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Aviation Mechanic Training School

If you are interested in a career as an aircraft and avionics equipment mechanic or service technician, you will need to complete a training program at an aircraft mechanic school. These schools teach students how to inspect, diagnose and repair the engines of different types of planes and other aviation equipment. The FAA requires students to complete at least 1,900 hours of class time in order to become a professional aviation mechanic. Most schools offer comprehensive hands-on and classroom training programs so that students can get the education and training they need to fulfill all FAA requirements.

Types of Aircraft Mechanic Schools

Some schools offer online programs for students who want to complete their training program from a distance. Online and distance learning programs may still require the student to complete hands-on training at a local aviation facility. Some of the schools and organizations in the United States that offer these programs include:

  • San Joaquin Valley College in Fresno
  • Crimson Technical College
  • Redstone College
  • Everglades University
  • National Aviation Academy
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Aviation Institute of Maintenance
  • Iowa Western Community College
  • Kansas State University
  • National Aviation Academy
  • Western Michigan University
  • Northland Community and Technical College

Types of Aircraft Mechanic Training Programs

Many aviation mechanic schools offer an associate of occupational science or associate of applied science degree in the field of aviation maintenance technology. Other schools offer technical engineer and technician programs, and prepare students for FAA and FCC licensing examinations.

Some of the different types of training programs available include:

  • Associate of Occupational Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Program
  • Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer (AMTE) Program
  • Airframe Maintenance Technician Program
  • Powerplant Maintenance Technician
  • Avionics Technician Program
  • Human Factors in Aviation Courses

Courses in an Aircraft Mechanic Training Program

Some the courses include:

  • Sheet Metal Structures
  • Aircraft Fuel Systems
  • Aircraft Electronic Systems and Wiring
  • Bonding and Composite Airframes
  • Propeller Pitch
  • Pilot and Static Air Pressure Flight Instruments
  • Aircraft Fuel Systems
  • Aircraft Pneumatic Systems for Brakes
  • Vacuum Powered Gyroscopic Flight Altitude Systems

Completing a Training Program at an Aircraft Mechanic School

Even though some mechanics can get the training they need through on-the-job training, most attend an aviation maintenance technician school that has been certified by the FAA. Most mechanics are trained to work on civilian aircraft and are certified by the FAA. All students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, be at least 18 years of age, and must have certain types of technical skills.

There are only 170 Aviation Maintenance Technician schools in the United States that are certified by the FAA, and by law, all certified mechanics must have completed at least 1,900 class hours. The average training program lasts between 12 and 24 months and most include all of the tools and equipment that the mechanic would use in the job setting. Approximately one-third of FAA-certified schools also offer two-year and four-year degree programs in the fields of aviation technology, avionics and aviation maintenance management.

Students who plan to complete a training program must have a strong educational background in mathematics, physics, computer science, chemistry and electronics. Skills in mechanical drawing can also help the student learn the basics about aircraft operation.

FAA regulations require all students who complete these training programs to have at least 18 months of work experience before applying for an airframe or powerplant certificate. All FAA mechanics are required to keep their certificates current by taking refresher courses and completing at least 16 hours of training every 24 months.

Career Opportunities and Employment after Aircraft Mechanic School

Students who successfully complete a training program can become aircraft or avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians. Employment in this field is expected to grow about as fast as the average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and most job openings for aircraft mechanics through 2018 will be the result of increased demand to replace mechanics who are retiring.

As of May 2008, the median hourly wages of aircraft mechanics and service technicians were approximately $24.71.

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