Few professions can offer an aircraft mechanic career potential comparable to that of the Airframe and Powerplant Technician and A&P aircraft mechanics.
Aviation is a rapidly expanding industry with incredible career opportunities. The future predictions for the aviation industry are that there will be a tremendous rise in people traveling by air and using air services.
A career in aviation is an excellent choice for students today. Salaries continue to steadily increase and are becoming highly competitive with other technology industries. The most important benefit of a career in avition, however, is tremendous job satisfaction.
Aviation is an exciting and challenging field, with a rich history and an ever-changing future. Those who choose careers in aviation can look forward to working with the latest state-of-the-art technology. They can also look forward to a lifetime of knowing that their careful work makes flying safe for everyone.
For Job Description, Job Opportunities/Career Outlook and How To Get There, continue reading below!
AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN JOB DESCRIPTION
Aircraft maintenance technicians have the vital job of keeping aircraft in safe flying condition. The maintenance technician is the only one who can perform maintenance and repairs to an aircraft and insure it is safe to fly. Maintenance technicians perform periodic inspections and routine maintenance. They also correct any discrepancies that may have occurred during the operation of the aircraft. Maintenance is done according to approved guidelines for each individual aircraft. Aviation maintenance technicians are just as likely to be sitting at computers translating technical data as they are replacing a reciprocating or turbine engine or making a repair that maintains the structural integrity of the fuselage. Today’s maintenance technicians must possess sophisticated computer skills to troubleshoot and diagnose complex aircraft systems. They are also responsible for detailed knowledge and understanding of all the systems on the aircraft such as fuel, hydraulic, electrical, and pneumatic systems. The maintenance technician must also prepare forms and records related to the maintenance performed on the aircraft. Rapidly changing aircraft technology means that they are constantly updating their skills and knowledge to maintain aircraft in safe flying condition. Advances in computer technology, aircraft systems, and the materials used to manufacture airplanes have made this career a more highly professional and technical occupation than ever before. Aircraft maintenance technicians are highly-skilled, dedicated professionals. Every day thousands of lives depend on their diligence and attention to detail.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND CAREER OUTLOOK
The outlook for future employment in the Aircraft Maintenance field is excellent. A starting salary is about $16 to $22 an hour. Annual salaries of $55,000 to $75,000 a year are possible for experienced maintenance technicians. Benefits are excellent and often include flight privileges as well as vacation, life and health insurance, and retirement benefits. Experienced aviation maintenance technicians can also advance to positions of greater responsibility in aviation-related industries, which can lead to even better compensation.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, is responsible for certification, regulation and compliance in assuring aviation safety. Any person involved in operating or maintaining an aircraft must hold an FAA certificate. The FAA certifies aircraft maintenance technicians with Airframe and Powerplant mechanic ratings.
There are many public and private schools that offer FAA approved Aviation Maintenance programs. These programs range in length from 18 to 24 months and educate students in all facets of aviation maintenance. They include classroom theory and emphasize practical, hands-on applications through extensive shop experience. In addition, many schools offer the option of an Associate of Applied Science Degree and students can then transfer to a four-year institution to complete their Bachelors Degree requirements. After completing the required coursework for an Aviation Maintenance Technician, students can take the FAA written, oral, and practical tests for the Airframe and Powerplant certificate. Most aviation companies require the Airframe and Powerplant certificate for anyone performing repairs on U.S. registered aircraft.
Used with permission by the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics Aviation Education Section, for Educational purposes.