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Aircraft Maintenance Technician: Salary, Duties and Requirements

Aircraft maintenance technicians perform inspections and repairs on aircraft engines and airframes. They also service electrical and hydraulic parts, such as starters, fuel pumps and generators.

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Salary Info for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aircraft maintenance technicians earned a median annual wage of $55,210 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov). Earnings are affected by whether maintenance techs work for a major airline or not, as well as the type of training received. Graduating from an approved school tends to earn techs a higher starting salary than other means of training, such as learning on the job or through military service.

Aircraft Maintenance Tech Duties

Aircraft maintenance technicians are trained to adjust aircraft engines and pneumatic systems, remove and install aircraft components and diagnose problems. Some of their duties include checking electrical systems, repairing pilot static systems and performing regular preventive inspections. Technicians examine aircraft fuselage (the aircraft's main body) and landing gear for cracks or leakage. They repair or replace defective aircraft parts and check completed work to ensure that it meets quality standards.

Requirements for Aircraft Maintenance Techs

Education

According to the BLS, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved about 170 schools to prepare aviation maintenance techs. These schools provide training in aviation maintenance, avionics and aviation technology. Students can enroll in associate's or bachelor's degree programs. Training programs typically include courses such as mechanical drawing, electronics, computer science, physics and mathematics. Trainees can often specialize in areas such as information technology, aerospace electronics or maintenance management.

Certification

Graduates from approved schools are eligible to take the certification examinations given by the FAA. Specific certifications include the airframe and powerplant (aircraft engine and propeller) mechanic certifications; a combination of the two is called an A&P certification. Applicants must have at least 30 months of experience working with both systems to apply for the combination A&P license. Testing consists of practical and oral tests given by an FAA examiner.

Continuing Education

Due to advances in technology and the complexity of aircraft systems, it's necessary for aircraft maintenance technicians to take training courses throughout their careers. The ongoing training required to maintain certification ensures that technicians' knowledge remains up-to-date.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Utah (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Utah State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
        • Avionics Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Kansas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Kansas State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southern Illinois University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
        • Automotive Mechanics
        • Avionics Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Alaska (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Alaska include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
        • Automotive Mechanics
        • Diesel Mechanics
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Aircraft Powerplant Tech
        • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
        • Autobody Repair
        • Automotive Mechanics
        • Diesel Mechanics
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geological Engineering
      • Materials Engineering
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering
      • Systems Engineering
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Engineering Physics
      • Math
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
      • Math
      • Mechanical Engineering

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics