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AMT vs AET
Last Post 17 Jun 2016 03:01 PM by camjohnson89. 4 Replies.
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sharpimaging142User is Offline
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sharpimaging142

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06 Jun 2016 02:18 PM
    I'm supposed to be approved for the A-school list this week after having completed my flight physical and everything else. I've been pretty set on AMT for over a year now and lately I've been looking more into AET. I know the differences for the most part but what I'm concerned about is quality of life after I get out. I've always wanted to earn a degree in either Mechanical or Electrical Engineering once I'm out. Seeing as both require a bit of knowledge of properties of electricity, it would seem AET might be a good route. Also, if I needed a decent job while I earned my degree, it would seem AET would help get me at least a basic aviation related job, if not, something electrician related. The AET wait list is a little shorter so thats a plus.

    Do AET get any more/less opportunities career wise in comparison to AMT? I see that you can apply for Aviation Maintenence Technician programs as an AMT and go to C school for A&P but I dont see any of these options for AET, are they available for AET? From what I've read AET have more down time which allows them to cross train with AMT's and potentially earn more quals. which I assume makes you more desirable/marketable.
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    mkelly

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    06 Jun 2016 09:17 PM
    I am not too sure AET's have more down time than AMT's. I think its really going to come down to what kind of work you are going to be doing day to day and what you would prefer to do. Do you want to work on engines or do you want to troubleshoot and work on electronic issues. There are not more or less career opportunities for AET's or AMT's. You create your own opportunities; its your own personal drive that takes you and your career where you want it to go. No matter what, you will be working on aircraft and becoming FM qualified or drop master. I'm sure an AET or AMT can come on here and give you more guidance. These are just my observations as an AST. Pick the job that you want to do now and you will be able to tailor it to what you want when you are on your way out. Pick something you are passionate about and go that route. That is what matters. You're going have to love your work while you are doing it.
    nick89User is Offline
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    nick89

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    06 Jun 2016 09:21 PM
    There are AETs that get their a&p for sure. The cross training is true as sometimes there's a lot of mech work needed done but not enough AMT bodies. Also you could be deployed or break down some where and weather you're an AMT or AET it is good to have a general knowledge of the opposing rate. I'm an AMT and would choose it every time over AET based on personal preference. It really depends on if you'd rather get your hands dirty doing an engine change or chasing wires to find an open. There is always going to be engines and gear boxes and hydraulic systems for AMTs. However, aircraft just continue to get more and more avionics. So maybe AET if I'd have to pick one that would be in higher demand simply based on the continuous growth of technology and electronics. But I honestly haven't looked into an aircraft maintenance position outside of the CG.
    nick89User is Offline
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    06 Jun 2016 09:23 PM
    But as Mkelly said, pick something you're going to enjoy doing. You will have to do it for atleast 3 years for the CG. Also, you will spend about 3 weeks in a school as an AMT learning basic electricity.
    camjohnson89User is Offline
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    camjohnson89

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    17 Jun 2016 03:01 PM
    Both rates do require at least a basic knowledge of electricity, but it all comes down to what you really want to spend most of your time doing on the job. The AET's will obviously get a much more thorough training in electricity, but as nick89 said, the AMT's will learn the basics too. Don't let the wait times deter you. I waited almost 3 years to go to AET A-School, and the AMT list was 4 years, but I knew I wanted to go AET. In my opinion I would say that for getting a general aviation job the AMT's would have the upper hand, unless you wanted to work in an Avionics specific position.

    In my limited experience I have noticed that if the AET's finish their work early for the day, they will usually assist the AMT's in whatever needs to get done. I think it is more common for the AET's to assist the AMT's in their work, than vice-versa. I can't speak for other aircraft, but I have worked on the C-130H and now the C-27J. The C-27 has an upgraded avionics package which is pretty nice, but the AMT's have nice Rolls Royce engines to work on, and they seem to have much more work on a day to day basis. This is still such a new plane and program that things are still being worked out, so that may change in the future.

    There are both AMT and AET C-schools to attend. I don't know if one rate has more than the other but there are quite a bit for each. I have actually attended Loadmaster C-School, which is traditionally an AMT-only school. So it just goes to show that opportunities are there regardless of which rate you choose. I know people from both rates at my unit that have their A&P's.

    Overall, I think your choice should be based off of what you want to spend most of your time doing on the job; 1) changing engines/props/tires, turning wrenches, getting your hands dirty, (mechanical work), or 2) chasing wires, troubleshooting, changing lightbulbs,  replacing avionics boxes, etc. Don't forget it is possible to have an Electrical degree as an AMT, or a Mechanical degree as an AET, and having either would complement the job nicely, as would almost any other degree. Whatever you choose, make sure you do well in A-school if you care about which airframe/unit you will be at. Your class ranking will determine where you go.
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