Skills & Trades
Manitoba Aerospace represents the local aerospace, aviation and defence industries, promoting aerospace, aviation and defence as strategic industries and ensuring Manitoba companies are present and highly visible on the world stage.
As COVID is getting under better control, we know that travel is picking up and many of our companies are beginning to hire again, which means our industry needs skilled workers.
Manitoba Aerospace partners with Tec Voc High School and (CAHRD) Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc.
We work together to plan and provide career information sessions on the education, training and employment opportunities in our local Aerospace and Aviation industry.
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What kind of education, skills, and/or qualifications are required to work in your industry or at your organization/company?
The aviation and aerospace industry offers many exciting, rewarding and unique careers that challenge many interests. Although there are many career choices, they all have similar basic requirements.
The “ideal candidate” needs solid computer knowledge; possesses a college diploma or university degree*; has strong manual skills, good communication skills (written and spoken), an eye for detail; and is very safety conscious.
Company requirements may also include federal government security clearance. Many colleges and training organizations require English, math and sciences for entrance. High school students should make sure that they are taking all the required courses and making the required grades for the post-secondary program they wish to enter.
Also available at Tec Voc High School in Winnipeg is the Aerospace Manufacturing and Maintenance Orientation Program (AMMOP) which gives an introduction to aviation maintenance, manufacturing and the principles of flight.
(A similar program can be accessed at one of these other Canadian schools – the list can be found on-line at www.avaerocouncil.ca )
Is it important to have degrees and/or diplomas to advance in your industry or with your organization/company?
Yes, it is important to have degrees and/or diplomas in order to advance in aerospace and aviation careers. However, employers do not only use technical qualifications and work experience when assessing advancement. They also look at key sets of ‘soft’ skills to help them find good candidates who work well in teams, develop good working relationships with customers and other clients/suppliers, are able to resolve problems, improve how things are done, work well under pressure and progress successfully through their training programs. Employers will assess soft skills in addition to specific qualifications to find the right people.
What education facilities offer the best programs for this industry/organization/company?
Some of the local educational institutions include:
- University of Manitoba
- Red River College Polytechnic – Stevenson Campus
- Neeginan College of Applied Technology
- Harv’s Air Flight Training
- Eagles Wings Flight School
- Tec Voc High School
- SkyAylne and KF Aerospace
What are soft skills?
These skills and abilities refer to ‘transferable’ skills which can apply to all kinds of jobs. While a doctor, pilot, aeronautical engineer, astronaut and flight operations manager need to have very different specific knowledge and abilities to carry out their duties and have completed specific training in a particular discipline, the skills they need to use this knowledge effectively in the workplace will be the same.
Some examples are: the ability to communicate effectively, negotiation skills, work as part of a team and/or leadership skills.
These skills are also sometimes called ’generic’, as they relate to all disciplines/jobs and ‘employability skills’ because having them makes you more employable in the eyes of the recruiter!
Soft skills are not only used in the recruitment process to distinguish between candidates with the same type of qualifications and experience.
They also form part of the professional development process that employees undertake to plan and manage their career development and gain professional recognition in their field.
Therefore, these often form the frameworks of internal and external review processes, such as performance management and professional recognition.
Some skills could be seen slightly differently, as there are often training courses with certified levels of achievements. We have listed these as ‘proficiencies’ below:
- IT and software package knowledge
- Relevant technical knowledge
- Commercial Awareness
- Language Skills
- Project Management
The above skills can often be taught and ‘certified’ e.g. via a course but can also be developed and improved over time in the workplace through experience.
In most cases, unless stated otherwise, recruiters will be interested in examples from all aspects of your life:
- Work experience (part-time jobs, industrial placements)
- Voluntary/community work
- Hobbies and interests (including sports, Air Cadets etc.)
- Extra-curricular activities (including university societies)
For example, any team sports, clubs and societies you are an active member of at university or college, and events you have helped organize in the community will be of particular interest. One experience may develop several skills e.g. – getting involved in a voluntary event could develop your organizational and teamwork skills and demonstrate your commitment end empathy.
Part-time work is also of interest – all jobs, even those which may just be a steppingstone while you study or look for work, help you develop skills and also shows you are willing to take financial responsibility for yourself.
What skills are most valued in your industry/organization/company?
Skills learned are transferable throughout Canada. The jobs are challenging and require continuous learning. Now is a good time to enter these industries, because the workforce is getting older, and many current workers are close to retirement.
Key soft skills:
- Communication – written and oral
- Problem Solving/Analytical Skills
- Empathy and emotional intelligence
- Innovation and Creativity
- Organizational and Planning
- Time Management
- Attention to detail
- Ability to motivate others
- Willingness to learn
- Cultural awareness
- Manual dexterity (or hand skills; particularly for hands-on engineering roles such as aircraft maintenance)
Note: that it is difficult to be ‘taught’ these skills, you are more likely to develop them over time in different situations, i.e. through experience rather than through a formal qualification.
How to Get Certified and Why Should I Become Certified?
- In aerospace and aviation industries, you should look for educational institutions that offer CCAA certification. This certificate is documented proof that you have met nationally recognized standards in your occupation. Employers, educational institutions, and industry workers everywhere recognize a CCAA certified individual to be a highly skilled and qualified worker who can demonstrate knowledge and competence on the job. Being CCAA certified adds greatly to your professional credentials, giving you a marked advantage in the competitive job market because it is accepted nationally (or internationally) as a proven benchmark of quality because its certification standards demand the highest degree of professional competence in the industry today. If you’re aiming to become one of the best in your field, CCAA-certification is definitely the way to go.
- Another highly regarded designation, particularly for aerospace manufacturing, is a professional engineer. In Canada, the professional engineer (P.Eng.) designation represents the highest standards of engineering knowledge, experience and professionalism in the country. In Canada the designation “professional engineer” can only be used by licensed engineers and the practice of engineering is protected in law and strictly enforced in all provinces. The regulation and licensing of engineers is done through each province’s own engineering association which was created by acts passed by that province’s legislature.
- Transport Canada provides licensing for the aviation maintenance industry in Canada. There are three categories of aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs). The AME licence is granted to Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, Aircraft Structures Technicians, and Avionics Maintenance Technicians who pass the prerequisites and rigorous standard testing by Transport Canada in their given specialty. AME-M is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with a maintenance specialty. AME-E is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with an avionics specialty. AME-S is an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with a structures specialty. Licensed engineers are authorized to sign maintenance releases and can certify the air-worthiness of aircraft, engines, or system components as identified in the licence category.
To apply for an AME licence, applicants must provide:
- Proof of Age
- Proof of Training
- Proof of Knowledge
- Proof of Experience using a logbook N.B.: CCAA logbooks have been approved for use by Transport Canada.
- Proof of Skill
What types of positions can I work in with this education?
Today’s aviation maintenance and aerospace industry hold a wealth of opportunities as they are some of the fastest-growing sectors in Canada and the world. Despite our relatively small economy (in global terms), the Canadian aerospace and aviation industries rank among the top five in the world and have job opportunities that are among the most exciting, interesting, and challenging careers out there.
The range of knowledge needed to design, build and keep these high-speed machines safely in the air is vast, employing engineers, designers, technicians, mechanics, machinists, technologists, and inspectors who may specialize in physics, chemistry, hydraulics, pneumatics, metallurgy, welding, avionics, composites, gas dynamics, and microelectronics—just to name a few. Careers in aviation and aerospace are not limited simply to being a pilot or a flight attendant.
In fact, most jobs are in manufacturing, and in maintenance, repair and overhaul. As a member of Canada’s aviation and aerospace industry, you will serve both domestic and international markets, in manufacturing or servicing, repairing, overhauling, or retrofitting many types of aircraft and their components.
These jobs can take place at airplane hangars, airports, approved maintenance organizations, machine shops, manufacturing companies, on the flight line, in an approved training organization, and in the air force. You might work on engines, avionics systems, landing gears, or flight simulators. You could design or build the plane or pieces of it. You could assemble the plane, inspect it or fix it.
Skills learned are transferable throughout Canada. The jobs are challenging and require continuous learning. Now is the time to enter these industries, because the workforce is getting older and many current workers are close to retirement. Canada needs tens of thousands of young people to enter this vital industry in order for it to continue to grow. It needs pilots, engineers, managers, machinists, mechanics, fabricators & many more. No matter what aviation or aerospace career attracts your interest, you can be sure your choice will be exciting, rewarding, unique and fun.
Are there any student organizations or activities that would be beneficial in preparing for a position in your industry/company/organization?
- Manitoba 99s – http://lyncrest.org/manitoba-99-s.html
- Young Eagles – https://www.eaa.org/eaa/youth/free-ye-flights
- Air Cadets – https://www.aircadetleaguemb.ca/
- SAE teams at the university or college level
- Girls in Aviation Day (GIAD) – volunteer opportunities
- Aerospace and Aviation in Manitoba (AAiM) Day – volunteer opportunities
Do you hire people straight out of college or university? If yes, what entry-level positions are available?
Yes, our companies do hire directly out of college or university. However, Manitoba Aerospace is a not-for-profit sector association that represents local aerospace, aviation, and defence companies and while we work with our companies on recruiting initiatives, we do not directly recruit for specific positions.
We would recommend that an applicant interested in employment opportunities in the Aerospace and Aviation industries check out our member company profiles on our website at:
Please click on the companies of your choice and you can apply through their employment opportunity portals.
AMMOP Training Program
When does the next AMMOP training program begin?
After the Open House in April, we will accept applications. Applicants will be provided with an interview/test date. The next course will begin in August 2022.
How do I apply for the program? What are the steps to the application process?
Attend the AMMOP Open House (in person) on April 27, 2022 6pm at Tec Voc High School
Complete an application form – available at the Open House
Your interview will be booked for May/June 2022
When is the virtual AMMOP Open House and how do I register?
AMMOP Open House Registration Link: https://bit.ly/AMMOPOpenHouse2022
Attend the Open House on April 27 to receive information on how to register for this free training program!