✈️ Mary and Rosann, 
California, USA
, Airline Technicians

Mary and Rosann at work as Airline Technicians

Mary and Rosann at work as Airline Technicians

What is your profession? 

Mary and Rosann are Technicians for a major airline.  They first started as Cabin Technicians. 

Everything you see inside an airplane they would repair or replace. They also worked in the Sheet Metal Department. That is anything on the outer skin of the aircraft. 

Currently, they are called Aircraft Technicians. The engine is hauled into a hanger and they disassemble and assemble the aircraft engine. This is an eight-hour job that is highly routine. They are also part of a union for workers which allows them to work overtime.

Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

Rosann and Mary are twins. One was born at home, and the other in the hospital in Northern California. 

When you were growing up, what sort of occupation did you envision yourself doing?

When they were growing up, they loved animals. Loved being around them. They would ride horses at a nearby stable. They both dreamed of becoming veterinarians.  

They also thought of becoming a truck driver, mapping and surveying for an engineer company, becoming  a pharmacist.

Working on an engine

Working on an engine

What jobs caught your eye while you were little? Any specific memories of the idea of “work”?     

Their parents were hard workers. They understood the value of work and what it meant.    

What professions did your parents and grandparents follow?

Their parents both came from Italy. Their mom came with her family on the boat through Ellis Island. Their mother was a seamstress with Macy’s in San Francisco. Their mother’s father was a shoe shiner and worked for Woolworths in San Francisco. He worked until his late 70s. His health declined when he no longer could work. 

Their father was a butcher. His father, their grandfather, was a butcher in Italy. Sadly, he died while flying to visit his son in the USA. 

How did you reach your current profession? 

A neighbor worked for a major US airlines and insisted they come work in the office. They both agreed at the age of 22. While there, they were approached by fellow workers who encouraged them to apply for the mechanic position. The airline was trying to fill their quota for female mechanics. 

They both tested for the position and were accepted to the program of Airframe and Power Plant. They quickly learned that they were skilled in mechanics. While in school, they realized they really both enjoyed working with their hands and were quite capable of using many different tools and were mechanically inclined. They both enjoy their work. 

Using tools to take care of an airplane engine

Using tools to take care of an airplane engine

What are the main adjectives you would use to describe yourself?

Both Rosann and Mary are easy going, adaptable, amusing, energetic, incredibly neat, reliable, straightforward, and practical. 

How do you feel your work fits you? What do you enjoy about it? What did you find difficult or feel took time to master? What challenges did you have to overcome?

Aircraft Technician is a perfect complement to both their personality and disposition.  They grew up with two brothers but aren’t sure whether this is what contributed to their ease in the workplace. Remaining warm but professional is important.

Gaining confidence in their knowledge of tools took time. Knowing that they were surrounded by men was a bit intimidating at first. Knowing the right tools to use, for example, grabbing a wrench instead of a ratchet, was key in their growth of confidence.  In their hangar, there are eight women in a staff of 100 at any given shift. 

How would you describe your achievements? 

Having a routine job they love will serve them until they retire. This love of work was instilled at an early age and has served them well. As airline employees, they both take advantage of flying all over the world.  Mary just came back from Kaui, hiked Mt. Fuji in Japan and will be going to Singapore next. 

What role do you play in your community?

Mary is a mom and neighbor and friend.

Rosann is a mom, neighbor and friend.

What elements, events and/or people have influenced your life and choices? Who inspires you? 

Their parents have influenced them to be hard working and have a love for family. Each said they inspire each other. Being a twin is a very different way of growing up. If one is or isn’t doing something the other will know instinctively and help the other to balance themselves. 

What advice would you offer to a young person exploring their interests about finding their calling or trying out different paths? 

The twins at work

The twins at work

Try things outside of your comfort zone. Try new things. If something isn’t right, try another. Do not give up. 

What is an Airline Technician?

Airline technicians are certified mechanics trained to work on maintaining, repairing andmonitoring the aircraft used by commercial airlines. Every country has specific regulations outlining requirements for training and experience. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration oversees qualifications.  Airline technicians choose areas of specialty such as engine maintenance, electrical systems or hydraulic systems. They have both in class and hands on experience before passing extensive exams allowing them to work on commercial aircraft.