Never too old to go back to school

Richard Diagnostician Alberta Posted   Latest  

It has been a while since I have posted here. Over the last year, many things have changed in my life and I would like to share some of my experiences.

Last March, right at the beginning of covid. My employer and I hit a bit of an impasse and I was left without a job. Looking back it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I was incredibly burnt out from pouring so much of myself into my employment and growing as a technician. I took a few weeks off while I sorted myself out and figure out what I want to do with my life. I decided to go back to school. I have loved airplanes ever since I was a kid, some of my best memories involve being inside an aircraft. I signed up for an aircraft mechanics course through an online school. It was $800 and I had a bunch of time to kill so what did I have to lose? I loved it, it was worth every penny. I spent the next 10 months immersing myself into the world of aviation. Aircraft and cars are mechanically similar so it was nice to get refresher on many of the systems that I learned about in automotive school along with learning new systems. Canadian aircraft regulations is what made this course worth it. Learning about how everything from repairs are regulated to how schools and licensing are structured, and if you don't follow them your airplane is not leaving the ground or landing in another country. Better regulations is something that I feel automotives is deeply lacking and what drove me to aircraft in the first place. 

After sitting at home for a few months and going a bit stir crazy. I took a job at a European performance shop, a direction that I have always wanted to take my automotive career in. Going back to school has re-ignited my passion for learning, gave me a different perspective on mechanical repair and opened another door for me if I choose to walk through it. If you have the opportunity to go back to school, don't let it pass you by.

+9
Agree
Interesting
Thanks
Tim Owner/Technician
Alberta
Tim
 

Great to hear Richard! I am glad you have found your happy place!

+1
Ð Awarded
Agree
Dave Mobile Technician
Ohio
Dave
 

I asked a friend of mine years ago if he thought someone ever got to old to learn new things or go back to school. His answer was how old will you be if you don't do it.

0
Ð Awarded
Michael Technician
Massachusetts
Michael
 

Hi Richard, What was the online aviation course you took and what was the employment outlook once you got that certification like?

0
Ð Awarded
Richard Diagnostician
Alberta
Richard
 

I spent a tonne of time in mapping a career path. This is the course that I did, it is Canada specific but US will be very similar. icslearn​.​ca/programs/trade… I have fulfilled the minimum educational requirement. Now I go out and get job, Im looking at going to a airline. I will start at a few bucks above minimum wage, working night shift. I have to collect 4000 hours of work…

+1
Ð Awarded
Interesting
Michael Technician
Massachusetts
Michael
 

Thank you

0
Ð Awarded
Jim Mobile Technician
Pennsylvania
Jim
 

LOVE your post, Richard. I'm OLD and I still try to learn something new EVERYDAY. I remember a long time ago when my mentor told me “If I ever hear you say that you know everything, first I'm going to hit you on the back of your head with a piece of wood and second of all AS YOU SAID THOSE WORDS NEW TECHNOLOGY CAME OUT”. Sounds like you gave your career a Good kick in the Butt, we ALL need that…

+1
Ð Awarded
Jim Owner/Technician
North Carolina
Jim
 

As a former Air Force jet mech, I took a 2 year A+P course, got my license and got recruited by BMW, best decision I've every made was to get that A+P, cheers!

0
Ð Awarded
Gary Owner/Technician
Colorado
Gary
 

Right on, Richard!!!! Back in 1988, our area suffered a severe local depression due to the mines closing. My shop was in a building that was foreclosed by the Small Business Administration and I was the only business left. So they rented my shop to me for $150/month in return for me taking care of the building and premises. But the phone wouldn't ring for days, so at age 55, I decided to return…

+3
Ð Awarded
Agree
Interesting
Thanks
Richard Diagnostician
Alberta
Richard
 

Gary, I truly enjoy reading your posts. It is very nice to hear from you again!

0
Ð Awarded
Gary Owner/Technician
Colorado
Gary
 

Thanks for the kind words, Richard. Sometimes we have to abandon caution to the wind and roll the dice. I'm glad you found a little better niche in life through education. As far as I'm concerned, education is the key to opening many different doors. Glad you made this post, hope it gets others inspired to do the same thing…

0
Ð Awarded
Mike Educator
North Carolina
Mike
 

Great job. Never stop learning, either through structured classes or on your own. If you ever find yourself to be the smartest person in the room, find a bigger room. It will have more people to learn from.

+2
Ð Awarded
Helpful
Marc Educator
Texas
Marc
 

Richard, thanks for sharing your story! I was hired to be an automotive educator after 34 years in the field as a tech and shop owner. I had no idea what it meant to be an educator, but at nearly 50 years old I finished my degree. My passion was reignited as well, and I have now been teaching for 6 years. I did take aviation mechanics years ago which I totally agree helps in the automotive side…

0
Ð Awarded
Stephen Educator
Ohio
Stephen
 

You said it. You have to have a passion for what you do. We all get burnt out at some point and need to step back and regroup. Working for some shop owners can become difficult after a while. When you do what you really what to do, it's not work. Whenever you stop learning, you stop growing. I'm always looking to learn new things even if it is outside of my field of expertise.

0
Ð Awarded