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Career change: Cat A and Self-study

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Career change: Cat A and Self-study

Old 19th Nov 2023, 09:16
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Career change: Cat A and Self-study

Hi all,

I'm a robotics engineer offshore and wish to move into aircraft engineering. I don't have an apprenticeship - made the mistake of a uni degree instead - but have a year of Part 147 rotary maintenance experience logged under CAP 147.

It seems the most expeditious way forward is to self-study A modules and build 3 years experience, then go Cat B down the line. I keep reading about the Part 147 Cat A 6 month course but no organisation seems to offer it?

Would appreciate your thoughts - cheers!
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Old 24th Nov 2023, 17:47
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Originally Posted by nextural
Hi all,

I'm a robotics engineer offshore and wish to move into aircraft engineering. I don't have an apprenticeship - made the mistake of a uni degree instead - but have a year of Part 147 rotary maintenance experience logged under CAP 147.

It seems the most expeditious way forward is to self-study A modules and build 3 years experience, then go Cat B down the line. I keep reading about the Part 147 Cat A 6 month course but no organisation seems to offer it?

Would appreciate your thoughts - cheers!
Are you wanting to move into the rotary wing side of things or fixed wing? Any particular place in the UK you want to be? Do you want to actually go into a 'hands-on' role or a support role?

There is definitely a shortage of aircraft engineers in the UK at the moment, which has been highlighted even more now that the UK has left EASA, making it harder for UK firms to recruit, as the large pool from Europe has all but dried up.
If you want to actually go down the hands-on route and get an A and then B licence, I would suggest applying to someone like BA, as they are always pretty short of engineers and are actively recruiting. Don't get too hung up on the fact you might not have an aviation engineering background. They are looking with anyone with an 'engineering type' skillset who is keen to learn and with your background in robotics you probably have a good knowledge of digital systems and how they interface with real-world uses which is a useful skillset to have with the newer generation of aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. The easiest way to get in is at mechanic grade and then you can apply to do your modules in house [which they actively encourage] through a combination of courses at their training school and self-study so you don't have to pay for module courses. Once you have all the modules for either an A or B licence, you will also need to have all the required experience which will mean filling in a PER [Personal Experience Record] book covering a wide multitude of tasks and only after that is all your paperwork submitted to the UK CAA for the issue of either an A or B licence. After that you can apply to be promoted into the Technician grade [A] or the LAE grade [B] and the company will also send you on type courses [again you don't have to pay] as it is in their interest to have as many engineers who can certify their own work as possible. Be aware though, like all aircraft engineer hands-on jobs, shift working is always required and that will include a lot of un-social hours working [and the shift pay isn't that brilliant]

If you were thinking of going into a support role, then BA also have a graduate engineer program where they recruit graduates and then train them on specific aircraft types or systems in the support role. Again the recruits are not always from an aircraft background. These support type jobs are harder to get into though as the number of staff recruited is a lot smaller.

Last edited by MAC 40612; 24th Nov 2023 at 23:33.
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