There are a vast range of potential professional paths for anyone who is interested in becoming involved in the aviation industry. From training to be a pilot to becoming an aviation electronics technician, there are countless ways that a person can become involved with aeronautics. One way is by training to become an aircraft mechanic. Aircraft mechanics know the ins-and-outs of airplanes, how they work, how to repair them, and how to check for safety standards. The following guide can help you understand the steps you should take to train to become an aircraft mechanic, and both the pros and the cons of pursuing aircraft mechanics as a profession.
There are many factors to consider when thinking about training to become an aircraft mechanic. After all, according to a recent study by Boeing, there will be a significant need for new aircraft mechanics and aircraft maintenance technicians in the next two decades. If you want to train to become an aircraft mechanic, you must attend a program that teaches students how to maintain and work on aircraft technology, like the Aviation Maintenance Technology program (AMT) offered at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. When you train in an FAA approved program, you learn how airplane technology works, and you also gain the hands-on training needed to maintain, inspect, and repair the aircraft and its associated systems.
When training in an FAA approved AMT program, you’ll learn about the following topics:
At the end of an AMT program that meets the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) requirements (established in Title 14, Part 147), you will be prepared for the FAA's written, oral, and practical tests. Since training to be an aviation mechanic directly involves the airworthiness of the aircraft, there are certain requirements that need to be met before being eligible for the FAA certification. Certification is required for some, but not all, positions within the aviation industry. Upon completion of the program, to work in some positions or for some employers, students may be required to pass FAA certification exams in order to receive their FAA Airframe & Powerplant certificate.
So, you’ve decided to train to be an aircraft mechanic. There are many reasons that pursuing training in this field is a smart thing to do. The following are some pros of pursing this type of aircraft mechanic training.
One reason to consider training to become an aircraft mechanic can be found in Boeing’s recent Pilot and Technician Outlook 2020-2039 study. According to Boeing, the number of opportunities for aircraft mechanics is expected to increase over the next two decades. In fact, Boeing’s study laid out that there will be an increase in the need for aircraft mechanics over the next 20 years. Therefore, by training to become an aircraft mechanic, you are entering a job field, that would likely have opportunities throughout the United States, as opposed to something with narrow geographic opportunities.
If you like to help people, training as an aircraft mechanic is an excellent choice. Aircraft mechanics ensure that aircraft complies with all FAA regulations and that they are safe and functioning during flight. This literally keeps pilots and passengers safe in the air and can save their lives.
For people who enjoy doing work with their hands, training to be an aircraft mechanic could be ideal. Mechanics spend their workdays inspecting, maintaining, and repairing planes, so they are on their feet and working with their bodies — no pushing paper behind a desk all day or sitting behind a computer screen for hours on end. If you are well-suited to an active role that uses both your brain and your body, training to become an aircraft mechanic may be just the right choice for you.
When you train to become an aircraft mechanic, there could be room to grow in the field as you gain experience. This means you don't necessarily have to be a mechanic on someone's staff for your entire career. Some possibilities that may come after experience working as an aircraft mechanic including owning a maintenance facility used by pilots, aircraft owners, or airlines; or becoming a shop supervisor to other aircraft mechanics as they work.
When you train to become an aircraft mechanic, especially at an FAA approved program like the one offered at Spartan College, you'll be trained not only for the aviation industry, but you'll also develop skills that will prepare you to work in a variety of related industries. If you're an aircraft mechanic who wants to do something new professionally, you'll already have similar training under your belt — especially if you’re interested in other maintenance industries or professions.
If you train to become an aircraft mechanic, your first position will likely be entry-level. To help you estimate that pay, you can use the bottom 10th percentile from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of 2019, entry level wages (lowest 10 percent) of aircraft mechanics in the United States earned around $37,890 per year.
There are a few drawbacks to consider if you want to pursue training as an aircraft mechanic. Here are some following cons to keep in mind as you decide whether this is right for you.
If you’re interested in eventually working as an aircraft mechanic, it's smart to live near a big city that attracts a lot of air travel. Cities that have multiple airports or attract a lot of tourism (or business travel) have the most opportunities for aircraft mechanics. This puts a few limitations on where mechanics should look for homes after they have completed their training.
Because aircraft mechanics are tasked with keeping aircraft safe, there is a lot of pressure and it can move at a fast pace. If you don't thrive under pressure, this may not be the right field for you. Spartan College’s program covers Maintenance Human Factors that affect the working environment and covers the common causes that lead to human errors in the aviation industry.
Working on aircraft can be physically demanding – keep that in mind when considering training for this line of work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts it best that “aircraft mechanics and technicians often lift heavy objects, handle dangerous chemicals, or operate large power tools. They may work on scaffolds or ladders, and noise and vibrations are common, especially when engines are being tested. Workers must take precautions against injuries, such as wearing ear protection and brightly colored vests to ensure that they are seen when working around large aircraft.”
If you would like to train to become an aircraft mechanic, you can begin the process today. One institution for studying to become an aircraft mechanic is Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. Spartan has several locations across the US for studying aviation maintenance technology: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Broomfield, Colorado, Inglewood, California and Inglewood’s branch campus in Riverside, California. Successful completion also qualifies you to take the FAA's written, oral, and practical tests for the Mechanic's Certificate.
When you study at Spartan, you learn the ins-and-outs of airplane components and systems, including airframes, piston engines, turbine engines, hydraulic systems, propellers, rigging, warning systems, environmental systems, and more.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about training to become an aircraft mechanic at Spartan College, you can find out more on our website or request more information and an admissions representative close by will call and answer your questions.
** Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology does not guarantee third-party certifications. Certification requirements for taking and passing certification examinations are not controlled by the College, but by outside agencies and are subject to change by the agencies without notice to the College. Therefore, the College cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take certification examinations, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.