InDemand: Sheet Metal Fabrication Technician
This week, we're delving into a job that can launch you ahead without you ever having to leave the ground.
"The work is really interesting," said Jonathan Thompson, team lead of Hangars D and E at Dynamic Aviation. "It peaks my interests. Gets my mind going. It's like ... what else can we do with these airplanes?"
From maintenance to shape-ups and everything in between, these technicians at Dynamic Aviation spend their days making sure aircraft are safe, wherever in the world they might be.
"I took my first flight when I was 12," said Thompson. "I was pretty much hooked after that."
Fast forward and Jonathan Thompson put his fascination with planes in view. He worked his way up to become an engineer, later stumbling onto this Shenandoah Valley company. Over 13 years later, his passion is taking flight every day.
"For me, it's a source of pride," said Thompson. "Because I've seen what these aircraft done, because I've been overseas a little bit for the company. And I've seen these aircraft in action and what they do over there. It gives me a good source of pride to know we're looking out for the men and women overseas."
For another employee, he used his mechanical background to get his foot in the door.
"I really didn't have any aircraft education, I'd guess you say," said Raymond Meyers, sheet metal lead at Dynamic Aviation. "I did some metal work for a while."
He says it didn't take long for him to get in the groove.
"Everything is new, it's a challenge," said Thompson. "There's many challenges for the rest of the career, I'm sure. You learn something new everyday. It'll never get old, that's for sure."
According to statistics gathered by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, salary for this position can range from $37,000 to more than $55,000. There is a projected growth of 1,134 jobs over the next decade in our region. Most of these positions require a high school diploma or on-the-job training.
"Just take your time." said Meyers. "Listen to everybody in the industry, everybody that's got experience over you, you just got to take in what they say."
At Dynamic Aviation, when it comes to learning, the sky is the limit.