Becoming an aviation technician can be a very gratifying choice, as it’s a rewarding field both emotionally and financially.
Aviation technicians are responsible for keeping planes in top-notch condition, and solving problems when they arise and is usually best suited for those who like working with their hands. It’s one of those jobs where no two days are the same, and with an average salary of $48,000 a year, it’s safe to say technicians are well rewarded.
Obviously, the more skilled you are, the more you’ll get paid. Here’s a list of the 4 top aviation technician schools:
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University
With locations around the world, this is a solid choice if you’re serious about becoming an aviation technician and getting high-level instruction. Embry’s Florida campus even offers dorm rooms to their students, making it easier for them to focus strictly on learning. When you factor in the fact that Embry is one of the largest aviation technician schools around — meaning they’ve had ample time to build relationships with potential employers — it’s easy to understand why it’s one of the 4 top aviation technician schools around.
Hallmark College of Aeronautics
Located in San Antonio, Texas, this is one of the most recognized aeronautical schools in the country. Under the tutelage of Hallmark College’s instructors, students can earn multiple associate degrees in 15 months.
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
Spartan college is another highly sought out aviation school, and even government agencies often send their employees over to their Tulsa, Oklahoma location for proper training. Spartan College offers a wide variety of programs, so regardless of where your interests are, you won’t have any problems finding one that’s perfect for you.
Crimson Technical College
Located in Inglewood, California; Crimson’s programs are well respected around the country. One of Crimson’s biggest strengths is the hands-on training they provide, and how effective they are at linking their graduates up with potential employers. Crimson might not be as huge as some of the other top aviation schools around, but it’s definitely one of the best, especially if you can’t wait to start working on stuff.
One career that always needs talented people is the aircraft industry. No matter what the economy’s doing, people are still going to fly and this is where you come in. It’s important that you understand your role as an aviation technician and the starting point for your job is safety. This can’t be stated enough because passengers will rely on you to have a safe an enjoyable trip. This is why you’ll perform both pre-flight and post-flight checks on the aircraft. The pilots will give you input on any maintenance issues they experience in the air.
Let’s start at the beginning; you will need to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be licensed to work on aircraft. First off you should go to the FAA’s website at http://www.faa.gov/ and look at the “Handbook for Aviation Technicians” which will outline your role as an aviation technician. Basically there are two main fields in your chosen industry and they are the “airframe” and “powerplant.” In the first category you will maintain all of the electronic systems on the aircraft as well as the hydraulic and pneumatic systems. In the second you will maintain the engines which the industry refers to as “powerplants.” Also, as an aviation technician it’s crucial that you have a thorough understanding of math because you will use it daily.
To be certified in either of these fields you need to have 18 months of practical experience in one of them or 30 hours working in both. Your best option is to go to an FAA certified school because there you will learn real-world scenarios from your instructors. Some of the instructors are ex-military and others have chosen to teach people like you after years of working on the flight line.
You have a wide choice of categories to work in as an aviation technician and it’s important you understand your role as one. You may choose to work for the airline industry, on corporate aircraft, doing aircraft restoration or through a military contracts.
But there’s one other thing you’ll enjoy as an aviation technician – excitement! You will be working on state-of-art aircraft and in some cases fly to an out-of-state job. You’ve chosen this career field because you enjoy being around aircraft and flying in them and you’ll get plenty of both as an aviation technician.
If you are interested in becoming an aircraft mechanic, you will want to consider some important aspects of the job. Once you have made the decision to pursue this goal, it is essential that you receive the proper aviation mechanic training in order to be successful in this career.
An aircraft mechanic’s main job is to repair and maintain aircraft. He or she must know how to troubleshoot problems–that is to inspect the components of the plane, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), find the cause of the problem and make the necessary repairs. The job doesn’t end there. He must thoroughly check and test all repairs, to ensure the safety of the aircraft before it is flown again.
The job of an aviation mechanic can be physically difficult. It demands crawling into small spaces, climbing around on the wings or other parts of the aircraft, which can be slippery and hazardous, and working outside or inside hangars with less than desirable weather conditions. It also requires lifting heavy objects that weigh over 70 lbs. For those who have a fascination with airplanes and enjoy mechanical work and the satisfaction of fixing things, the benefits of the job far outweigh the drawbacks.
Aviation mechanic training involves learning technical information on the construction, systems and maintenance of aircraft, from small planes to jets. You will learn about the structure of planes, propulsion, instruments and controls, wiring and landing gear. You will also learn the rules of logbook sign-offs and all FAA regulations. At the end of training you must pass a “written” (computer) test and an all-day oral and practical exam. Once certified by the FAA, aviation mechanics must keep their certification up-to-date. Mechanics must have at least 1,000 hours of work experience within a two year time period or they are required to take a refresher course.
There are a number of schools that offer aviation mechanic training. Among the courses that are commonly required by the different programs are aircraft, powerplant and electrical systems; flight control and fuel; turbine engines; aviation science and aircraft maintenance. The FAA requires at least 1,900 hours of coursework, and duration of most aviation programs range from one to two years with a few that offer four year degrees.
For those who are seriously considering aviation mechanic training, the career outlook for aviation mechanics is good, with the most favorable opportunities in general aviation, regional and small commuter airlines and FAA repair stations. Job openings with major airlines are harder to find and highly competitive. With good training and willingness to work hard, you can get started on a successful aviation mechanic career today!
Aircraft mechanics are required to make sure aircraft and their equipment is operating efficiently and safely. They provide maintenance and repairs on a variety of systems and components of aircraft including airframes, engines, propellers, avionics equipment, and electrical systems. Aircraft mechanics work on various types of aircraft including jets, helicopters, and propeller-driven airplanes. Many specialize in one particular type of the aircraft such as the airframe, engine, or electrical system. Aircraft mechanics must be at least 18 years of age, have the ability to speak, write, read, and understand English, and complete the necessary training requirements.
The majority of aircraft mechanics complete training through post-secondary institutions that are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Many public and private schools offer 1-year, 2-year, and 4-year degree programs in avionics and aviation maintenance management. The programs provide at least 1,900 actual course hours and often require training in aircraft maintenance engineering, aircraft maintenance management, power plant and airframe technology, and avionics management. Students applying for an FAA certificate are required to pass written, oral, and practical examinations. Some aircraft mechanics complete an apprentice mechanic program where they learn through experience under a qualified mechanic. A minimum of 18 months of on-the-job work experience is required for individuals seeking an airframe, power plant, or avionics technician certificate, who have not completed a program from an FAA-approved school. A minimum of 30 months of work experience is required for a combined airframe and power plant certificate. A third route of becoming an aircraft mechanic is receiving training while in the military service. These individuals are often required to complete some additional education to qualify for a civilian mechanic position.
Aircraft mechanics must have a high level of mechanical capacity and an eye for detail to complete tasks that require precision. Many employers prefer individuals who are hard working, self-motivated, and have the ability to quickly diagnose and repair complicated mechanical issues. Agility is also an important trait because climbing and reaching are often required to perform job tasks.
Due to the constantly changing aircraft technology, aircraft mechanics are required to constantly update their knowledge and abilities to ensure all types of aircraft are safe for crew and passengers. In general, to keep certifications current, aircraft mechanics are required to work a minimum of 1,000 hours and complete a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education every 24 months.
Do you love getting your hands on a tough mechanical problem and solving it under tight deadlines? Then consider living your passion every day as an aviation mechanic. Aviation mechanic school can give you the skills and experience you need to perform inspections, repairs, and preventive maintenance on all types of aircraft and it can help you meet the requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Your training will allow you to join a fast growing career where the average pay is nearly thirty dollars per hour.
The FAA lists three basic requirements for becoming an aviation mechanic. You must be 18 or older, have 18 months of experience, and pass written, oral, and practical tests. Attending an FAA-Approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School can take the place of the experience requirement. Aviation mechanic school will also prepare students for the FAA tests, which cover over forty technical subjects and can be taken at local computer testing facilities.
Aviation mechanic students take a variety of courses as well as completing hands on tasks. Coursework includes traditional subjects, such as math, science, and English, as well as more career specific topics like computer science and mechanical drawing. Students will also gain valuable practical experience using the tools required in turbine engine repair and aviation electronics maintenance. Training usually lasts from one to two years with some schools offering Associate and Bachelor degrees.
Graduates of an aviation mechanic school are eligible to apply for FAA certification, as long as they meet age and literacy requirements and pass all tests within twenty-four months. Candidates can choose from three tests, General, Airframe, and Powerplant. However, the option that provides the most employment opportunities later on is the combined Airframe and Powerplant, or A&P, certification. In fact, the A&P certificate is a requirement for more advanced opportunities, like becoming an authorized inspector.
The job outlook for aviation mechanics is favorable, especially for those with the proper training and experience. The retirement of existing mechanics, along with advances in technology, will create demand for those just entering the field. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in the industry to increase by seven percent by 2018. Earnings are solid as well, with the average aviation mechanic making about $25 per hour and the highest ten percent earning over $30 per hour.
Aviation mechanic school can be the first step on the path to an exciting and rewarding career. The proper training, experience, and certification allow aircraft mechanics and technicians to play a major role in keeping passengers and crew-members safe while doing a job they love.
Aircraft mechanics work in either preventative maintenance or repair work. Those who specialize in preventative maintenance perform inspections on landing gear, instruments, valve pumps, air conditioning and the like. Much like an automobile, aircraft also have scheduled maintenance determined by the amount of time the aircraft has flown, time since the last inspection and other determining factors. Aircraft mechanics specializing in repair work focus on specific problems, much like an automobile mechanic does when we take our vehicle to the shop. Airline mechanics can also choose to specialize in a specific type of aircraft such as helicopters, jets and airplanes just as other mechanics can specialize in a particular part, such as an engine or electrical system. Other types of airline mechanics include airframe, power plant and A&P mechanics.
Aircraft mechanics may work under tight schedules in order that flights may remain on schedule. As they usually have to lift upwards of 80 pounds, it’s recommended that mechanics be physically fit so that they may endure continuous lifting, bending, kneeling and working on ladders and scaffolding. They often work overtime, on weekends and under noisy conditions. It’s worth mentioning that aircraft mechanics have a higher rate of on-the-job injury and illness when compared to other occupations.
In order to become an aircraft mechanic, individuals should attend an institution certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Programs usually last anywhere from one to two years, and individuals can also earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in aviation technology, avionics or aviation maintenance management. Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology programs may focus coursework on aviation safety, aerodynamics, aircraft engines, psychology, engineering and chemistry. Alternatively, an aspiring aircraft mechanic can learn the trade on the job with an experienced mechanic.
Before they are allowed to work on an aircraft, the FAA must first license mechanics. In order to be eligible for licensure, individuals must be at least 18 years old, have the proper amount of experience with power plants or airframes and pass an oral, written and practical exam. It is expected that between 2008 and 2018 aircraft mechanics will see a 7% growth in employment, which is about average when compared to other occupations.
According to Payscale.com in 2012, aircraft mechanics and service technicians earned an annual salary that ranged from $31,000-$73,000. Those with 1-4 years of experience made between $23,000 and $59,000 while those with 5-9 years of experience earned $25,000-$55,000 a year.