An aviation maintenance technician (AMT) career might suit you. However, here is what you need to know on job description, duties, education requirements, licensing requirements, salary & employment outlook:
What is an Aviation Maintenance Technician?
An aviation maintenance technician repairs and maintains all types of aircraft, such as planes and helicopters.
The duties of an AMT vary based on what company they work for. They can do anything from general maintenance to specialization in a specific area, like the airframe or powerplant. AMTs are required to diagnose issues, both mechanical and electrical, replace worn out or damaged parts and regularly inspect an aircraft on a maintenance schedule.
Aircraft maintenance schools offer programs you can complete in 18-24 months with hands-on training. The program’s curriculum should be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). An AMT has to study a “general” set of subjects for at least 1900 hours for subjects relating to General, Airframe and Powerplant.
“General” curriculum studies examples: Electricity, weight and balance, technical drawings, pneumatics, corrosion control, maintenance manuals and federal regulations, especially regarding repair and modification procedures.
Airframe studies examples: Inspection, fasteners, structures (like wood, composite, and sheet metal), welding, assembly, rigging, finishes, atmosphere controls and hydraulics.
Powerplant studies examples: Inspection, engine theories and repair, instruments, electrical, ignition, and fire protection.
Obtaining a FAA Airframe and Powerplant Certification
General rules to be eligible for a mechanic certificate in the U.S.:
- Be 18 years or older
- Able to fluently read, speak, and understand English
- Meet educational or experience requirements
- Pass a set of oral and practical required tests within 24 months
Salary and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 137,300 aviation maintenance jobs in 2014. BLS projects job outlook for holders of both Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate to be greater than only holding certification for one of the two. The annual mean wage pay for aviation maintenance technicians (mechanics) was $61,190 as of May 2016.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) states, “the drones are coming.” And with them, they are going to bring jobs as well as an economic impact due to the changes in the drone industry, especially with the introduction of part 107 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Drone Industry Growth
Business Insider defines drones as “aerial vehicles that can fly autonomously or be piloted by a remote individual.” Using this definition, they expect:
- Sales to go past $12 billion in 2021,a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% from 2016’s $8.5 billion
- Consumer drones alone to hit 29 million in 2021, a CAGR of 31.3%
- 805,000 in 2021 enterprise drones, a CAGR of 51% from 2016’s 102,600
The military drone market is mature with the Department of Defense (DOD) looking to increase its more than 7,000 drones in 2012 by 50 more at an estimated cost of $2.9 billion.
Estimated Economic Impact
The FAA 2015 prediction deadline for integrating drones into the national civilian airspace forecasted:
- $82.1 billion in economic impact by 2025
- 100,000 jobs by 2025
Who Will Buy Drones?
In a report by Markets and Markets, North America leads the forecast by 45% as the dominant regional market. Domestically in the US, agricultural drone applications will dwarf all others accounting for $75.6 billion of the total economic impact by 2025, according to AUVSI. Government facilities follow up by $3.2 billion while all other sectors combed will take up $3.2 billion of the economic impact.
Based on application: Aerial photography and remote sensing is expected to lead.
Based on duration of service: Short duration service is expected to lead.
Drone Economy Among States
AUVSI observes that the drone economy will not be spread in an even manner. The domestic drone boom will hugely benefit:
Other states that will still benefit albeit in a small manner are:
*These states are home to AIM: San Francisco Bay, California – Metro, Houston, Texas, Dallas, Texas – Metro, Orlando, Florida – Metro and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Small Model Hobbyists Drone Growth Prediction
The FAA predicts the hobbyists’ fleet to more than triple in size from 1.1 million vehicles in 2016 to more than 3.5 million in 2021. This represents a CAGR of 26.4%.
The drone industry is expected to grow. Take Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems course to become a part of this industry. This course is offered at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance – Manassas VA, Chesapeake VA, Atlanta – Metro GA, Oakland Metro CA, Dallas –Metro TX, Houston TX, Kansas City MO, Philadelphia PA, and Las Vegas NV campuses.
The Indianapolis campus of Aviation Institute of Maintenance will be holding a career fair for its students, graduates, as well as individuals in the community who are seeking employment.
By Brian Stauss
The Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) will be holding a career fair on Thursday, October 5 at its campus located at 7251 W McCarty St, Indianapolis, IN. The fair begins at 2 p.m. and will continue until 5:30 p.m.
The event will feature a wide range of companies from the aviation industry, as well as companies not related to aviation. Employers attending will lend guidance regarding the application process for their companies, and may even hold on-site interviews for qualified applicants. Guests are expected to attend the career fair professionally dressed, with copies of their resumes and prepared to network. A list of participating employers can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/404700236594263.
“We are very excited to welcome these employers to our campus for this career fair,” says Andy Duncan, Campus Executive Direction of Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Indianapolis campus. “This marks a valuable opportunity for individuals interested in pursuing a career in aviation maintenance and provides an avenue for us to promote the various training options available here at AIM.”
The career fair is free and open to the public. For more information regarding Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s career fair, contact AIM’s Indianapolis campus at (317) 243-4519.
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 Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) and Fulcrum Labs have won this year’s Brandon Hall Group Silver award for excellence in the Best Results of a Learning Program category.
This award was presented to AIM and Fulcrum Labs for their Professional Aviation Maintenance learning program. The program was designed to prepare AIM learners to succeed within the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aircraft mechanic certifications. The online test preparation course prepares AIM’s 3,500 active students, as well as countless military and civilian aircraft maintainers, for FAA certification. As a result of this program, AIM was able to improve its student pass rates from 79 percent to 90 percent.
“For aircraft mechanics, passing the FAA Aircraft Mechanic Certifications is a make-or-break situation. It takes intense time, confidence-building, and preparation to prepare for FAA certification, and the financial stakes for students is significant,” said Joel English, VP of Aviation Institute of Maintenance. “Leveraging the Fulcrum Labs technology to deliver this program has been great for our business, but more importantly, it has been incredibly impactful for our students, who now have greater confidence and a better chance of passing these critical exams.”
Fulcrum Labs is an adaptive, personalized learning technology that is designed to increase application of knowledge and turbocharge an existing LMS/HRMS to deliver quantifiable, verifiable mastery. This year’s honor marks Fulcrum Labs’ third Brandon Hall Group Award win.
“Excellence Award winners symbolize the power and impact that Human Capital Management practices can have on a business or on any organization,” said Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. “Many organizations can have great HCM initiatives, but the standard of excellence only applies for organizations whose HCM practices truly benefit the business. That’s what the Excellence Awards program stands for, and that is what Brandon Hall Group stands for.”
The award entries were evaluated by a panel of independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts, and executives based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measureable benefits.
More information about the Brandon Hall Group and its Excellence in Learning Awards can be found at http://www.brandonhall.com/excellenceawards/.
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: http://www.AviationMaintenance.edu.
About Fulcrum Labs
Fulcrum Labs turns Students into Learners and Learners into Confident Subject Matter Masters. Learning shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, like an old pair of sweatpants. We believe training should begin with personalization and engagement. It should build confidence and lead to mastery. And, it should provide insightful, actionable data to verify mastery; predict which employees might not be able to apply the training; and help evaluate and fine-tune the course. Our personalized, adaptive learning and predictive analytics (PALPA™) SaaS platform is a result of this philosophy. It replicates many of the benefits of a dedicated, one-on-one tutor. Through real-time performance and behavioral data, Fulcrum’s machine learning algorithms deliver the right content at the right time. The result: a combination of mastery and confidence. Employees are more engaged and capable of applying the training back to the workplace. Fulcrum’s customers have seen tremendous results in markets including commercial aviation, healthcare, manufacturing, certification prep and higher education. For more information on Fulcrum Labs, please visit: http://www.the-fulcrum.com/
About Brandon Hall Group
Brandon Hall Group is a HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management.
With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering world-class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is focused on developing research that drives performance in emerging and large organizations, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results. (www.brandonhall.com)
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.