Requirements: A passion for planes is a must if you want to work in the aircraft maintenance field. A good knowledge of mathematics and physics is an advantage for aircraft technicians. Proficiency in English is also important because all the manuals, documents and other materials related to the aviation industry are in English. Aircraft maintenance staff have a huge responsibility - a small mistake could lead to a big disaster. Therefore, they should try to maintain high standards at work and look to achieve perfection. Qualifications: Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi) offers a three-year higher diploma course in aircraft engineering. Students who have five passes in the HKCEE, including English, Chinese, mathematics and physics, are eligible to apply. Before becoming licensed aircraft technicians, the institute's graduates have to pass an examination conducted by the Hong Kong Aviation Department and gain two years' working experience in a related industry. Average salary: The annual salary of a trainee technician is around HK$100,000 to HK$120,000. They will also be given a transport and laundry allowance. Aircraft engineers make around HK$330,000 to HK$750,000 a year. Work prospects: During flights, pilots will record any defects in the aircraft. Technicians are responsible for fixing the problems. Trainees will be usually supervised by an experienced technician during their first year. There are two major aspects of aircraft maintenance - line maintenance and base maintenance. For line maintenance, planes will stay on the airfield for a certain number of hours before taking off again. During this time, technicians will carry out routine checks and fix any problems. For base maintenance, aircraft are taken back to the hangar where they are checked thoroughly. The process can take a few days or even a month. Every plane is different so technicians have to take supplementary courses to equip themselves with the knowledge to handle all sorts of problems. With the rapid technological advances, there are always new things to learn in the aviation industry. Long-term prospects: The career of an aircraft maintenance technician is quite rewarding. Outstanding performers have a chance to become a supervisor who will lead a team of technicians. The next step is assistant engineer and then engineer. An engineer is the top decision maker and has to be in charge of several aircraft at the same time. Where to apply: Aircraft maintenance companies, airlines and the Hong Kong Aviation Department. A day in the life of an aircraft technician An aircraft technician's working hours depend on whether they have been assigned line or base maintenance. Line maintenance is a 24/7 job. Technicians work two 12-hour shifts around the clock. They usually get two days off after working four shifts. Base maintenance is less demanding - there are no overnight shifts and technicians generally work from eight to five. Usually it is a five-day week, but staff may have to work overtime to meet deadlines.