What’s In a Title?
I'd like to pose the following question: What's in a title? I don't mean the title of an article or book. I'm talking about job titles.
My brother-in-law is a vice president for a large financial institution. How many departments does he oversee? NONE! He has been with the company for so long and has reached a certain level of pay that he was given the title of vice president. He is hard-working and deserves his pay and title. But the title could be deceiving to someone on the outside.
I am a co-owner and editorial director of Helicopter Maintenanceand D.O.M.magazines. I could create whatever title I wanted for myself. Vice president of editorial? Executive editor? Editorial grand master? I think not! Editorial director suits me fine. On the other end of the spectrum, editor seems too simple. However, it doesn’t matter what my title is if I don’t do my job. How I present myself is just as important. If I behave like a jackass or treat our advertisers or readers in an unprofessional way, there is no title that would overcome that negative stigma.
When I was actively turning wrenches in the not too distant past, I called myself an aircraft mechanic. My official title in the company was also aircraft mechanic. I didn’t use “A&P mechanic” because not many people outside our industry knew what an A&P mechanic was, and I would eventually end up explaining that I was an aircraft mechanic. Besides, an A&P is a certificate, not necessarily a job title.
That was also before the FAA introduced 14 CFR Part 66 (which died on the vine and never made it to regulation to replace Part 65). Part 66 introduced the term aircraft maintenance technician (AMT). You can also find the title AMT in Part 147.
I have NEVER said, “I’m just an aircraft mechanic.” I was proud of my job and always strove to do the best that I could. I would take every opportunity to learn more and improve my knowledge. Obtaining my Inspection Authorization was another step in my career path. I eventually became a crew leader, and for the three years prior to jumping over to the publishing side of aviation, I was a quality assurance inspector. Still, when someone asked me what I did, I answered, “I’m an aircraft mechanic.”It would be nice if the FAA eventually changes our certificate to AMT or AME. There is also nothing stopping our employers from giving us job titles that represent our work — whether it is AMT, AME or some other appropriate title.
Until then, we have no excuse to relegate ourselves to second-class status. It’s time to pick ourselves by our bootstraps and present ourselves as the professionals as we are.
What are your thoughts? What do you call yourself? Do you prefer aircraft mechanic? AMT? AME? Other? Let us know!
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