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Airplane Mechanic Careers

Airplane Mechanic Degree Programs & Schools

Airplane Mechanic Careers Information

Airplane mechanic careers use their highly specialized training to keep aircraft in top form. Like automotive mechanics, they repair broken and/or worn out parts.

Unlike your neighbor mechanic who only sees your car when there is a problem, however, airplane mechanics spend most of their time checking mechanical systems that would seem to be in working order. They do this because they must abide by the strict safety regulations set by the FAA,and with good cause: an altitude of above 10,000 feet is no time to discover a key flight component is wearing out!

Airplane mechanics typically fall into one of four categories:

  • Airframe mechanics work on all parts of the plane that are not the avionic instruments, engines, or propellers. This means they check the fuselage, its supporting frame and skin, as well as wings, windows, and doors
  • Powerplant mechanics are in charge of servicing engines or powerplants and may do some work on propellors.
  • A&P mechanics are those certified to do both types of work and are the most common type of airplane mechanic since most airlines prefer workers who are certified to do both types of work.
  • Avionics technicians test and repair the aircraft’s electronic systems that help the pilot fly safely, such as the weather, radio, altitude, and auto-pilot systems. These technicians may also become certified to work on other parts of the plane and so have the potential to be the most versatile type of airplane mechanic.

Airplane Mechanic Careers Path

Some airplane mechanics learn the trade through time in the military. For those who did not serve, most earn certification at one of the Aviation Maintenance Technician vocational schools. Most programs last 1 or 2 years, though some of the more advanced degrees in aviation technology or aviation management may take 4 years. After completing training, mechanics must earn certification from the FAA within a set time period and maintain it through either work or retraining every few years.

Airplane Mechanic Careers Salary Expectations

The average yearly salary for airplane mechanics, not including overtime, is $53,220 a year. Those mechanics or technicians who work for major airlines tend to have a higher salary as do those with degrees rather than on-the-job training. Those with experience may be able to move into supervisory roles or become aircraft inspectors to earn more money.

Airplane Mechanic Careers Compatible Personality Traits

Mechanically minded, hard-worker, detail oriented, good note taker, thorough, likes to work with hands, trustworthy, good with technology, works well with others.

Airplane Mechanic Interview

Do you want to learn about the experiences of an airplane mechanic career?  Learn from an Airplane Mechanic…

Airplane Mechanic Careers Job Outlook

The job outlook for airplane mechanics will raise by 6%, which is less than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Airplane Mechanic Associations & Resources

Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA)

Slightly off the Footpath of Airplane Mechanic

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/aircraft-and-avionics-equipment-mechanics-and-technicians.htm (visited February 13, 2013).