Apprenticeship programs are one way civilians can prepare to work on aircraft carriers. Candidates for these programs should have graduated high school, be at least 18 years old, and have an aptitude for mechanical engineering. Contracts for aircraft carrier maintenance and repair are awarded to individual companies, many of which have specific aircraft carrier maintenance and repair apprenticeship programs affiliated with them. Company-run programs may require that students pass a company physical or that they be a good-standing employee in another area for a certain amount of time, typically six months, before applying.
Apprenticeship in Aircraft Carrier Repair
Prospective aircraft carrier repairmen learn shipyard protocol and trade-specific theories through a combination of classroom hours, hands-on training and learning from experienced workmen. This program takes three to four years to complete. Participants do everything from rewiring control panels to adding structural supports to sections of the ship. Apprentices are often expected to specialize in an area of interest, such as carpentry, rigging or ship fitting. Topics of study include:
- Algebra and trigonometry
- Blueprint reading
- Electrical motor control
- Hydraulic systems
Popular Career Options
After completing an aircraft carrier apprenticeship program, graduates have been hired at the journey-level and start off annually earning between $42,823 and $51,811, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in January 2016. Apprentices may find work in the following specializations within aircraft carrier repair:
- Blacksmith or welder
- Sheetmetal worker
Individuals can complete an apprenticeship program in aircraft carrier repair to learn about shipyard protocol, reading blueprints, welding, and other skills needed for this field. Students can gain hands-on work experience with professionals to help prepare them for a career in the field.