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What am I doing wrong?


Juan Zavala Arlington, TX

I seem to be looking for work in all the wrong places. I have networked with people in the job fields that I have applied and I try to structure my resume to the specific job. Could I be over shooting my choices or under shooting? I was a aircraft maintenance person for 20 years then I was given a position that I quickly adapted to and held until my position was laid off. I have a large space of unemployment due to finishing up a degree and not working during that time. I have never had to career search or find an actual field so I just look for what my inexperience thinks I should apply to. I believe mentorship could be very helpful.

11 April 2018 5 replies Mentoring



David Limato Fremont, CA

Thank you for you many years of service Juan.

I think in general it is difficult to break into the Aircraft Mechanics field. Much of the work from what I have seen has been generalized to remove and replace jobs. Remove the defective part, replace with a new one, and the defective part goes back to manufacturer for repair.

However your skills as a mechanic can translate to many other civilian industries (Kind of what Rob is saying in : get-a-job decisions).

You can look at things like train and rail repair, Bus and station operations.
Many of these are City - County jobs and are well paying jobs.

12 April 2018 Helpful answer


Florjan Hyka New York, NY


Thank you for your many years of service!

I would suggest taking advantage of the Community feature available on ACP AdvisorNet. It allows you to reach out to Advisors all over the country, but you are also able to filter by geographic location, industry and experience. It always helps casting a wide-net, so you can reach out to numerous advisors, in a variety of roles.

You can also apply to join our mentorship program where you can work with a mentor in a field that you're interested in on your resume, interview prep., networking as well as deciding which fields might be best given your experience.

Feel free to contact us at (212) 752-0700 if you have any questions about it.


12 April 2018 Helpful answer


Steve Adolt Lancaster, PA


As both a vet AND an advisor, I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

I'm one of the mentors here and every vet I've taken under my wing has made a successful transition to a good civilian job that fits them and pays them well.

I've written resumes professionally but more importantly I have a depth and breadth of experience that many don't have that allows me to look at folks differently.

Would enjoy helping you, so it's your call.

Check out my profile here, at LinkedIn, wherever.

And if you decide you really want to hit it hard, put in the work, and get in a direction that will be satisfying to you long term, feel free to send me a note and your current resume to

Regardless of your decision, please know that you are a very valuable commodity in today's workforce.




Robert Jurasek Hollywood, FL

Dear Juan,

Advisor- George Wilhelmsen is right about the high demand for aircraft maintenance technicians. Some airlines are actually offering sign-on bonuses for new-hires. Air Wisconsin ( is offering $4,500, with an additional $10,000 if you move to Milwaukee or Dayton. I suggest visiting each airline website to check on openings.

With your experience, you also might consider working as an Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) with the FAA. ASI-OPS oversee pilots, aircraft dispatchers, and cabin safety (flight attendants); ASI-Air Worthiness oversees maintenance (A&P certificate required) and avionics (no A&P required). These groups are further broken down into Air Carrier or General Aviation (aircraft 12,500 pounds or less.)

When you visit, simply use “1825” for your search criteria, as this is the job series code for Aviation Safety inspectors.

Thank you for your service! And please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or need additional assistance.

Bob Jurasek


George Wilhelmsen Rochelle, IL


The market for aircraft mechanics is rather robust. Avionics technicians - I see adds for those monthly in Avionics News - all the way through the recession.

I can't tell what you have, and what you are looking for. There are literally hundreds of small shops who are looking for help, as well as the major airlines.

Perhaps it would help if you could list your experience in general terms, and the position you are looking for. With that, I could get a better idea of what your skills are, and how I could help you.

As an aside, your skills as an aircraft mechanic are generally transferable to the automotive industry or nuclear / fossil power, or any other industry. Perhaps you need to consider broadening your search parameters?

Please provide some more information, and I'll see what I can do to help leverage your skills. While I'm in the Nuclear Industry, I have strong ties to aviation, in my previous role as a magazine contributing editor for several aviation publications, as well as staying involved in aviation.

I look forward to your response.

George Wilhelmsen

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