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Is it still worth doing AME in Australia?

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Is it still worth doing AME in Australia?

Old 3rd Aug 2018, 16:07
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Australia
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Thumbs up Is it still worth doing AME in Australia?

Hi all,

I am fairly new here so if you have come across a topic that directly relates to this thread, please let me know

I am 24 years old and same as most of you, loves planes, the feeling of flying and the view above the sky.

I have been (thoroughly) thinking of taking up an apprenticeship in AME and was wondering (in your opinion) if it would still be in demand by the time I finish it, say 4 to 5 years?
I had a look on a couple of case study in regards to the future of Aviation in Australia and as they all say, Oz would need thousands of pilots and maintenance engineers to keep up with the number of planes being manufactured and delivered.
I also found out that at the moment, AME is one of the many skill shortages in Australia according to jobs.gov

If so, would you recommend getting CERT IV from AVIATION AUSTRALIA first before landing an apprenticeship, or better off start knocking on doors? As of now, I work as a clerk at Airnorth.


I read from some threads previous years ago that some AME and LAME are discouraging people to take up this apprenticeship and labelled it " a waste of time" because of CASA regulations, low pay(?), and "no end to it" thus got me thinking about it because I don't want to waste my resources, specially, my time if I would not make a living out of it. Sort of like an investment, I'd say.


Thank you for your comments!
SkysDLimit is offline  
Old 3rd Aug 2018, 19:16
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida USA
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If you want to fix airplanes don't waist your time and money in Australia the CASA license is useless everywhere in the World. Plus there is zero aviation in Australia. Either go to a training school in UK for Eu License or United States Training school and get FAA A&P then you can work anywhere in the world.
4 Holer is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2018, 01:18
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Join Date: Oct 2017
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After around 30 years in the game much of that as a LAME in GA. I would not have changed a thing, I made some good money sometimes and ok money often. I worked in a few countries and had good fun.

If I had to start again now - I would not play this game, certainly not in Australia. Pay and conditions are a race to the bottom, in part driven by labour hire sham contracting.

From memory I seem to recall Airnorth engineers were pretty well paid & certainly Bristow Helicopters seem to be the highest paid (GA type ops) - my list shows Bristow pays about double the worst paying company for a LAME $64,300 vs $125,200 for a comparable licence with an average of $81,000.

I was getting around $80,000 in the year 2000, I am getting less than that now.
Bend alot is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2018, 02:05
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Australia
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Do not bother with a Cert IV as it does not give an outcome that will enable you to get a licence, and don't do a course without an apprenticeship.

You need to do a diploma to get a licence.

Start knocking on doors is the best way.
Kiwiconehead is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2018, 04:25
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Perth
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Yes go for it - if you are passionate.

After 20 of years in the industry (mostly GA) I can say I loved every minute of it. The shortage of engineers will only get worse for at least the next 10 years thanks to the retirement rate and lack of new people coming in at the bottom. Even bend a lots "minimum LAME wage" of 64k PA is above the average national wage.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2018/06/08/average-australian-wages-revealed/

like the others I suggest door knocking before you fork out a fortune at AA.
Progressive is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2018, 05:04
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Originally Posted by Progressive View Post
After 20 of years in the industry (mostly GA) I can say I loved every minute of it. The shortage of engineers will only get worse for at least the next 10 years thanks to the retirement rate and lack of new people coming in at the bottom. Even bend a lots "minimum LAME wage" of 64k PA is above the average national wage.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/fin...ages-revealed/

like the others I suggest door knocking before you fork out a fortune at AA.
Fair comment but what would be the average tradesman national wage?
The shortage of engineers is being plugged by new staff that are not engineers LAME to AME/Apprentice rates are growing. Also flying other than airlines is reducing.
64K in Darwin or Sydney is probably livable as a single guy never wanting to own a house and having kids.

Darwin actually pays LAME's pretty good in general under individual agreements - Sydney have many EBA's that are not that much more than the $64K and certainly lower than $70K.

The Modern Award is a pretty low bar, a few ads for LAME's with no takers for the low pay opens the door to foreign workers on visas. If they make the case it can lead to permanent residency there is a very large number of really good workers from a number of countries that would jump at the chance. South Africa springs to mind, it will be a standard of living drop but less chance of being shot for your BMW or phone.
Bend alot is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2018, 09:27
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Originally Posted by Bend alot View Post
I was getting around $80,000 in the year 2000, I am getting less than that now.
As far as I am aware, East Coast between Sydney and Brisbane you would struggle to employ a GA LAME (Group 1 aircraft) for less than $90k. They just are not falling out of trees.
haydnc is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2018, 10:26
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Originally Posted by haydnc View Post
As far as I am aware, East Coast between Sydney and Brisbane you would struggle to employ a GA LAME (Group 1 aircraft) for less than $90k. They just are not falling out of trees.
Sorry just going off the EBA's listed on the ALAEA web site - 3 companies in Sydney are sub $70K inc RFDS, some are redacted so hard to know.

I dont disagree in general with your comment, but they will be for a good LAME and on an Individual Contract. There are also some good AME's getting +$70K in the same area you talk about.
Bend alot is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2018, 08:12
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Adeliade
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How about talking to the guys in the hangar. Then the chief eng. Im sure if you show an interest and as your already employed by airnorth they set you in the right diection. Sure its not the best paying gig but you will learn alot that may take you else where.
before you start looking at cert 4 i would try and get some time on the floor and see if your actually suited and enjoy it before you make any decision
Connedrod is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2018, 22:26
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I'd recommend it to anyone mate. There is going to be a massive shortage of LAMEs and AMEs in 5 years time.
ALAEA Fed Sec is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2018, 08:06
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: The land Down Under
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The problem is that the time it takes you to go from nothing to LAME on average is about 8 years. While everyone keeps on talking about a shortage, it is ultimately the old LAME's who keep hanging in the industry because at the end of the day it is not hard work unlike other industries. There is always that threat of retirement, but until they all start dropping off we will never see a shortage.
theozguru is offline  

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