Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) qualification is provided by training schools and organizations. Aircraft engineering has three main directions to specialize in: mechanical, avionics and structures. Mechanical engineers (“M” rating) work with aircraft engines, hydraulics, fuel, electrical flight controls, undercarriage, braking systems, cabin pressurization and more. Engineers in avionics (“E” rating) work on aircraft electrical, navigation, instrument and communication systems. Finally, structures engineers (“S” rating) repair parts of the aircraft body and work with materials, ranging from aluminum and other aircraft-grade metals to carbon fiber reinforced polymers. In the United States of America qualification for aircraft maintenance is referred as Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) and is commonly known as Airframe and Powerplant (A&P).
After completed courses, basic training and acquired certificate, aircraft maintenance engineer can get employed by domestic and international airlines, approved aircraft maintenance organizations, aerospace companies as well as military. Moreover, there is an option to advance further and become a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME). To qualify and apply for a license, you must gain required technical training, have sufficient experience in aviation MRO environment and successfully pass examinations. There are five aircraft maintenance license categories: A, B1, B2, B3, C, but the major ones include category B1 (mechanical) and category B2 (avionics). An aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) works under the supervision of a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (LAME). Therefore, LAME not only conducts inspections and troubleshooting of aircraft systems/structures, but also coordinates work of other engineers, makes sure that tasks were carried under required standards and the aircraft is safe to operate.
In addition to previous working experience, certifications and licenses, most employers usually specify some extra requirements for aircraft maintenance engineers with following being the most frequent:
willingness to travel internationally for short-term training;
willingness to work in shift pattern (as well as night shifts and weekends);
valid driving license and passport;
fluent in English (written and spoken),
other foreign languages would be an advantage;
able to obtain a clear Criminal Record Check prior to employment;
preferences for type ratings and experience logbook depend on particular employer;