Each year, SMAT invites graduates to apply for placement as an A&P technician in our flight operations. Working as an A&P technician at SMAT provides an opportunity for our graduates to sharpen their skills in a practical field experience training environment. Certified mechanics assist with the maintenance of our school’s aircraft as well as support current A&P students with various projects. A&P technicians become more familiar with the tools, materials, and practices needed to safely and efficiently maintain aircraft. Also, becoming adept as inspection and diagnostic skills is an extremely important element in furthering the careers of our graduates. In addition, helping to maintain SMAT’s fleet of aircraft will allow a mechanic to become intimate with each airplane making it possible to see how their work holds up under the rigors of daily use. SMAT will continue to prepare graduates for excellence in the field, even as high wing, single engine Cessna aircraft give way to turbine-powered, diesel-powered, rotor wing, or other technologically advanced aircraft.
Working as an A&P technician in our flight operations provides maintenance experience that many mission agencies require. Continuing on at our Ionia campus eliminates the need to move to another location in search of this work experience. A maintenance technician may also choose to continue his or her flight training during this time. Not only are our graduates’ mechanical capabilities challenged, but in addition they are able to be challenged spiritually by experienced missionaries who come to share with our students and staff the joys and trials of missionary aviation around the world.
The number of graduates who are hired varies from year to year depending on interest, projects to be completed, and, of course, our projected budget. The length of the employment period also varies from year to year and person to person. A placement may last only four months before the graduate must continue with other commitments, a mission trip, or further college courses. The experience could also last for more than a year for some graduates. These mechanic positions may be paid or unpaid. This allows us to “hire” foreign student graduates who are not eligible to be legally employed and compensated yet would benefit from the additional experience.
So what are we looking for in a mechanic? We want individuals to join our team who have the desire to serve their Lord and be a part of building His kingdom. Whether on the mission field or in a “secular” workplace, we see all work as spiritual and to be done unto the Lord. We are seeking individuals who are teachable, eager to serve others, flexible, and dependable. During a student’s employment, SMAT has the opportinity to observe and critique his or her mechanical attitude as well as overall job performance. Even if you are not interested in working for SMAT, these same characteristics will give you a great start on your road to success.