AvScholars Online Bookstore

AvScholars eTimes
Free Newsletter

AvScholars Store
Channel Poll
Please rate:
Aircraft Mechanic
5 = Excellent
1 = Poor

Add Comments:

Please complete:
Website Survey

Aircraft Mechanic, Aviation Maintenance Technicians, Aviation Maintenance Schools

Aviation Maintenance: Education and Training

The FAA requires at least 18 months of work experience for an airframe, powerplant, or avionics technicians certificate. For a combined A & P certificate, at least 30 months of experience working with both engines and airframes is required. Many applicants complete an aviation maintenance technician program at an FAA-approved Part 147 Aviation Maintenance School. This training may be substituted for the work experience requirement. FAA standards established by law require that certified aviation maintenance schools offer students a minimum of 1,900 actual class hours. Coursework in these certified schools normally lasts from 18 to 30 months and provides training with the tools and equipment used on the job. All applicants must pass written and oral tests as well as a practical examination to demonstrate that they can perform the work authorized by the A&P certificate. To obtain an inspector’s authorization, a mechanic must have held an A & P certificate for at least 3 years.

FAA regulations also require current experience to keep the A & P certificate valid. Applicants must have at least 1,000 hours of work experience in the previous 24 months or take a refresher course. As new and more complex aircraft are designed, more employers are requiring mechanics to take ongoing training to update their skills. Recent technological advances in aircraft maintenance necessitate a strong background in electronics—both for acquiring and retaining jobs in this field. FAA certification standards also make ongoing training mandatory. Every 24 months, mechanics are also required to take at least 16 hours of training to keep their certificate. Many mechanics take courses offered by manufacturers or employers, usually through outside contractors.

Aircraft mechanics trained in the US Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard) usually acquire enough general experience to satisfy the FAA work experience requirements for the FAA certificate. However, jobs in the military are too specialized to provide the broad experience required by the FAA. Therefore, most Armed Forces’ mechanics have to complete additional training in order to qualify for the Airframe & Powerplant certificate. Thus many military-trained mechanics complete a full training program at a FAA-approved Part 147 Aviation Maintenance School to become FAA certified mechanics, although a few receive some credit for the materials they learned in the military. In any case, military experience is a great advantage when seeking employment, since many employers prefer job applicants with work experience combined with FAA certification.

In order to receive credit for some of your military practical experience, you should make sure you are in a military occupational specialty for which FAA gives credit. You can get a current list of acceptable specialties from the local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). When you are ready to make the transition from a military to civilian mechanic, you must present an official letter from your military employer certifying your length of service, the amount of time you worked in each specialties, the make and model of the aircraft or engine on which you got practical experience, and where you got the experience. You cannot count time you spent training for the specialty, only the time you spent working in the specialty.

Helpful High School Courses
If you’re interested in this career field, you should take courses in high school that prepare you to enter college or other postsecondary schools. Courses should include mathematics, physics, chemistry, electronics, computer science, and mechanical drawing are helpful, because they demonstrate many of the principles involved in the operation of aircraft, and knowledge of these principles is often necessary to make repairs. Courses in English will also develop writing skills also are important because mechanics are often required to submit reports.

Previous Next
Job Description Skills and Other Requirements
Career Advancement  
Union Memberships 
Working Conditions
Hours and Benefits

Sources by: Federal Aviation Administration, US Occupational Handbook, and U.S. Department of Defense.



Featured Channels: Careers in Aviation | Aviation Colleges | Learn to Fly | Aviation Maintenance | Pay for School
Paying for Flight Training | Student Loans and Lenders | Aviation Employers | Diversity in Aviation

| My AvScholars | About Us | F.A.Q. | Contact Us | Media Center
| Links | Alliances | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy

AvScholars.com: Aviation Maintenance is your one-stop source to information on aviation maintenance schools and how to become an aviation maintenance technician, aircraft mechanic, or avionics technician. Search MyAvScholars: Aviation Colleges Directory to find aviation maintenance schools and aviation colleges offering aviation maintenance programs.

Copyright © 2003 - 2007 AvScholars Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Web Design by Scott Daum with programming by Willmaster