Aircraft Mechanics & Service Technicians

Aircraft Maintenance

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians repair and maintain aircraft, aircraft engines, and aircraft components
Aircraft Maintenance
Have you always had a knack for fixing things? How would you like to learn how to work on the most sophisticated machines in the world?
Why Should You Consider This Career?

Learn a recession-proof skill, Work with the most sophisticated equipment in the world, Work in public or private sectors

That's $3,300 per bi-weekly paycheck
That's 2000 new jobs in Utah per year (30% growth)
Less Physical                                         More Physical
Less Training                                          More Training
More Structure                                     Less Structure
Aircraft Maintenance Technician (Aircraft Maintenance Tech), Aircraft Mechanic, Aircraft Restorer, Aircraft Technician, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A and P Mechanic), Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT), Aviation Mechanic, Helicopter Mechanic

Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Career Guide: Salary Insights, Overview, and Steps to Join the Trade

In the aviation industry, there is no shortage of vital roles that ensure the safety and efficiency of flights. Among these roles, aircraft maintenance technicians play a crucial part in keeping aircraft in optimal condition. If you have an interest in aircraft and a knack for problem-solving, a career as an aircraft maintenance technician may be the perfect fit for you. In this comprehensive career guide, we will provide you with salary insights, an overview of the profession, and the necessary steps to join the exciting trade.

Overview of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians | What do Aircraft Maintenance Technicians do?

Before diving into the details, let's start with a broad understanding of what aircraft maintenance technicians do. These professionals are responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and repairing aircraft, both on the ground and in the air. Their work encompasses everything from basic maintenance tasks, such as changing oil and replacing parts, to complex troubleshooting and diagnosing mechanical issues. Aircraft maintenance technicians are essential to ensuring the safety and airworthiness of aircraft.

In addition to conducting routine inspections and repairs, aircraft maintenance technicians also play a critical role in preparing aircraft for flights. They meticulously examine and test aircraft systems, including engines, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems, to detect any faults or potential issues that could affect flight operations. Their work requires precise attention to detail and adherence to strict regulations and safety protocols.

One of the primary responsibilities of aircraft maintenance technicians is to perform routine inspections on various aircraft components. These inspections involve thoroughly examining the aircraft's structure, engine, and systems to identify any signs of wear and tear or potential problems. Technicians use a variety of tools and equipment, such as borescopes and diagnostic software, to assess the condition of critical components and ensure they meet the required standards.

Moreover, aircraft maintenance technicians are skilled in troubleshooting and diagnosing mechanical issues. When an aircraft experiences a malfunction or system failure, technicians are called upon to identify the root cause of the problem and implement the necessary repairs. This requires a deep understanding of aircraft systems and the ability to analyze complex data and diagnostic reports.

Furthermore, aircraft maintenance technicians are responsible for performing regular maintenance tasks, such as changing oil, replacing filters, and conducting routine system checks. These tasks are crucial for maintaining the optimal performance and efficiency of the aircraft. Technicians follow strict maintenance schedules and guidelines provided by aircraft manufacturers and regulatory authorities to ensure that all maintenance activities are carried out correctly and in a timely manner.

Another important aspect of an aircraft maintenance technician's role is the adherence to safety protocols and regulations. These professionals are well-versed in aviation safety standards and are required to follow strict guidelines to ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers. They are responsible for maintaining accurate records of all maintenance activities performed, including inspections, repairs, and component replacements, to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

Lastly, aircraft maintenance technicians are constantly updating their knowledge and skills to keep up with advancements in aircraft technology. They undergo regular training programs and certifications to stay current with the latest maintenance practices and procedures. This continuous learning ensures that aircraft maintenance technicians are equipped with the necessary expertise to handle new aircraft models and emerging technologies.

Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Salary | How much do Aircraft Maintenance Technicians make?

One of the crucial aspects to consider when embarking on a new career is the earning potential. Aircraft maintenance technicians can enjoy a rewarding salary that reflects the importance of their work. The salary for aircraft maintenance technicians varies based on several factors, such as experience, location, and the type of aviation company they work for.

On average, entry-level aircraft maintenance technicians can expect to earn around $40,000 to $50,000 per year. However, as experience and expertise grow, so does the earning potential. Experienced professionals in this field can earn salaries of $70,000 or more annually. Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on individual circumstances and the aviation industry's demands.

When it comes to determining the salary of an aircraft maintenance technician, experience plays a significant role. Entry-level technicians, fresh out of aviation maintenance school, typically start at the lower end of the salary scale. They are still learning the ropes and gaining hands-on experience under the guidance of more experienced technicians.

As these technicians gain experience, their salaries increase. They become more proficient at diagnosing and repairing aircraft systems, which makes them more valuable to employers. With each passing year, their expertise grows, and so does their earning potential.

Another factor that affects the salary of an aircraft maintenance technician is the location in which they work. Salaries can vary significantly depending on the cost of living in a particular area. For example, technicians working in major metropolitan areas with a high cost of living may receive higher salaries compared to those working in rural areas.

The type of aviation company also plays a role in determining the salary of an aircraft maintenance technician. Technicians working for commercial airlines may have different salary structures compared to those working for private jet companies or military organizations. The size and reputation of the aviation company can also impact the salary range. Larger companies with more resources may offer higher salaries to attract and retain top talent.

It's important to note that the aviation industry is dynamic and constantly evolving. The demand for aircraft maintenance technicians can fluctuate depending on various factors, such as the economy, technological advancements, and changes in regulations. These factors can influence the overall salary landscape for aircraft maintenance technicians.

In conclusion, aircraft maintenance technicians can enjoy a rewarding salary that reflects the importance of their work. While entry-level technicians may start with a modest salary, their earning potential increases as they gain experience and expertise. Factors such as location and the type of aviation company also influence the salary range. As the aviation industry continues to evolve, so do the opportunities and earning potential for aircraft maintenance technicians.

A Day in the Life of an Aircraft Maintenance Technician

Curious about what it's like to work as an aircraft maintenance technician? Let's take a glimpse into a typical day in their shoes. The day typically begins with a thorough inspection of the aircraft to identify any potential issues or upcoming maintenance requirements. This involves meticulously examining various components, conducting tests, and consulting maintenance manuals and records. Once the inspection is complete, any necessary repairs or adjustments are made.

In addition to routine inspections and repairs, aircraft maintenance technicians are also responsible for responding to maintenance requests from pilots and flight crew. They must troubleshoot issues and perform repairs promptly to minimize disruptions to flight schedules. Adhering to strict safety protocols and ensuring proper documentation of work performed are also vital aspects of their day-to-day responsibilities.

But what exactly does a routine inspection entail? Let's dive into the intricate details. The technician meticulously inspects the aircraft's engines, checking for any signs of wear, leaks, or damage. They carefully examine the landing gear, ensuring that it is in proper working condition and free from any defects. The technician also inspects the aircraft's electrical systems, testing various components to ensure they are functioning correctly. They inspect the fuel system, checking for any leaks or blockages that could compromise the aircraft's performance. Every nut, bolt, and wire is scrutinized to ensure that the aircraft is in optimal condition for flight.

After completing the inspections, repairs, and adjustments, the aircraft maintenance technician moves on to addressing maintenance requests. These requests can range from minor issues, such as a malfunctioning seatbelt, to more complex problems, like an engine malfunction. The technician must quickly diagnose the problem, using their extensive knowledge and experience. They then proceed to fix the issue, carefully following the manufacturer's guidelines and utilizing specialized tools.

It's important to note that the work environment of aircraft maintenance technicians can vary. They may work in hangars, repair stations, or even on the airfield. Hangars provide a controlled environment, protecting the technicians and the aircraft from adverse weather conditions. Repair stations are equipped with advanced tools and equipment, allowing for more complex repairs and overhauls. On the airfield, technicians may work directly on the aircraft, performing quick inspections or minor repairs to keep the planes in service.

Aircraft maintenance technicians often find themselves working in challenging conditions. They may need to climb ladders or work on elevated platforms to access different parts of the aircraft. In cramped spaces, such as the engine compartment, they must maneuver carefully to perform the necessary repairs. The nature of their work also exposes them to various weather conditions, from scorching heat to freezing cold. Despite these challenges, technicians remain focused and dedicated to ensuring the safety and airworthiness of the aircraft they work on.

Flexibility and adaptability are essential traits for success in this profession. Aircraft maintenance technicians must be prepared to work irregular hours, as maintenance needs can arise at any time. They must also stay up to date with the latest advancements in aircraft technology and maintenance practices. Continuous learning and professional development are crucial to ensure that they can effectively handle the ever-evolving demands of their job.

Ideal Traits and Skills for an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Professional

To thrive as an aircraft maintenance technician, certain traits and skills can greatly contribute to your success in the field. Firstly, exceptional attention to detail is paramount. Aircraft are complex machines, and even the smallest oversight can have significant consequences. Aircraft maintenance technicians must possess meticulousness and precision in their work.

Strong problem-solving skills are also crucial for this profession. Identifying and resolving complex mechanical issues requires analytical thinking and troubleshooting skills. Being able to work under pressure and make decisions quickly and effectively is essential, especially during time-sensitive maintenance or repair tasks.

Furthermore, a commitment to safety is non-negotiable for aircraft maintenance technicians. They must fully understand and strictly follow all safety regulations and protocols. The ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with colleagues, pilots, and other aviation professionals is also essential.

In addition to these core traits and skills, aircraft maintenance technicians must have a solid foundation in technical knowledge. They need to be well-versed in the principles of aerodynamics, mechanics, electronics, and avionics. Understanding the intricacies of aircraft systems and components is crucial for diagnosing and fixing issues.

Another important aspect of being an aircraft maintenance technician is the ability to adapt to new technologies and advancements in the aviation industry. With the constant evolution of aircraft technology, technicians must stay updated with the latest tools, equipment, and procedures. Continuous learning and professional development are essential to ensure that they can effectively maintain and repair modern aircraft.

Moreover, physical stamina and dexterity are vital qualities for aircraft maintenance technicians. The job often requires working in confined spaces, climbing ladders, and lifting heavy equipment. Having good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity is necessary for handling intricate parts and tools.

Furthermore, attention to detail extends beyond the technical aspects of the job. Aircraft maintenance technicians must also possess excellent record-keeping skills. They need to accurately document all maintenance and repair activities, including inspections, repairs, and parts replacements. This documentation is essential for regulatory compliance and to maintain a comprehensive maintenance history for each aircraft.

Lastly, a strong sense of professionalism and a commitment to ethical conduct are essential for aircraft maintenance technicians. They are responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew, and any negligence or misconduct can have severe consequences. Upholding high ethical standards and adhering to professional codes of conduct is crucial for maintaining trust and integrity in the aviation industry.

How long will it take to become an Aircraft Maintenance Technician | Training and Educational Path for Aircraft Maintenance

Aspiring aircraft maintenance technicians wondering about the timeline to kickstart their careers will find this section invaluable. The educational requirements and training path for aircraft maintenance technicians can vary depending on the country and specific aviation regulations. However, a common pathway is through obtaining an aircraft maintenance technician license from an aviation authority.

To acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, individuals can pursue a diploma or degree program in aircraft maintenance or a related field. These programs typically provide a comprehensive curriculum that covers various aspects of aircraft maintenance, including theory and practical training. The duration of these programs can range from 1 to 4 years, depending on the level of education and certification desired.

During their studies, students delve into the fascinating world of aviation, learning about the intricate design and mechanics of aircraft. They explore subjects such as aerodynamics, avionics, propulsion systems, and aircraft structures. Through hands-on training, they gain practical experience in conducting inspections, troubleshooting, and repairing aircraft components.

Furthermore, students have the opportunity to work with advanced tools and equipment used in the maintenance and repair of aircraft. They learn how to use diagnostic instruments, computerized systems, and specialized software to identify and rectify technical issues. This practical training ensures that they are well-prepared to handle real-world challenges in their future careers as aircraft maintenance technicians.

After completing the educational requirements, individuals must accumulate a specific number of practical work experience hours. These can be gained through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, or internships with aviation companies. It's important to check with the aviation authority or regulatory body in your country for the specific requirements and approved training organizations.

During their practical training, aspiring aircraft maintenance technicians have the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals in the field. This hands-on experience allows them to apply their theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting and further develop their skills. They may assist in routine inspections, perform maintenance tasks, and contribute to the overall safety and efficiency of aircraft.

Additionally, individuals may have the chance to specialize in specific areas of aircraft maintenance, such as avionics, engines, or airframes. This specialization can further enhance their expertise and career prospects in the aviation industry.

Overall, the journey to becoming an aircraft maintenance technician is a combination of rigorous academic study and practical training. The duration of this journey can vary depending on the individual's educational choices, level of certification desired, and the accumulation of practical work experience. However, with dedication, passion, and a commitment to lifelong learning, aspiring aircraft maintenance technicians can embark on a fulfilling career in the aviation industry.

Necessary Certifications for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians

Besides the educational requirements, obtaining certifications is an integral part of becoming a licensed aircraft maintenance technician. These certifications are typically granted by the aviation authority or regulatory body and serve as an assurance of competency and adherence to safety standards.

The most common certification is the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate, which is recognized globally. This certification validates an individual's ability to inspect, repair, and maintain aircraft airframes and powerplants. To obtain the A&P certificate, individuals must pass a series of written, oral, and practical examinations.

Additionally, recurring training and continuing education are necessary to stay updated with the latest advancements in aviation technology, regulations, and safety procedures. Attending workshops, seminars, and specialized training programs can help enhance skills and expand career opportunities.

Career Advancement in Aircraft Maintenance

Career growth opportunities in aircraft maintenance can be wide-ranging for individuals who are dedicated and continue to hone their skills. With experience, aircraft maintenance technicians can progress to supervisory or management roles within their organizations. These roles involve overseeing a team of technicians, coordinating maintenance schedules, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Another pathway for career advancement is specializing in a specific aircraft type or system. By becoming an expert in a particular area, such as avionics or engines, technicians can pursue higher-level positions that require specialized knowledge. These roles often come with increased responsibilities and higher earning potential.

Why Choose a Career in Aircraft Maintenance?

If you're still contemplating whether a career as an aircraft maintenance technician is right for you, here are a few compelling reasons to consider:

  1. Job Stability: The aviation industry plays a vital role in transportation, and as such, there is a consistent demand for qualified aircraft maintenance technicians.
  2. Opportunities for Growth: With experience and specialized skills, aircraft maintenance technicians can pursue various career paths and enjoy increased responsibilities and earning potential.
  3. Contributing to Safety: Aircraft maintenance technicians play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and airworthiness of aircraft, contributing to the overall safety of the aviation industry.
  4. Working in a Dynamic Environment: The aviation industry is fast-paced and ever-evolving. Aircraft maintenance technicians encounter new challenges daily, keeping the work exciting and engaging.

Frequently Asked Questions About Aircraft Maintenance Technicians

Here are some frequently asked questions about aircraft maintenance technicians:

1. How long does it take to become an aircraft maintenance technician?

The duration can vary depending on the educational path and regulatory requirements in your country. Typically, it takes between 1 to 4 years to complete the necessary education and gain practical experience.

2. What are the working conditions like for aircraft maintenance technicians?

Aircraft maintenance technicians may work in various environments, including hangars, repair stations, and airfields. Weather conditions can vary, and the work might involve climbing, working at heights, or in confined spaces.

3. Are there job opportunities for aircraft maintenance technicians?

Yes, the aviation industry continues to experience growth, resulting in an ongoing demand for qualified aircraft maintenance technicians. Job opportunities can be found with airlines, maintenance organizations, and aviation manufacturing companies.

4. How important is continuing education in this field?

Continuing education is essential for aircraft maintenance technicians to stay up to date with the latest advancements, regulations, and safety procedures. Recurring training helps enhance skills and opens up new career opportunities.

5. What are the career prospects for aircraft maintenance technicians?

Career prospects for aircraft maintenance technicians are promising, particularly for those who gain experience and continuously enhance their skills. Advancement opportunities include supervisory and management positions, as well as specialized roles in specific aircraft systems.

Embarking on a career as an aircraft maintenance technician can be a rewarding journey. Not only does it offer a solid salary, but it also provides opportunities for growth and the chance to contribute to the safety of the aviation industry. By following the required educational path, obtaining necessary certifications, and continually improving skills, individuals can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career in this exciting trade.

At A Glance in US
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398,000 (35%)
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398,000 (35%)
398,000 (35%)
Aircraft Maintenance Technician (Aircraft Maintenance Tech), Aircraft Mechanic, Aircraft Restorer, Aircraft Technician, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A and P Mechanic), Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT), Aviation Mechanic, Helicopter Mechanic
A Typical Day Icon

Your Typical Day:

  • Examine and inspect aircraft components, including landing gear, hydraulic systems, and deicers to locate cracks, breaks, leaks, or other problems.
  • Conduct routine and special inspections as required by regulations.
  • Inspect completed work to certify that maintenance meets standards and that aircraft are ready for operation.
  • Read and interpret maintenance manuals, service bulletins, and other specifications to determine the feasibility and method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components.
  • Maintain repair logs, documenting all preventive and corrective aircraft maintenance.
  • Modify aircraft structures, space vehicles, systems, or components, following drawings, schematics, charts, engineering orders, and technical publications.
  • Inspect airframes for wear or other defects.
  • Measure parts for wear, using precision instruments.
  • Obtain fuel and oil samples and check them for contamination.
  • Maintain, repair, and rebuild aircraft structures, functional components, and parts, such as wings and fuselage, rigging, hydraulic units, oxygen systems, fuel systems, electrical systems, gaskets, or seals.
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Wages in the US:

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Per Hour Base Income
Total Compensation
Your Responsibilities Icon

Your Responsibilities

  • Inspect mechanical components of vehicles to identify problems.
  • Interpret blueprints, specifications, or diagrams to inform installation, development or operation activities.
  • Inspect completed work to ensure proper functioning.
  • Maintain repair or maintenance records.
  • Read technical information needed to perform maintenance or repairs.
  • Inspect structural components of vehicles to identify problems.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Repair worn, damaged, or defective mechanical parts.
  • Test fluids to identify contamination or other problems.
  • Read work orders or descriptions of problems to determine repairs or modifications needed.
Your Knowledge Icon

Knowledge You Will Learn

  • Mechanical

Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. 93/100

  • English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. 68/100

  • Engineering and Technology

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services. 60/100

  • Customer and Personal Service

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. 57/100

  • Mathematics

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. 55/100

  • Public Safety and Security

Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. 53/100

  • Transportation

Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits. 49/100

  • Administration and Management

Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. 48/100

  • Design

Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. 48/100

  • Physics

Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes. 48/100

Tools of the Trade Icon

Tools of the Trade

  • Integrated maintenance information systems
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts
  • Metal cutters
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wearable computing devices
  • Power drills
  • Lifts
  • Ground power units for aircraft
  • Cold chisels
  • Rivet tools
  • Diagonal cut pliers
  • Specialty wrenches
  • Locking pliers
  • Portable data input terminals
  • Voltage or current meters
  • Stripping tools
  • Hex keys
  • Dial indicator or dial gauge
  • Mill saw file
  • Wire twister
  • Pneumatic impact wrenches
  • Rectifiers
  • Manlift or personnel lift
  • Tape measures
  • Drill press or radial drill
  • Wire cutters
  • Nibblers
  • Calipers
  • Welder torch
  • Speed sensors
  • Manual press brake
  • Hammers
  • Acoustic ear muffs or defenders
  • Jacks
  • Hold down clamps
  • Circuit tester
  • Scribers
  • Pressure indicators
  • Notebook computers
  • Soldering iron
  • Socket sets
  • Magnetic particle examination equipment
  • Compasses
  • Squares
  • Slip or groove joint pliers
  • Touch pads
  • Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe
  • Hand trucks or accessories
  • Pull spring balances
  • Sockets
  • Ultrasonic examination equipment
  • Goggles
  • Inspection mirror
  • Vibration testers
  • Pneumatic drill
  • Box end wrenches
  • Target or reconnaissance drones
  • Power riveter
  • Calibrated resistance measuring equipment
  • Drill bit set
  • Shears
  • Ball peen hammer
  • Borescope inspection equipment
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Microprocessors
  • Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus
  • Alignment jig
  • End cut pliers
  • Digital testers
  • X ray radiography examination equipment
  • Wire lug crimping tool
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver
  • Cable splicing kits
  • Magnetic tools
  • Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine
  • Aircraft pushback or tow tractors
  • Screw extractors
  • Tinners snips
  • Go or no go gauge
  • Bastard cut file
  • Hacksaw
  • Multimeters
  • Ladders
  • Micrometers
  • Mallets
  • Air compressors
  • Putty knives
  • Ammeters
  • Ratchets
  • Ohmmeters
  • Respirators
  • Scaffolding
  • Hoists
  • Safety glasses
  • Hand clamps
  • Utility knives
  • Forklifts
  • Combination wrenches
  • Pyrometers
  • Rulers
  • Power grinders
  • Laser printers
  • Torque wrenches
  • Open end wrenches
  • Desktop computers
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Scales
  • Feeler gauges
  • Heat guns
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Personal computers
  • Paint sprayers
  • Oscilloscopes
  • Tablet computers
  • Templates
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