The world of aircraft maintenance is an expanding field to consider for your future career. There are countless opportunities for those equipped with the proper knowledge and their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification. Listed below are a few facts about the field of aircraft maintenance:
- Choose a part 147 school that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
- You can earn certificates of completion, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree concentrating in aircraft maintenance.
- Upon graduating from an FAA approved school, you are qualified to take the FAA certification exam.
- Practice makes perfect. It is a strength to be detailed-oriented as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT). Double checking yourself and meeting strict deadlines helps to lower downtime in flight schedules and ensures the safety of the flight crew, passengers and AMTs.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for aircraft mechanics and technicians in 2016 was $61,190.00 per year or an hourly pay of $29.42.
- To operate properly and at their best, aircraft require reliable parts and examination. Mechanics use precision instruments, like x-rays, magnetic or ultrasonic equipment, to find problematic areas. If detected, AMTs assess the wear and tear on the aircraft in order to make the proper repairs.
- The FAA has specific federal regulations requiring every aircraft to have a set schedule for maintenance, repairs and inspections, guaranteeing it is in the safest condition possible.
- An Airframe and Powerplant certification enables AMTS to inspect, perform or supervise maintenance of commercial and private aircraft systems.
- Mechanics who hold an Airframe and Powerplant certificate have more of a chance at landing a position in the aviation field than those who don’t.
- The typical “office” for aviation mechanic is a hangars, repair station or airfield.
- Mechanic’s hours are usually full time with need for overtime and weekend shifts.
- Get experience under your belt to help you advance to lead mechanic, lead inspector or shop supervisor.
- In 2016, the number of airplane departures was approximately 90 million. It’s estimated to double by 2020.
If you would like to join the aircraft mechanics field, a great way to start is by checking out Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Aircraft Maintenance and Mechanics Training Programs.
If you get thrilled by the thought of airplanes, there are numerous jobs out there for you. Over the recent years, there’s been a rise in the number of private planes, a high growth in the drone industry and increased profits in the airline industry. As a result, the entire aviation industry faces a shortage in the number of aircraft maintenance technicians.
What Aviation Maintenance Technicians Do
As an aviation maintenance technician, your duties are to check and troubleshoot aircraft equipment regularly, repair and replace parts that need attention, such as various components like: wheels, brakes, electrical systems and wings. Technicians are required to use diagnostic procedures that are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Almost 130,000 aviation mechanics were employed in 2016 alone, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS states that growth is expected to remain steady through to the year 2024. As air traffic is expected to rise over the next few years, more innovations are expected to take ground in the design and manufacturing of aircraft and that will require maintenance. Specialized work on aircraft is expected to be outsourced abroad and will be needed in domestic shops. This means that those who acquire specialized skills and keep honing their expertise can possible take advantage of these opportunities in the future.
The minimum educational requirement for aircraft maintenance technicians is a certification from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school, such as Aviation Institute of Maintenance. If you previously attained some informal on-the-job training or acquired your skills during a military training, you are eligible to apply to a course like Professional Aviation Maintenance Certification. This training is a review of information designed to prepare you to successfully pass the General, Airframe and Powerplant written, oral and practical exams.
The mean annual wage for aviation maintenance technicians was reported as $61,190 in the year 2016, according to BLS. The lowest 10% of aviation maintenance technicians earned a salary of less than $35,960, while the highest 10% earned more than $87,880 annually. Aviation maintenance technicians typically work for eight hours a day, although sometimes overtime is expected. Many workers are usually affiliated with a workers union.
It can be a beneficial choice to join the aviation industry as an aviation maintenance technician. Begin a career now by joining on of the Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Aircraft Mechanic School Programs. Our school is committed to the education and personal enrichment of every student with a passion for the aviation maintenance profession.
Every airport in the world has a specific three-digit code, or the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Location Identifier Code. Originally, airports were identified by the same two-letter code that National Weather Service used to recognize the city it was in. As the amount of airports increased, a third letter was added to establish specific airports easier. In this quiz, see how many of these codes you can decipher:
Alabama- Montgomery Regional Airport
Alaska- Fairbanks International Airport
Arizona- Yuma International Airport
Arkansas- Clinton National Airport
California- Fresno Yosemite International Airport
Colorado- Grand Junction Regional Airport
Connecticut- Bradley International Airport
District of Columbia- Washington Dulles International Airport
Florida- Daytona Beach International Airport
Georgia- Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
Illinois- Quad City International Airport
Indiana- South Bend International Airport
Iowa- The Eastern Iowa Airport
Kansas- Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
Kentucky- Blue Grass Airport
Louisiana- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Maine- Bangor International Airport
Maryland- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Massachusetts- Logan International Airport
Michigan- Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport
Minnesota- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
Mississippi- Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport
Missouri- Kansas City International Airport
By Jul DeGeus
On May 11th, the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Indianapolis campus held its first Career Fair. The event was open to AIM students, alumni and the public and had a turnout of about 180 people. With ten on-site interviews and four additional scheduled, Career Service Coordinator and Career Fair organizer, Erica Wheeler, dubbed the turnout a hit:
Our first career fair was a huge success! It was great to see all the people coming and going throughout the day. All the employers in attendance expressed that they would definitely be present at another fair in the future. I will be planning another for the fall and I know the turnout will be even better.
Over 15 employers came out to the campus looking for people to join their company. A full list of employers include:
- FedEx Express
- Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services
- The Home Depot
- GE Aviation
- Republic Airlines
- Praxair Surface Technologies
- Launch Technical Workforce Solutions
- AAR Corp
- Aero Repair
- Applied Composites Engineering
- PSA Airlines
- United Airlines
PSA Airline recruiters talking to Career Fair attendees.
So, what is it that employers were looking for in prospective recruits? Predominately, they were looking to hire attendees with their Airframe and Powerplant Certification. There were also several opportunities for those who were willing to relocate and work flexible hours. According to Student Services Coordinator, Amber Delp, AIM Indy had many individuals who met these requirements and were thrilled to have the chance to interact with proposed employers:
It was so wonderful to see the excitement in the students’ faces. They were very grateful to have this networking opportunity. I was able to watch all my hard work leading up to this point unfold; my passion is to help our students, graduates and community get in contact with the right people to help them with their career and that’s exactly what we accomplished. I like knowing that this one event helped attendees to believe in themselves and inspired them to push for their own personal goals.
About Aviation Institute of Maintenance
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.
The FAA explores the future of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, and the possible need for Drone Maintenance Technicians.
By Jul DeGeus
For obvious reasons, we at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance are highly anticipating the celebration of Aviation Maintenance Technician Day on May 24th.
On May 24th in 1868, Charles Edward Taylor was born on a farm in Cerro Gordo, Illinois. He would one day work on engines for the infamous Wright Brothers and become known as the first aviation maintenance technician. (1)
In the latest issue of the Federal Aviation Administration Safety Briefing, assistant editor Jennifer Caron transports you back to the early 1900’s, when the three “crazy” men attempted to make a solid object fly; something that is normal to us today. She then snaps us back into to the present with one genius question: “… you’re an AMT, watching in amazement as drones become increasingly popular. Are YOU the next Charlie Taylor — for drones?” (2)
She’s got a great point- what is the potential outlook for the UAS industry and UAS maintenance technicians? Caron explains the background, demand and the promising opportunities:
The job potential and growth is real, and most believe the UAS industry will grow exponentially. Just consider companies that look to use drones for package delivery. Theoretically, they will need thousands of UAS to meet delivery deadlines not only in the U.S., but around the world…The possibilities are vast. As more and more companies identify and create the need for UAS, the need for UAS technicians will flourish as well. (2)
AIM’s Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems training is a way for individuals to learn more about this evolving industry. It’s a two-day course offered at our Manassas, VA, Chesapeake VA, Atlanta – Metro GA, Dallas – Metro TX, Oakland CA, and Philadelphia PA campuses.
This article, “Drone Maintenance Technician: Aviation Job of the Future?”, is a must read for those interested in UAS, as well as forward thinkers and innovators. Click here to read the article by Jennifer Caron, found on page 33.
- Taylor, B. (n.d.). Charles E. Taylor: The Man Aviation History Almost Forgot. Retrieved from https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/phl/local_more/media/CT%20Hist.pdf
- Caron, J. (2017, May & June). Drone Maintenance Technician: Aviation Job of the Future.FAA Safety Briefing, 33-34. doi:https://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/2017/media/MayJun2017.pdf
By: Jennifer Butler Edited by: Jul DeGeus & James Clary
It’s no surprise that the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Houston Campus Skills Team would represent AIM in a dynamic event celebrating Aviation Maintenance Technicians. The AIM Houston Hawks are comprised of a vibrant group of students that are driven, dedicated, and passionate about aviation maintenance. They have proven themselves individually; each member excels in a particular set of skills. But the unique dynamic that sets Hawks apart from other teams is their ability to recognize each other’s strengths and use those strengths to the teams overall advantage.
(Left to right) Coach Mike Riccardelli, Cordero Garcia, Brandon Daniel, Vijay Parsan, Fernando Viertons & Joshua Borel at AMC.
This team is comprised of seven students; seven students with a strong work ethic. Seven students who are organized and know how to set and accomplish goals. Seven future Aviation Maintenance Technicians that take pride in the career for which they are training for. Seven students who will one day become as valuable employees as they are students. When combined, they are an unstoppable team. They are AIM Houston’s epitome of success. They are the AIM Houston Hawks, 2017 Skills Team; Joshua Borel (Team Captain), Fernando Viertons, Vijay Parsan, Brandon Daniel, Cordero Garcia, Roberto Moreira (Alternate) and Christa Isenhower (Alternate).
When AIM Houston announced the need for the skills team, there were an overwhelming amount of students interested. To recruit those who were most qualified, the school held a competition. Brandon Daniel, one of the talented students who won a spot on the team, recollects, “What a spectacular and life changing experience! Although the 2017 AIM Houston Hawks Skills Team’s journey was truly amazing, it was not easy. We competed against each other for a spot on the team.”
Once assembled, the Hawks worked together to develop their talents as a team and as individuals. Focused with their eyes on the prize, they had one goal in mind: Prepare for and place at the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) Southwest Regional Olympics held in Ft. Worth, Texas. Team Captain, Josh Borell, set the standard for his team. “All of us went in with a job to do: bring home the gold.”
Joshua Borel (left) & Vijay Parsan at AMC.
The PAMA Southwest Regional Olympics introduced the AIM Houston Hawks to new challengers: AIM Dallas, Texas State Technical College, TULSA Tech, Tarrant Community College and Letourneau University. Many of the competing teams had worked together for several years and were veterans of the competition. Some of the teams even had multiple victories under their belts from a previous year at the PAMA Olympics. But this year was different; this year an aviation school from Houston, Texas stepped up to the plate and challenged the winning streak of Tarrant County Community College and Letourneau University. The results were in and AIM Houston Instructor and AIM Houston Hawks Coach, Mike Riccardelli, was elated with his team’s success:
The Hawks took 1st place individual, 3rd place individual, 1st place Overall Team and 2nd place for Operation C.H.A.O.S. This is a first for PAMA Southwest Regional Olympics. The Houston Campus Instructors were very instrumental in prepping this team and it takes an awesome team to become a winning team. This was a win for all of AIM!
It was a “welcome home” worthy of heroes as the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Houston Skills Team returned to their campus the Monday morning after the PAMA Olympics. Collecting 4 awards, including 1st place individual and 1st place overall, the team was met with a path of adoring students and spirited faculty, whose cheers of support and pride echoed throughout the hangar.
“After months of practice, blood, sweat, and tears we completed our job. We proved that making deadlines, hard work, and dedication pays off,“ said Borel. Not only did AIM Houston show what commitment and team work look like, they reminded competitors not to underestimate passion and devotion as a motivator for success.
After the thrill and excitement upon their return hushed in the hangar, the Hawks has a message for their campus, as well as their sister schools. This honor wasn’t just theirs; they graciously dedicated this win to all AIM students and instructors. “Our team has the skills and motivation, but what sets them apart is their passion for aviation maintenance and their passion for success,” Aaron Armendariz, Campus Executive Director of AIM Houston, articulated with pride.
But the Hawk’s journey didn’t stop there.
(Left to right) Vijay Parson, Brandon Daniel, Joshua Borel & Fernando Viertons at AMC.
Shortly after the win at PAMA, Armendariz received a call with an invitation for the team to attend the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) held in Orlando, Florida the week of April 24-27, 2017. Only this time, they were no longer the AIM Houston Skills Team. Representing all of AIM, the Hawks title graduated to the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Skills Team.
The date of the competition had finally arrived and, though the team was in Orlando, AIM Houston was steadfast with support. Time stood still as the entirety of students and staff gathered to anxiously watch the live feed of the AMC.
Questions plagued the campus community: Would they win? How would they do overall? What if they didn’t place? But regardless of the outcome, one thing the campus knew for sure was that the skills team would represent AIM with pride and give their all to succeed. Each day that passed students and staff could see the successfulness of the team; they knew this would be a close race and that the AIM skills team was one of the top contenders.
And then, the moment the campus and Skills team had been waiting for came: The announcement of the winners.
The room was silent as the AMC MC announced second place, overall. It was AIM! Second among all 22 schools that were competing, seventh of 56 teams competing and number one in the Schools Category for the Geared Turbo-Fan Engine Event. Hawk, Vijay Parsan, reminisces, “I enjoyed performing all the events as I knew in my heart that I was on the right path on building my future. Winning the cup, however, showed and proved to me that hard work and determination pays off immensely.”
(Left to right) Cordero Garcia, Fernando Viertons, Vijay Parsan, Joshua Borel & Brandon Daniel at AMC.
The Hawks triumph could not have been attained without the help of their coach, Mike Riccardelli, as well as countless faculty such as Brian Thompson, who rigorously helped prepare them for the different skills required for their success. “Being around the team is a reminder of “You get out of it, what you put into it.” They have their own bar, their own standard. And it is set very high,” Thompson boosts about the group.
As winners of the event, the AIM Houston Hawks received Pratt & Whitney scholarships totaling $16,000, Mechanix Certificates totaling $600 as well as Snap-On/Grypshon and Mechanix Wear for $800 of tools and equipment per team member. Team member Christa Isenhower left the event with the future on her mind: “This is an experience I will never forget and is a great start to a new career.”
Cordero Garcia (left) & Fernando Viertons at AMC.
The AMC competition was the experience of a lifetime for the AIM Houston Hawks. Roberto Moreira, Fernando Viertons and Cordero Garcia put into words the experience of the competition and their admiration of their team:
It has been both an honor and a blessing to be a part of the AIM Houston Maintenance Skills Team. I am so proud of each and every accomplishment the Hawks have achieved. From winning first place in the PAMA Olympics to having the second lowest time among schools at AMC, the team has really worked hard to get to this point. To see the amount of time, dedication and teamwork the guys had while they practiced was a sight to see. -Roberto Moreira
One of the things I learned in this amazing experience is that no matter the obstacles, be level minded, follow procedures and have fun. GO HAWKS! -Fernando Viertons
It was a wonderful opportunity to see all of the new technology and equipment being used in the field right now, as well as, being able to compete with some of the best in the profession. I look forward to going back and winning next year. -Cordero Garcia
This is a win for all the students who want to finish school and earn their certification. This is a win for all the individuals who need to be reminded that staying true to yourself and remaining loyal to something important truly pays off in the end.
AIM Houston is proud of this gifted group of individuals and we look forward to witnessing all their future success. Soar high, Hawks. You did it!