How to become a Great Aviation TechnicianEdward Molek
The roles and responsibilities of an aircraft mechanic vary throughout the aviation industry, but most Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) began their careers in similar ways. If you are thinking about getting started as an aircraft mechanic, read more about what you can expect from your education and career!
WHAT IS AN AVIATION MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN?
An AMT is responsible for the repair and maintenance of aircraft including planes, jets, drones, and helicopters. AMTs ensure that an aircraft has met all airworthiness requirements and address any issues presented by the flight crew. Their job may include tearing apart an aircraft to the bare airframe for an intense safety check, checking communications systems in the cockpit, or repairing damaged or worn parts, depending on the organization they work for.
WHAT MAKES AIRCRAFT MECHANICS UNIQUE?
AMTs are required to hold an Airframe & Powerplant Certification (A&P). This certification is issued after a series of exams designed to test a future mechanic’s knowledge in the areas of general aviation, powerplant, and airframe.
In order to earn your A&P, you must:
-Be 18 years or older at the time of testing
-Be able to read, write, speak, and understand English
-Meet educational or experience requirements
GETTING THE EDUCATION
To become an aircraft mechanic, many individuals start by pursuing an education at an FAA Part 147 school. Schools like this are equipped to train students on the basics of aviation maintenance, focusing on preparing them for their FAA A&P tests. The curriculum at these schools will include studies in the areas of reciprocating engines and turbine engines (powerplant), sheetmetal fabrication, and composite material repair (airframe).
As a student at these institutions, you can expect to get hands-on experience working on engines, functional aircraft, and avionics systems. This experience will be valuable as you enter the aviation industry for your entry-level position.
Ready to start your career as an aviation maintenance technician?
Aviation Workforce Quick Facts
Boeing Technician Outlook, North America: (2020-2039)
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians, Bureau of Labor and Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook
ATEC 2019-2020 Pipeline Report.