How to Save Money on Aviation Maintenance Training
With the negative publicity regarding student loans and the associated debt, going into skills training raises wariness. The fear of gaining skills at the cost of incredible debt is a reasonable one.
Being a field in demand, grants, scholarships, and skill financing programs exist in abundance for aviation maintenance training. The following options allow you to finance this education without incurring significant debt.
Aviation Maintenance Training Scholarships
The FAA maintains a list of aviation scholarships that is updated as programs submit their information. Most on this list finance pilot education but a few also offer aircraft maintenance scholarships.
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) is a big contact for aircraft maintenance scholarships. Some AEA scholarships are limited to high school seniors or current college students but others are available to students of any age recently accepted into an aviation maintenance program. Amounts vary from $1,000 up to $35,000 or more. Applications are normally available in October of each year and due the following February.
Local air and space museums may also run small scholarship programs. For example, the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, home of the Spruce Goose in McMinnville, Oregon, offers the Thomas E. “Tom” Pitzer Aviation Maintenance Scholarship. If you have an air and space museum in your home town, consider contacting them or visiting their web site to see if they offer a similar program.
The military offers excellent educational benefits that can be used for vocational training like aviation maintenance. Each branch has different standards for eligibility but if you are a current service member, service veteran, or the dependent or survivor of either, these benefits can be very lucrative.
Workforce Investment Act of 1998
The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 is a federal program that assists adult owners with education benefits. It works through state centers that help those receive the training needed to enter or re-enter the workforce. You will need to visit a state center to determine eligibility as programs vary by location.
The Aviation Institute of Maintenance is frequently in contact with Opportunity, Inc., the Workforce Investment Act state center located in Norfolk, Virginia. If you intend to take classes at the Chesapeake, Virginia campus, we can see what they can offer to you.
Aviation Maintenance Training Apprenticeships
An apprenticeship is the process of being directly mentored by one already skilled in your chosen field. While apprenticeships in aviation are very common throughout the world, they are not as widely available in the U.S. The more common way to gain introductory work exposure in the U.S. is to work an internship after you complete a set number of classes.
Military service offers the most common apprenticeship. You gain skills and attend classes, while being paid to work on aircraft but pay no tuition. However, you are also committed for a set number of years and may have to serve in hostile territory. While it is a path that pays off well in this field, it is hardly simple.
You can also check major aircraft manufacturers, like Boeing, to see if apprenticeships arise on their career pages. However, these opportunities arise rarely and may require completed coursework first, putting you back on waiting for a work-study or internship opportunity.
You do not have to bypass skill development due to a lack of funds. Scholarships, grants, military benefits, and student loans can make your education attainable. Schedule an appointment with the financial aid office to find the financing program that will work well for you.
For more information about aviation maintenance training, the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Aircraft Mechanic School Programs is where you can learn more. Visit our Consumer Information Disclosure page, Gainful Employment Disclosure and Consumer Information.