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Schools and Courses for Aviation Technician Training

An aviation career offers many opportunities for aircraft mechanics, an aviation technician, and aerospace professionals. In most cases, the aviation technician is required to perform scheduled maintenance for aircraft while following the guidelines required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Aircraft mechanics can become specialized in a particular area including aircraft inspection, preventative maintenance, power plant mechanics, or pursue a research role at an aviation firm. Aviation training is a part of the curriculum of many aviation schools, and can lead to a valuable career in the long-term.

Job Description and Responsibilities of an Aircraft Mechanic or Aviation Technician

Graduates of aviation schools are expected to:

  • Understand basic mechanical procedures of aviation vehicles and aircraft
  • Work with teams and independently
  • Fly to various locations for specific projects
  • Monitor the aircraft's basic operations
  • Understand design and repair procedures
  • Work with pilots to diagnose problems with aircraft
  • Learn about the components of avionics systems
  • Responsibly adhere to safety standards and principles administered by the FAA
  • Diagnose and troubleshoot aircraft problems
  • Update their skills and knowledge with ongoing training

Career Options After Aviation School

Students of can choose to pursue their career as an:

  • Aircraft Systems Managers

  • Avionics Equipment Service Technicians

  • Civilian Aircraft Mechanics

  • Airport Representatives

  • Military Aviation Technicians

  • Air Traffic Controllers

  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineers

  • Air Force Officers

  • Airline Support Services

Aviation Training & Certification

The majority of aviation mechanics and technicians work on civilian aircraft that has been certified by the FAA. The FAA designates each type of aviation technician as a 'powerplant mechanic' or an 'airframe mechanic'. Uncertified mechanics are supervised by certified mechanics, but certification allows the individual to perform inspections and manage a team.

The FAA sets the standards and guidelines for both airframe and powerplant certification. Students may pursue a combined Airframe and Powerplant Certification that requires a minimum of 30 months of experience in the engine and airframes fields. In lieu of this aviation training, a FAA-certified mechanic school can also provide the relevant work experience. Aviation training is a priority for all aviation career candidates. All applicants must pass a written and oral examination. After holding the A&P certificate for a minimum of 3 years and 24 months of hands-on experience, an applicant can pursue inspector's authorization. Most airlines require a minimum of a high school diploma and an A&P certificate.

The FAA certifies approximately 170 aviation schools around the country, and one-third of these offer a 4-year degree in aviation technology, aviation, or aviation maintenance management. The FAA sets the standards and laws for certification of schools, and each student must complete a minimum of 1900 class hours.

Common courses of study include:

  • Tools and equipment training
  • Aviation electronics
  • Composite materials
  • Turbine engine and technology
  • Aircraft construction
  • General courses in mathematics, chemistry, computer science, electronics, and physics

The FAA also requires ongoing study and work experience to maintain the A&P certification. This requires that all applicants have at least 1,000 hours of work experience over 24 months. Training and updates are important as aircraft design and technology evolves. Some mechanics choose to take the FAA examination in order to obtain licenses and flying experience to become a pilot.

Accreditation of Aviation Schools

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCST) is the accrediting body for aviation schools and mechanic programs. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for maintaining standards and compliance of all programs.

Aviation School Graduates Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

Aviation school graduates have many options to grow a lifelong career in the industry. Although the economy has been weaker from reduced passenger traffic in 2001, the need for aviation maintenance technicians and research positions is steadily growing. Many mechanics are expected to retire over the next ten years which can open up more options for mechanics and specialized technicians. The market is favorable for aviation careers, and job opportunities with airlines are expected to be better than previous years. An aviation technician who is cross-trained will have more options and opportunities in the long term, and licensing can help them specialize in particular aircraft and fields. Median hourly earnings for aircraft mechanics and aviation technicians were $21.77, while median hourly earnings for avionics technicians were about $21.30 in 2004. Positions that work with airlines also qualify for reduced fares and other benefits of employment. Related occupations include:

  • Aerospace firms

  • U.S. Armed Forces positions

  • Federal Government research

  • Airport work

  • Military installations

  • Aerospace manufacturing

  • Flight engineers

  • Airline pilots



Back to Schools and Courses for Aviation Technician Training



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