The fact of the matter is airlines offer the courses/apprenticeships to gain B licensed engineers. With this qualification and type-ratings you can legally work on aircraft. Airlines want B licensed engineers, there is no other route in and there is nothing wrong with the 3 year B licensed route otherwise what's the point in airlines offering it and spending all the money on training people?
I'll try again.
The point I am trying to make is that you are dismissing the apprenticeship that does not necessarily get you a 'B' without considering what it will get you.
By the way you do not need a licence to legally work on a/c.
Aircraft mechanics do the work whether they are 'A' licensed or not. If they have the 'A' licence plus appropriate type training then they can cerify some of their own work. A 'B' licence plus appropriate type training means you can certify other people's work.
Apply for the lot but if the only offer you get is the apprenticeship that 'may' get you an 'A' Licence then grab it with both hands.
Sorry, yes I phrased that badly, legally work and certify their work is what I meant. I have approached Monarch and Flybe asking if they offer fitters jobs but they don't at the moment.
All I'm saying is that from the people I've asked so far, on here and through other sources, they have all said to gain a B licence ASAP. I've not turned round and specifically said no to monarch, I have been in contact with Monarchs training department in the last couple of weeks getting information from them I am just assessing my options and trying to find out what routes I can take. I can't help it that I have a preference of doing a three year licence because as far as I've been told and made aware you can still get jobs through those apprenticeships.
As pretty much everyone else has advised, finish your degree. You may be surprised how many jobs open up with that, and "office" jobs in this business don't tend to keep you behind a desk for very much of the day. Aviation engineering is very much real world based and you will find you're out and about and talking to the people twirling the spanners as a matter of course.
If you are determined to go hands-on read this as a starting point:
NOTE the ELGD has now been superseded but if you google round it you can find the regs. It remains a good basic guide to the requirements to become a licensed engineer. In your case without an apprenticeship you are looking at passing the modular exams plus accumulating 5 years hands-on experience recorded in the CAP741 log book. If you can get on the books of a contract agency you can get the hands-on stuff going, don't bother applying to airlines direct as they are all cutting back. Going connie is the safest bet as long as you're prepared to be flexible where you work. The first step on the ladder is hardest so maybe find a local flying school in the uni holidays and offer to help out for free in return for some spannering experience. Once you're working you can study for the exams, I did mine at Barry College self study, just bear in mind there is a specified window of validity to complete them.
Sorry for the slow reply, been a very busy time at uni building up to hand-in day for a major piece of coursework.
I've heard that Flybe are cutting a lot of jobs but to be honest the UK at the moment isn't rich in vacancies, I have been looking abroad but not much help so far but I'll keep emailing away.
I have looked at Bristow in the past and would consider it but in all honesty I'm not overly interested in the civil helicopter route however as a last resort I would be willing to take that route to get the career I want.
Dodo56: Thanks for the link I have been keeping an eye on the CAA and EASA websites and I've already got my logbook and begun filling it in with the small amount of experience I have gained so far. I have managed to get a 4 day placement during the holidays so hoepfully I can add to the logbook.
Fixing engine problem in a freezing February. Large fixed wing, freeze nuts off outside for several hours and feel ill for several days. Helicopter, drag aircraft in to hangar, turn the heating up and go for a coffee. Fix at leisure.
Finish you BEng and find a job that will finance you through flight training. Honestly, its a much better career route
Ironically I did just that, even graduating from the same University (Liverpool) in Engineering. However after 4 years flying, latterly as a 737 FO, I decided there was a lot more to life and 5 years ago jacked it all in and even left a few burnt bridges.
Okay, so a year to go and pending any emails that I might get a reply to I now see that Monarch may be my best option, as other airlines who said there might be a chance have said that there now won't be.
So in February/March I'll be applying. Has anyone got any tips or info on what is required during the application process with regards to the two assessment visits and interview?
Also do MAEL use an "own tool" system or are they centrally pooled within in the company? Just wondering if I need to start investing in some tools.
I work in Prestwick, and i can tell you that Ayrshire is booming with aircraft jobs.
Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance Ltd (PAML) are a company who employ around 6-12 apprentices a year for their B1/B2 scheme. They are based at Prestwick Airport and send you to Ayr College to complete your modules. Details of jobs can be found through the Ryanair website around this time each year, depending on when they announce the scheme.
Elsewhere, British Airways and Loganair at Glasgow Airport also offer schemes every now and then as well. Again they would send you to Ayr College to do the modules.
I wouldn't give up on your degree though, it can only be seen as an advantage overall. I mean, is there really the need to place a lot of emphasis upon it in interviews etc.?
I wouldn't think so. The one thing that may be against you is age if anything. Generally PAML is cheap labour, as you'll be performing all the tasks of an engineer/mechanic and earning peanuts. About 6k a year comes to mind when I applied.
Lastly, I was like you when I was at college, wanted to be a licenced engineer and didn't want a desk job. But now, I can tell you that it isn't as bad as you would think. I've been working for little over a year in an Engineering Support company and the job has been great, so don't write off graduate positions in the office either!
Hope that helps, if you wish any more information just let me know.
Funnily enough... I'm in Australia at the moment for the British and Irish Lions Tour and whilst in the pub last night watching the Brumbies match I bumped into a Scot who was an engineer. Whilst in Scotland he worked for GE for the engine maintenance at Prestwick and told me aviation jobs are increasing up there.
The issue would be trying to relocate after Uni up to Scotland next year on the income of an apprentice, Monarch I think are offering 10K starting salary for an apprentice and it's in Birmingham so that's a huge benefit for me.
Thanks for your help though, I'll take a look into PAML and see what they can offer and see if moving up there is a viable option.
dieseldo: I am wondering, is it a relatively easy switch to go from helicopters to fixed wing LAE? I understand that there are extra exams to sit to swap over but is it something that has been, and can be done to go to an airline for example?
That should hopefully explain a little bit, although the applications expired years ago.
This kind of opprortunity pops up anually.
And yes the money isn't ideal especially with the factor of relocation, but once qualified the figures are quite astounding. I have also heard something about Thomson recently (apologies if it has already been mentioned in this thread).
Failing that keep an eye on the BAE Systems website for opportunities, it's a desk job, but I love it!
I did it the other way round, went helicopter to big fixed wing. Spent 8 years (the lost years) on Boeings and Airbus then returned to helicopters. Should have done only 4 years but it was good money for old rope money so I carried on long after terminal boredom had kicked in.
The conversion exams are not a problem, where the problem lies is the cultural differences. I did the change late in my career and I think it would have been easier if I had been younger. I always felt behind the pace in comparison with the guys who had trained and developed within the big fixed wing world.
Well I have made it to my final year now and it's started off well with me being contacted on linkedin out of the blue about a flight operations assistant job. As for B1 licence a window does seem to be opening with a potential visit to an airport and maintenance hangar after being invited to talk about careers! It seems that my efforts with the Blog, LinkedIn and PPRuNe are starting to pay off this year! I am not ruling out graduate opportunities yet, I'm just a bit wary of them, so I will be making enquiries into those avenues.
Just want to say thanks for the advice and help I've got off here as it's been part of the reason I have kept faith in a B1 career path rather than giving up at the first signs of me taking the wrong route. I'm leaving options open however, in terms of looking into Airline/Airport Operations jobs too as they are another career path that interests me, but I definitely haven't given up on the B1 route and fully intend to apply to Monarch at BHX depending on any other jobs offers I find.
So once again thank you for the help! I have found that since posting this I have had various people contact me on LinkedIn and on here asking for my help on what I have found out. Including people from other countries and I have been able to help point them in the right directions so even if I don't go into a B1 career path I now know a lot more on how it all works and have a greater knowledge of airline structure than I would have done otherwise, plus some great work experience to boost my CV!