Previous experience is required for employment as a technician in maintenance. However, from time to time openings are available to candidates with little or no technical experience on aircraft. In such cases applicants are placed in the "learner" classification. These employees can progress from the "learner" to the "junior technician" to the "technician" classification.
The educational requirements for "learner" is High School completion. However preference is given to candidates who, in addition, have completed a technical course at a recognized institution, such as a Transport Canada approved school. Certain trades require a diploma from a Transport Canada approved school.
A variety of skilled trades are involved in the maintenance of aircraft at Air Canada.
- Aircraft Line Maintenance - Technicians diagnose and correct troubles on the aircraft and carry out minor and major aircraft checks and effect repairs. In order to be eligible for promotion above the level of "technician" in this classification, a certificate of competence is required.
- Aircraft Engine Overhaul Maintenance - Technicians maintain aircraft engines, including dismantling, inspecting, assembling and testing.
- Aircraft Avionics - Involved in the maintenance of electronic systems on the aircraft such as communications, navigation, auto pilot and flight recording.
- Aircraft Sheet Metal & Plumbing – Technician maintain aircraft structural components and parts.
- Aircraft Electrical & Electronic Accessories –Technician engaged in the overhaul and assembly of electrical /electronic accessories, equipment and harnesses, and/or such reconditioning, repair and testing of electrical accessories and equipment as may be required.
- Trim Overhaul and Fabrication - Technician engaged in the overhaul and repair of all aircraft furnishing, fabric work (which include chairs, carpets, drapes and panelling) and fabrication parts.
- Machining and Fitting - The trade of machinist, as related to Aircraft Maintenance, covers the wide variety of machine tools working in fine tolerances.
- Aircraft Technician Systems Maintenance - Technicians perform shop maintenance functions on units and parts related to aircraft mechanical and fuel systems accessories, hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
- Aircraft Instrument Maintenance - Technicians perform shop maintenance functions on aircraft instruments and related components. These are of a precision nature and are linked to many aircraft systems.
- Painting - This includes all paint work relating to the aircraft, engines, units and ground equipment.
- Welding - Involved is the welding of aircraft components, engine parts and related repair work.
- Aircraft Wheel and Rubber Unit Maintenance - Technicians maintain the aircraft wheels, brakes and tires. Other components such as life preservers, rubber rafts and oxygen masks are also maintained by this unit.
- Heat Treating and Processing - Concerns the heat treating techniques and plating of various metals.
- Aircraft Cleaning – Engaged in the cleaning of aircraft exteriors (including furnishings) and other operational cleaning functions relative to aircraft, parts and associated equipment.
- Engine Parts Cleaning & Blasting – Engaged in the operation and servicing of blasting equipment and the cleaning of aircraft engine parts and associated equipment in the Engine shop.
- Woodworking – Engaged in the trade of carpentry in all branches.
- Radio and Electronic Overhaul and Repair – Engaged in the overhaul and assembly of aircraft radio and electronic equipment (including radio communications and radio navigational aid equipment) and/or such reconditioning, repair and testing of equipment.