Aircraft Maintenance Technician : Our Ultimate Guide
Why Aircraft Maintenance Technicians are in high demand
Whether you are a student looking to join the ranks of Aircraft Mechanics or Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or an apprentice pursuing his Part-66 license from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Europe, grab an oily rag.
The aviation sector relies heavily on aircraft maintenance specialists to keep aircraft safe and flying. Aircraft Mechanics are responsible for examining, replacing, and maintaining aircraft systems, avionics, flight controls and engine/fuel systems. New demands for highly skilled experts in the fields of battery technology, composite structures, and hydrogen systems is now greater than ever due to the critical need for sustainable transportation.
Below you will find details on what an aircraft maintenance technician does, the qualifications needed, education, and training avenues. We also look at the various specialties within the industry and the tools and equipment they work with.
Duties of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMT)
The MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) sector employs mechanics at all levels. Technicians carry out tasks such as
Component removal and installation,
Structural repairs/ rectification
Rigging and adjustment/test
AD/SB modifications and inspections on both the airframe and the engines.
A new breed of technician is also required. We need them for the new technology that will help us get to #NetZero. They will be responsible for inspecting, maintaining, and fixing new Electric and Hydrogen powered aircraft electrical systems, flying controls, and avionics. This comprises checking that the wiring, connectors, and electrical system’s parts are in good operating order. To make sure the aircraft is receiving enough power, they must also inspect the battery packs and other power sources.
Aviation Mechanic Skills, Education and Licenses
Here are the categories of technician under the FAA Part 147 direct (or apprentice) routes.
General Technician – Aviation Maintenance
Airframe Technician Part 1 – Aviation Maintenance
Airframe Technician Part 2 – Aviation Maintenance
Powerplant Technician Part 1 – Aviation Maintenance
Powerplant Technician Part 2 – Aviation Maintenance
You can also get both and this is known as an Aircraft & Powerplant (A&P) Certificate.
EASA have the same Part 147 training structure and you can find that data at EASA. The licenses are also categorized with the basic being the EASA Part 66 Category A Maintenance License.
There are several routes to becoming an Aircraft Mechanic or Aircraft Engineer. Here are the major ones’
1. Airline Apprenticeship
2. Maintenance Organization Apprenticeship
3. Ab-initio technician training program
4. Military Apprenticeship
5. Self-Study route (Self-funded course, Exams & Experience)
6. Academic Route (Degree in a technical acceptable to the Authority)
Specialist Roles for Aviation Mechanics
Some specialist roles for aircraft mechanics on new technology aircraft include
Aircraft systems technicians
Avionics technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing an aircraft’s electronic systems. Powerplant technicians work on an aircraft’s engines and other powerplant systems like the APU. Airframe technicians maintain and repair the structure of the aircraft. Composite technicians specialize in working with composite materials used in modern aircraft like the B787 and A350.
Systems technicians are responsible for troubleshooting and maintaining complex integrated systems such as flight control or navigation systems. Instrumentation technicians focus on the maintenance of instruments used to measure various parameters such as speed, altitude, or fuel levels.
The Tools and Equipment used by Aviation Technicians
Aircraft maintenance technicians use a variety of tools and testing techniques to inspect, diagnose, and repair aircraft components. These include
such as wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, and hammers; power tools such as drills and grinders; specialized tools such as torque wrenches and rivet guns;
such as multimeters, oscilloscopes, borescopes, and infrared thermometers.
such as visual inspections, pressure tests, electrical system tests, vibration analysis, oil analysis, ultrasonic inspections, eddy current inspections, x-ray inspections, magnetic particle inspections (MPI), dye penetrant inspections (DPI), and nondestructive testing (NDT).
Career Outlook- Salaries and Roles
Because FAA and EASA-approved credentials are acknowledged all around the world, this is a career with long-term growth potential that will enable you to travel.
Over the next 20 years, the airline sector will experience strong long-term expansion, with annual passenger numbers rising from 713 million to 1.3 billion. This increase in demand will necessitate more aircraft, which will necessitate more aircraft maintenance employees. You will have the chance to travel and experience different cultures because these jobs are spread out all over the world. The strict requirements that FAA-qualified aircraft maintenance technicians must uphold make them highly sought-after. English is also the primary language of aviation.
|2021 Mean Annual Wage ($)
|Projected Employees by 2031
|Entry Level Education
|% Increase in Employment by 2031
|Aircraft Maintenance Technician
|Postsecondary non Degree
|Airlines, MRO, Airports
|High School Diploma
|High School Diploma
|Aviation Safety Inspector
|High School Diploma
|Aviation Systems Engineer
|$ 122, 270
|Aviation Human Resources Specialist
|Airlines, Airports, MROs
|Aviation Data Analyst
*Salary is Median Range in US 2021 dollars according to the US Bureau of Labor statistics. This has been crossed referenced with five top G7 countries and found to be within 3-5%. For indicative purposes only.
Tips for Aspiring Aircraft Maintenance Technicians
Obtaining an FAA or EASA-approved Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) certification is essential for succeeding in the aircraft maintenance field. This certification will demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to work on aircraft safely and effectively.
Develop technical skills & Knowledge
Aircraft mechanics must possess a wide range of technical skills, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems knowledge. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and advancements in the industry by taking continuing education courses or attending seminars.
Learn safety protocols
Safety is paramount in the aviation industry, so it’s important for aspiring aircraft mechanics to understand all safety protocols and procedures related to their job duties. This includes following all FAA regulations as well as any additional safety guidelines set by the employer.
Building relationships with other professionals in the aviation industry can be beneficial for career advancement opportunities and staying informed about new developments in the field. Attend conferences, join professional organizations, and take advantage of networking opportunities whenever possible.
Aircraft mechanics must be able to keep track of multiple tasks at once while ensuring accuracy. Airworthiness being a critical component.