health insurance! Last time I got desperate and went to the ER's nearby clinic when the boss forced me to go since I was working with one arm at work. Have the $400 bill to show for it and got a paper-fiber sling and a prescription for 800 mg ibuprofen as "treatment" by a doc who told me I had a rotator cuff injury (it's actually nerve damage from a back injury when I was 14). Eventually it stopped hurting on it's own, but no thanks to the doc there.

Yeah, everything I've looked at has "some" toll on the body anyway. Thanks again for the input.

Well, think about what it is that you enjoy doing and find a job that is compatible. I like working with my hands and find being a mechanic very satisfying. When I'm busy, the time flies by and in the end, I see a finished product. Now that's job satisfaction.

I sold real estate for several years and found it very stressfull!!!! You don't have set hours and you always are attached to your cell phone. You only get paid when you close a deal and people can be a real pain in the arse. The more I was around people, the less I liked them. Anytime you deal with the public, you meet all kinds. That was not for me! In maintenance you can be social or stay to yourself.

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13 year veteran in Las Vegas, Nevada

77 months ago

I think more and more women are comming into the field. But I warn you to stay away from Airlines. If you want to be a mechanic, go the General Aviation route. I think it would be more enjoyable, and consistant! I am an airline mech and wish I had gone to GA. I used to love flying, reading about planes, working on them. Now its just a job. No fun anymore. Airlines are just to fickle. They want you to believe your a family member. But when it comes down to it, your just a tool!

Don't let me crush your hopes. Just go General Aviation, and forget about the "glamor" of working on big iron. It's not what it appears!!

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Vicky in Puyallup, Washington

75 months ago

Hello! I am a mechanic in the AF Reserves and now a mechanic for an airplane maufacturing company. I LOVE MY JOB!!! There will always be things that are physically demanding but you'd be suprised how many different ways to do things that wont hurt you. Just be creative! I believe the Air Guard will take people up to 35... I had a lady in my Basic Training unit that was 31. Get in quick to see a recuiter. Join us! :) ~V

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Doogie in Glendale, Arizona

75 months ago

When I was in the Navy we had women working in airframes. There was a pregnant sailor who changed tires on jets. I joined the Navy decades ago and I went in nearsighted (wore glasses).
(hey Vicky, I used to live in Puyallup)

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Diana in Summerville, South Carolina

66 months ago

I am 51 years old and a new aircraft mechanic. How do I overcome worrying about working high up and safety issues? There are a lot of open spaces where we could fall through and it worries me. Growing up in NYC, I do not have a fear of heights, but a lot of my work duties does not seem very safe, so I fear slipping and falling. However, I love the job otherwise and would like to become one of the best. Any suggestions?

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GraceFreer in Black, Alabama

63 months ago

chris in San Antonio, Texas said: What are your thoughts on women in this career? I am considering it, I've always been mechanically inclined. I'm not really "college type"... would prefer a technical school or trade school. My local community college offers aviation training (Airframe mechanic and whatnot). I need training in something that will provide a decent wage to support my family. Thoughts?

Its been hard for me. Ive been an aircraft mechanic for 8 years. Work is great if you don't mind getting dirty. Some guys make it very difficult to the point of hostility. Pay can be great. My advise is to keep a work diary and document every thing. Work you did and any thing that was sexual or hostile. Report it to your lead man on up the chain untill you have results. Keep all emails. One day you will need proof just a matter of time.

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Bonnie in Dothan, Alabama

44 months ago

Diana in Summerville, South Carolina said: I am 51 years old and a new aircraft mechanic. How do I overcome worrying about working high up and safety issues? There are a lot of open spaces where we could fall through and it worries me. Growing up in NYC, I do not have a fear of heights, but a lot of my work duties does not seem very safe, so I fear slipping and falling. However, I love the job otherwise and would like to become one of the best. Any suggestions?

Hi Diana, as far as heights and fear of falling; OSHA requirements are that anything above 4 ft requires the use fall protection. Either a stand with rails or a safety harness. Your company is required by law to provide personal protective equipment. PPE as it is known in the working world. If they don't provide it automatically, ask for it. Only you can truly protect you; by being as careful as possible while doing anything, be it at home or work. SAFETY FIRST is the best rule.

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Kathy in Orlando, Florida

41 months ago

I was married for 25 years, my husband passed and is now neccessary to work, thinking this might be something for me. What school could someone reccommend in the Orlando area? Is 59 too old to consider this field, I'm in great physical shape.

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Leona in Garberville, California

30 months ago

chris in San Antonio, Texas said: Thank you so much for your reply!

I have another question. How is it on you physically? I know various jobs have the possibility of hurting your back, neck, whatever. Even typing with carpal tunnel... but would you say this career is "hard on the body"? Is there heavy lifting? I have an old back injury that occasionally rears it's ugly head and causes me pain, in my jobs recently here (pizza cook , convenient store clerk )... where I was on my feet non stop or having to lift lots of stuff.

Of course maybe if I ever had a job with BENEFITS I could go to the doctor (novel thought)...

I would love to join the military but I have poor vision in my left eye. It's correctable but wouldn't that keep me out of the AF?

I am 32 btw.

I believe the cut off age for the Air Force is 27. :(

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