Joe Smith joined Aer Lingus in 1978 as an Aircraft Engineer, worked in the Engine/APU Overhaul shop division for his first 5 years there and after this period moved into the heavy maintenance division in the Hangar Area.

Attaining the Aircraft Basic Engineers Licence, he continued his studies and became a fully licenced engineer with the Irish Aviation Authority. Over the following years, he became a multi-licenced A and C Engineer on the Boeing 737, 767, 747 series and on the Airbus A320, A330, A340 series aircraft and was promoted to a supervisor on the Wide-Body line with responsibility for the engineering sign-off of the aircraft.