A Guide to Becoming an Aircraft Mechanic
Aircraft and avionics technicians and mechanics are the people who perform scheduled and unscheduled aircraft and helicopter maintenance. There are hundreds and thousands of mechanics employed today.
It has been forecasted that by 2020 the rate of aviation maintenance jobs which is about 9000 positions will grow by 6%. This growth rate is a slower rate of growth than the overall rate projected for all jobs till 2020.
When then does an individual have to do to become an aircraft mechanic or technician? Although it is helpful to have a college degree to obtain your first job, it is not really required to have a college degree to be an aircraft mechanic or technician. Most mechanics and technicians learn the trade at an FAA Approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School. The course may be finished from a year and a half to two years. Around 30% of all aviation schools offer college degrees. Two or four year degree courses may be taken in selected schools. In recent years, employers consider candidates for aviation maintenance positions more favorably on those applicants with a four year degree.
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Other aviation schools offer technical academic and practical courses. Aircraft trade schools focus on airframe composite, avionics, jet engines, wiring, aircraft systems, and much more. The school requires students to take additional courses like mathematics, electronics, computer science, mechanical drawing, FAA regulations, and much more.
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If you want to get a mechanic’s certification, the FAA offers separate certifications, one for airframe mechanics and the other one for engine mechanics, (A&P) certificate. To become an aircraft mechanic, you need to pass these minimum requirements including you age to be at least 18 years of age, fluent in English, and have 30 months of experience working on airframes and engines. The experience requirement can be substituted with the completion of a certified school program at an approved FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician School.
The FAA Designated Mechanic Examiner administers the oral and practical tests that the applicants must pass. All tests must be passed to obtain the certification within two years of the initial application date of testing. Wherever you are in the world, you can find designated testing facilities where you may take a test.
To maintain their license certification, aircraft mechanics must inspect or repair aircraft every 90 days and attend a refresher course every 24 months.
It may sometime be stressful to do the daily job of an A&P mechanic. They need to meet aircraft flight schedule departure times, maintain aircraft safety, and repair aircraft in difficult work environment. There are times when mechanics needs to work more hours beyond the standard work day and more than five days per week.
Aircraft mechanics earn five figure wages. That is certainly a good salary today, that is why you should certainly get aircraft mechanic training.