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FROM THE PUBLISHER


TO DEGREE OR NOT TO DEGREE — THAT IS THE QUESTION


I spend a good deal of time these days following aviation-related social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Quite frequently, I see posts from people that are considering or are already in A&P School asking if they should pursue further education — for example, obtain a degree or get avionics certification/training. I’ve seen a wide range of responses to these questions — from, “Of course, anything helps,” to “I got a degree with my A&P and never saw any benefit.” My opinion is it depends on your goals.


Relative to a degree — if your thing is turning wrenches and working out of your tool box (which is a very admirable career and we need more people who want to do this) then I would say a two- or four-year degree may be a waste of your time (but not completely – read on). If your goal is to move into management or work for a larger company, I would say the degree will definitely help. When I was a green-horn, I received


PUBLISHER


GREG NAPERT gnapert@DOMmagazine.com


my Associates degree from Embry- Riddle along with my A&P certificate. I can tell you that with my career path, I have played that card more than once. It allowed me to be upwardly mobile as a technician (working for Pratt & Whitney and FlightSafety) and allowed me to become an editor, publisher, group publisher and eventually co-owner and publisher of D.O.M. and Helicopter Maintenance magazines. Along the way I also took various


business courses and attended more management and sales seminars than I can count. All of these contributed to who I am now and had some part in the success I’ve had in my career. Regarding avionics training — unless you are strictly going to focus on antique


aircraft or end up at a repair station that has nothing to do with avionics (for example, a turbine engine overhaul shop), I believe that avionics training (at least at a basic level) is paramount to being a great technician. From single engine piston to corporate jets and commercial airplanes, aviation electronics knowledge is becoming more and more of a key component to troubleshooting and/or repairing aircraft. If you don’t seek to gain some basic knowledge of avionics, you are selling yourself short and limiting your potential as an A&P. There are plenty of programs currently being offered for mechanics. For example, Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) offers a Basic Wiring and Avionics Installation course, and ASTM (astm.org) administers the NCATT Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) personal certification. Other types of training in sales or management can also help to further your career. Why not broaden your horizons with a leadership course or “people skills” course to prepare you to lead a team? Early in my career I had a chance to take a course from Dale Carnegie called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This was an amazing eye opener for me and was responsible for transforming me from being somewhat of an introvert to being more outgoing and interactive with people. It helped me enormously as a mechanic (relating to pilots) and as the salesperson and business person I would eventually become.


Nothing is guaranteed in life, but any


advantage you can gain will give you a leg up when it comes time to apply for that dream job. If nothing else, it can’t hurt and might just make you a better person. .


Thanks for reading! Greg Napert, Proud to be an A&P


66 DOMmagazine.com | june 2019


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