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What is your REAL job?

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
I just finished my sophomore year and my parents are bugging me to choose a career. I know I want to something in the aircraft industry, but I do not want a desk job. I like the idea of being a airplane mechanic but do not know all the details. I also looked into aeronautical engineering but found on it from an emergency room doctor who used to be one that he was at a desk more than I would like to be. What are some hands on jobs in the field of aircraft that are very hands on. I am up to the challenge but I just do not know enough to make a decision at this time.
It might sound a little lame but join the AirForce. They have a range of "Hands On" careers and they provide full training!

Ex AirForce. (Australia), here!

Have fun!
 

Hoomi

Well-known member
I just finished my sophomore year and my parents are bugging me to choose a career. I know I want to something in the aircraft industry, but I do not want a desk job. I like the idea of being a airplane mechanic but do not know all the details. I also looked into aeronautical engineering but found on it from an emergency room doctor who used to be one that he was at a desk more than I would like to be. What are some hands on jobs in the field of aircraft that are very hands on. I am up to the challenge but I just do not know enough to make a decision at this time.
I was in a similar situation, many years ago. I ended up joining the USAF Reserve during my Senior year in High School, with the schedule to go to Basic Training and Tech School after graduation.

Even 42 years ago, many people (including my school counselor) were aghast that I would "waste my potential" in the military, instead of going to college. My recruiter put me in for Avionics Navigation Systems, meaning I was trained in radar, navigation radios (including Tacan, VOR, ADF, and radar altimeter), and IFF systems. This field was a decently balanced electronics program, and once my Tech School was finished, I worked primarily on C-141 Starlifter aircraft.

With that electronics education and the job experience from the Air Force, I was hired by a DoD contractor, starting as an electronic test operator on missile hardware. After a year and a half at that, I applied for Test Equipment Maintenance, and have been steadily employed in that field ever since (over 38 years now), making decent wages.

The Air Force isn't quite as easy to get into these days, as I understand there is actually a waiting list to get in, but most branches of the military have aircraft that need maintenance. The Navy has the best schools, as Navy personnel are likely to be assigned to a ship, where there isn't an entire base full of more experienced techs to help them learn. Unlike college, military service is paid training, guaranteed job after training, housing, food, and health care. The down side is, you are obligated to service, which may include being sent someplace less than desirable (and sometimes, downright dangerous). And, if you get aircraft maintenance training, you are GOING to work on airplanes. I'm not sure what the current programs are, but there have been programs throughout the years, offering tuition assistance for pursuing a college education during or after military service as well.

If you do explore the possibility of military training, take this admonition seriously. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! DO NOT take the recruiter's promise without having it spelled out in your enlistment contract. If it's not in writing, you may not get what you signed up for, and instead, you may find yourself with a job that (1) you hate, and (2) has no market outside the military.

Not everyone is suited for the military (and that isn't stated as a put-down to those who aren't), but it does offer excellent options to the college/job hunt route. All these years later, I do not regret having made that decision instead of going to college after high school.
 
Unsurprising that there are a lot of engineers here. :p

I'm a contract game developer. I tend to specialize in graphics, simulation, and other programming that requires math or optimization that other people don't want to do. (Job security!) I started a business with a college buddy of mine in 2009, and we've been doing that ever since. We've had some pretty neat game-adjacent projects too like real time photogrametry for ag drones, and music education software that does a lot of audio analysis and machine learning. Currently working on a pair of VR projects for the medical industry.

A few of the recent games we've worked on:
  • I did most of the shaders/effects for Rapala Fishing: Pro Series (youtube)
  • We did the network programming for Treasure Stack: (youtube)
  • I also made an unofficial NES version of Treasure Stack because... assembly programming. :D
  • We self published a PC/Mac/Linux game called Verdant Skies: (youtube)
 

bracesport

Well-known member
I am an industrial designer (creative problem solver) - my dad was an engineer and some of that has rubbed off on me - I like all things mechanical and wish I knew more about ones and zeros!
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
Yep - Air Force, Air National Guard, or Coast Guard will all help you get in the right direction
I am a Field Engineer in the medical industry. I install and maintain MRI and CT scanners. No college degree but I have been going to school my whole life. I started my career way back in the 1970's trained by IBM to service typewriters in the field. Through a constant progression of training opportunities I advanced.

Half of the people I work with have degrees in engineering. The other half got their initial training in the military. I think the field engineers who started out in the military are better prepared. They are taught to get the job done no matter what with whatever resources are available. They have the right aptitude and attitude for field work.

I've been carrying a tool bag my entire life and I love it! :D

Jon