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Some important information when looking for mechanic jobs in the military for civilians. Being a civilian mechanic in the armed forces is a great way to build your resume while helping out your country. There will always be a need for people who have some experience fixing both vehicles and aircraft since today’s military is heavily reliant on these modes of transportation. Becoming a civilian mechanic in the military early on in your career can benefit you in several different ways, namely:
- You will receive specialized training for the type of vehicle or aircraft you will primarily be working with.
- The pay is quite a bit better compared to starting wages at an airport or car repair shop.
- Expanded employment options both in the military and in civilian life once you are done.
- Unique experience that will stand out to future employers.
Equipment-specific training: Whats relevant to finding mechanic jobs in the military for civilians?
Aircraft and vehicles in the military are somewhat the same as what you would find in civilian life. The Humvees and other government owned cars and trucks aren’t much different than what you might see driving down the road in any major city. There are some vehicles however that are very different than what you would encounter day to day back at home. Being a tank mechanic or working on APCs will have you dealing with special situations which require vehicle-specific knowledge. The military will train you to work with these kinds of vehicles, and probably many other kinds as well.
One especially useful line of work as a mechanic is being able to service airplanes and helicopters. This kind of training will take you a long way in getting a job back home, as any major airport, and the majority of airlines, all need mechanics who can do routine maintenance and fix any problems a plane might have. Since this kind of knowledge is so specialized, you should have no problem finding a job as an airplane or helicopter mechanic once you are done with your military contract.
Salary as a civilian mechanic in the military
One of the nicest parts about having a military contact as a civilian is that you will likely be paid more than if you worked in a shop in the U.S. If you sign on to be a mechanic in a place that might be classified as high risk, you will make even more. As a regular diesel mechanic, you can expect to make around $55k a year starting as a civilian overseas. Hazard pay and other expenses that are covered in your contract can bump this up considerably. Your pay will be higher if you have more experience or have had a military contract before.
Aircraft mechanics who have a contract with the military will start out at around $80k a year and it goes up from there. Experienced mechanics in places like Afghanistan can easily clear $100k a year. The salary is higher than it would be in a regular civilian job because it does take an extra commitment to take anywhere from a couple of months to a year to complete your contract. Once you’ve completed your first contract, it shouldn’t be too difficult to sign up again, since you probably will not need re-trained.
More options to work after your contract is up.
Once you have completed your first contract, you will generally be able to get another contract fairly easily as positions for mechanics pop up quite a bit. If you end up working on the same kinds of vehicles or aircraft as your first time, you can expect to be paid more since you should already know what you are doing. You will probably also have the pick of the assignments you want since you will have some seniority over people who are just signing up for the first time.
Working as a civilian in the military also puts you in a great position to get a job back home if you decide you don’t want to work on contract anymore. Having the necessary skills to succeed as a jet engine mechanic can get you work at pretty much any major airport in the U.S. If your specialty was helicopters, you’re probably going to end up being able to find a job relatively quickly if you live in a metropolitan area since being a helicopter mechanic is a pretty specialized job.
Having military experience as a civilian contractor looks great on a resume.
With the experience you gain working as a military contractor, as mentioned before, it shouldn’t be hard to find a job in the States. For some jobs however there may be several applicants all competing for one spot. Having a stint as a military contractor on your resume is going to help you stand out from the crowd since they know that you are able to work in demanding conditions for extended periods of time. With most military contracts, the hours you work will be fairly long compared to civilian hours, this reflects well on you in the eyes of employers because it means that you would be physically able to work those kinds of hours if necessary, or possibly be called in if you’re needed when you’re off.
Aircraft companies also look highly on mechanics who have completed a military civilian contract because it makes it that much easier for you to obtain a security clearance if you needed to get one in order to work on some specialized aircraft. People who have worked with aircraft in the field have a better understanding about what can cause something to go wrong and what the common problems might be with a specific aircraft, and the best way to fix it.
Getting a mechanic job as a military contractor is a great way to break into the field of aircraft maintenance or getting hired on by a defense contractor in the U.S. The training you receive should go a long way in furthering your career, while at the same time allowing you to earn more than you normally would and end up with a great shot at getting a nice job back home.