Career Advice - What someone with my qualifications can shoot for

1

152 Sumo

#1
Hello all. I could use some career advice. I have previous experience as an aircraft mechanic in the Marine Corps, technician at aircraft engine overhaul facility, quality inspector at same facility, and currently internal auditor (a little over 1 year) at ISO 9001 certified industrial gas turbine overhaul facility. I just finished my B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Management. So far, working in QA at this company isn't what I had hoped for. I am truly interested in quality principles, but I don't see hope at my current organization. There might be potential for me to become the quality manager here when my boss retires (5 years?), but I am smart enough to know that there is no guarantee.

I would appreciate some advice on a career move. I try to be patient with my current company, but I really don't think they are really interested in continual improvement. I don't know if I want to put all my effort (and stress) into maybe becoming quality manager, only for an organization that really isn't supporting quality.

I guess what I am looking for is advice on what someone with my qualifications can shoot for. It seems like most jobs I look at require an engineering degree which I don't have.

Thanks
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#2
Re: Career advice

SEMPER FI!!!!!!!!!!:bigwave:

Did you get far enough to earn an FAA "P" certification for the work and time you did in your MOS?

Let me give you some small advice, Marine to Marine....don't place artificial limits on your potential and don't limit the extent of your horizons.

QA is very limiting.

You may need to pay a few more dues when it comes to career development. I went to work for a gov't aviation maintenance contractor and increased my experience 10 fold over what I could have gotten on active duty or in civil service. On top of my aviation maintenance (I've been an A&P 20 years) I was able to branch off from maintence to QA/QC and then into Environmental, Health & Safety. I essentially went from that to where I am now (currently freezing my fanny in far north Minnesota conducting a training course at a mining facility):lol:

You're not going to get what you want over night...Did you get the title Marine the day after you enlisted or did you kinda work for it? A civilian career works the same way...You gotta bust your a&s, pay the fiddler, and do some push-ups on the way.

If your willing, try aviation maintence contracting for an Army AVIM (intermediate maintenance) contractor because there is greater potential to do lots, and lots of different things, more so than a depot type contract. It's what helped to propel me towhere I am now.
 
A

alitaptap

#3
Re: Career advice

I try to be patient with my current company, but I really don't think they are really interested in continual improvement. I don't know if I want to put all my effort (and stress) into maybe becoming quality manager, only for an organization that really isn't supporting quality.
What made you say this?
 
1

152 Sumo

#4
Re: Career advice

SEMPER FI!!!!!!!!!!:bigwave:

Did you get far enough to earn an FAA "P" certification for the work and time you did in your MOS?

Let me give you some small advice, Marine to Marine....don't place artificial limits on your potential and don't limit the extent of your horizons.

QA is very limiting.

You may need to pay a few more dues when it comes to career development. I went to work for a gov't aviation maintenance contractor and increased my experience 10 fold over what I could have gotten on active duty or in civil service. On top of my aviation maintenance (I've been an A&P 20 years) I was able to branch off from maintence to QA/QC and then into Environmental, Health & Safety. I essentially went from that to where I am now (currently freezing my fanny in far north Minnesota conducting a training course at a mining facility):lol:

You're not going to get what you want over night...Did you get the title Marine the day after you enlisted or did you kinda work for it? A civilian career works the same way...You gotta bust your a&s, pay the fiddler, and do some push-ups on the way.

If your willing, try aviation maintence contracting for an Army AVIM (intermediate maintenance) contractor because there is greater potential to do lots, and lots of different things, more so than a depot type contract. It's what helped to propel me towhere I am now.
Thanks and Semper Fi, Randy. I did get my A&P before getting out of the Corps (7 years in). I spent another 7 years at the engine overhaul facility. All of the above plus last year and some as internal auditor plus B.S. = not going back to wrenching again. Is that what you were referring to with contracting? Don't get me wrong. I don't think I am above anything, and I appreciate your advice, but I think I would be selling myself short if I went back to being a mechanic. I think I am at a pivotal point in my career right now, but not sure which way to pivot.
 
1

152 Sumo

#5
Re: Career advice

What made you say this?
I said that because management at my company says "we want quality" all day, without understanding what quality really means. They say they want quality, but when current quality manager brings up ways to improve, mgmt is not receptive. When CARs are written, the company culture is "why fix what isn't broken" or "we have been doing it this way for years". I just get the feeling that QA personnel in my company are necessary evils just to ensure the ISO certificate stays on the wall. (or to answer warranty claims) I might be wrong, but that is how I feel.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#6
Re: Career advice

Thanks and Semper Fi, Randy. I did get my A&P before getting out of the Corps (7 years in). I spent another 7 years at the engine overhaul facility. All of the above plus last year and some as internal auditor plus B.S. = not going back to wrenching again. Is that what you were referring to with contracting? Don't get me wrong. I don't think I am above anything, and I appreciate your advice, but I think I would be selling myself short if I went back to being a mechanic. I think I am at a pivotal point in my career right now, but not sure which way to pivot.
OK, gotcha...Yeah I was talking twisting wrenches and I know how you feel, I twisted my last one around 1996 (while I was in QA/QC...long story).

It looks like you're with a small company...no verticle or lateral growth there pardner, but where to go and what to do? QA/QC with a contractor like I did with Lockheed, and I said with intermediate type aircraft maintenance because you won't get stuck looking at the same widgets, do-hickey's and thing-a-ma-bobs day in and day out. Contractor QA/QC types generally wear other hats (I was the safety guy, calibration dude, and trainer).

Can you teach? If you spent 7 years in the Corps I know you can instruct because instruction was part of the job description for a Marine NCO. You may be able to take on some community college work as a technical expert with that A&P....Capitalize on your strengths, take inventory and use the weapons at your disposal. Your wanting to defend and your best defense is to move out. Move out of where you have placed yourself.

I'll tell you an area that is overlooked, tough to break into but is absolutely made for a person with aviation maintenance experience, a regimented and conditioned background and drive and that's with a professional motorsports organization like a NASCAR or Indy Car Team. I and absolutely sworn to confidentiality, but I occasionally see some of those folks during my work and that's what they say as well. If those folks practiced QA/QC like we did in aviation and coupled that with aviation maintenance practices along with some of this godd old ISO stuff...Whoa Nelly, bar the door! Take a trip up to the Charlotte area and start sniffing around, I would if I could.
 
1

152 Sumo

#7
Awesome advice, Randy. I am kind of looking for advice of that kind- to get me thinking a little 'outside the box'.. And thanks for not taking offense to my objection to your previous post.

Talk about multiple hats, I am handling calibration and receiving inspection, on top of internal audits. I also take care of the daily auditor stuff, like corrective action reports, supplier corrective action, etc.

I don't mind the multiple hats, I just feel like I need to move on and put my experience/education to work.
 
1

152 Sumo

#8
Re: Career advice

It looks like you're with a small company...no verticle or lateral growth there ......
You hit the nail on the head, Randy. That is one of the biggest reasons I am considering moving on. There is very little room for promotion, and I don't know if I even want it in the future.
 
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