Helicopter engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Helicopter technician, aviation engineer, aircraft engineer

Helicopter engineers service and repair helicopters.

Average salary (a year)

£30,000 Starter

to

£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become a helicopter engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme
  • the armed forces

University

You'll need an engineering qualification and maintenance experience to apply for a licence to become a helicopter engineer.

You'll usually need a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in aerospace engineering, avionics, or a related subject like:

  • aeronautical engineering
  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • manufacturing or product engineering
  • physics or applied physics
  • software engineering or mathematics

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 
  • 2 to 3 A levels to do a degree or higher national diploma

More information

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include the Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Aerospace and Aviation Engineering.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through an aircraft maintenance certifying engineering higher apprenticeship. 

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Other routes

The way into this job is usually through an aircraft engineering company, some of which offer graduate training schemes.

Flight engineering experience gained in the armed forces may count towards your licence application.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a helicopter engineer from The British Helicopter Association.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • practical skills for repairing and maintaining equipment
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to repair machines or systems
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need a Part-66 engineering licence issued through the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

There are different categories to the licence, depending on the type of work you want to do, but common ones are:

  • B1 mechanical – for work on an aircraft’s structure and electrical systems
  • B2 avionics – for work on navigation, communication and electronic instruments

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include: 

  • carrying out scheduled inspection and maintenance checks
  • finding and fixing faults
  • reporting defects to the maintenance manager
  • making sure aircraft meet flight safety regulations
  • working on aircraft and instrument modifications
  • refitting aircraft
  • responding to repair call outs 
  • recording completed work 

Working environment

You could work at an airport building or on an aircraft.

Your working environment may be you'll travel often and physically demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a maintenance engineering manager or senior design engineer, working on modifications and enhancements to aircraft.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a helicopter engineer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Engineering (Aerospace) - BEng Hons Degree (Part-Time)

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 08 September 2020
  • Location: Blackpool

B/ENG (HONS) IN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING (DELIVERED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TEESSIDE UNIVERSITY)

  • Provider: HARTLEPOOL COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION
  • Start date: 20 September 2019
  • Location: HARTLEPOOL

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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