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Aircraft Maintenance Traineeship vs Apprenticeship

  • 07-05-2021 6:07pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3

    Hi all,

    I'm working towards a B1 license and I understand that a traineeship (cat A) or an apprenticeship must be completed first.

    I have no experience whatsoever but have completed the B1 exams and have an engineering degree through a college course that was catering for those who wanted to obtain a cat C license 'through the academic route.' Why did I do that course when I wanted a B1? The short answer is because I knew nothing about experience requirements for the various AM licenses and just decided to finish it off.

    I have been told that, because I have the B1 exam certs, it is possible for me to obtain a B1 license by doing:

    - a 2 year cat A traineeship and following that up with 2 years experience working as a cat A. (4 years total)


    - a 4 year apprenticeship where I will need to resit the B1 exams (also 4 years total)

    Now, I've heard that the traineeships are somewhat deceptive. I've read some posts on here saying that the only purpose the traineeship programs serve is to ensure there's a constant flow of workers available for doing the ****ty repetitive jobs. Can anyone tell me is that still true, because I in no way want to get sucked into that whole thing.

    Would it be true to say that on paper, completion of an apprenticeship is more respectable/attractive than having done a traineeship + 2 years working as a cat A?

    It's one or the other I suppose and I'm seeking advice on which route I should choose and any insights or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!


  • Registered Users Posts: 481 ✭✭mr.anonymous

    I think the part about traineeships will always be true. You start at the bottom and learn by observing, then helping out the certifying staff. It's a constant flow of staff yes, but those staff move on, get their A and later B certifying privileges.

    Didn't think there was an academic route to a C licence. Do you not need 5 years or something with a B licence first?

    I'm not involved in engineering, but my view is don't go the route whereby you'll repeat the B1 exams. Getting on the tools and get experience as an A tasker.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 1Keyser Sose1

    Thanks for your input. Ya I'm thinking of doing the traineeship as long as I'm not stuck doing the same thing day in day out. I wouldn't mind at all doing the smaller tasks as part of the course, it would be expected, but just don't want to end up doing the same thing day in day out long term.

    IAA website on cat C license:

    "For a Category C obtained through the academic route
    • An academic degree in a technical discipline, from a university or other higher educational institution recognised by the competent authority
    • 3 years of experience working in a civil aircraft maintenance environment on a representative selection of tasks directly associated with aircraft maintenance including 6 months observation of base maintenance tasks"

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 9,336 Mod ✭✭✭✭artanevilla

    My understanding of the Cat C is that it's requirements are such that people without a background actually working physically on airplanes can get a Cat C, you only need one Cat C on an aircraft at base maintenance level but you'll need a few As & Bs to get your tasks done on a C Check say. The Cat C then releases the whole aircraft to service after maintenance. Your Cat C will never touch the airplane during a check, they just oversee the paperwork/tasks the As & Bs do essentially, its a office based role.

    It's highly unlikely any 145 MRO will endorse someone for a Cat C straight out of college, even though that's the minimum requirement.

    You'd be looking at starting off as a maintenance planner or something like that.

    Again thats just my understanding, open to correction!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,979 ✭✭✭Stovepipe

    You need to read the PLAMs on the IAA website. As a former aptce,I wouldn't touch a traineeship with a bargepole. A proper apprenticeship is much,much better as it gives you a broader skill set. You should talk to the airlines' engineering management to see what they have available. The fact that you already have a degree is important. You need experience to finish off your B1 and an airline might take you on, with a view to going into Planning/Engineering management and let you accumulate the relevant experience in the hangar environment,so that when someone needs or wants to embody an airworthiness directive as part of scheduled maintenance, you'll know what they are talking about. Right now, you have too much of one and not enough of another. Having the degree ahead of the B1 is a backwards route as most people get their B1 and then get a degree, especially if you want to get off the hangar floor and get up the food chain. Read the PLAMs and make it your business to talk to engineering managment.