Q. What aviation mechanic
certificates and ratings are issued by FAA?
A. FAA issues a single mechanic certificate with an
Airframe (A) rating, or a Powerplant (P) rating, or both
(A&P) ratings to qualified applicants.
Q. What are the requirements
for a mechanic certificate (license)?
A. The requirements are prescribed by Federal Aviation
Regulations, Part 65, Certification: Airmen Other Than
Flight Crewmembers. An applicant must be: At least 18
years old; Able to read, write, speak, and understand
the English language (with certain exceptions permitted);
Able to meet the experience, knowledge, and skill requirements
for at least one rating; and Able to pass all the prescribed
tests within a 24-month period.
Q. Are there any general educational
prerequisites for obtaining the mechanic certificate?
A. No; however, some employers may require a minimum
of a high school education.
Q. Do I need a medical
certificate for a mechanic certificate?
Q. If I have a physical defect,
will it disqualify me from getting a mechanic certificate?
A. No; however, some employers may have established
physical requirements for employment as an aviation
mechanic in their organization.
Q. I wish to prepare
for the FAA mechanic tests by taking correspondence
courses during my spare time. Which courses do your
A. The FAA does not recognize any correspondence
course in lieu of practical experience or graduation
from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician
Q. What is the difference
between an FAA certificate and a license?
A. No difference. The FAA mechanic certificate is
frequently referred to as a license.
Q. Must I have an FAA
mechanic certificate to get a job as an airline mechanic?
A. No. Possession of an FAA mechanic certificate
for employment by an air carrier is not a requirement
of the Federal Aviation Regulations. It is often used
by the air carriers as one of several hiring requirements.
Q. Can I work as an aviation
mechanic without being certificated?
A. Yes, providing you work under the supervision
of a certificated person and do not release aircraft
Q. Must I hold a mechanic
certificate to work in a certificated repair station?
Q. Can I obtain the
necessary experience and skill to qualify for a mechanic
certificate and rating(s) without attending an FAA certificated
aviation maintenance technician (mechanic) school?
A. Yes. You can obtain the necessary experience
and skill by obtaining employment with any facility
engaged in the construction, maintenance, and/or alteration
of aircraft, powerplants, and/or appliances.
Q. Will my experience
as a noncertificated mechanic or repairman in a repair
station be qualifying experience toward a mechanic certificate?
A. Yes, providing the experience was on airframes,
powerplants, or both.
Q. Does the FAA issue any
specialist ratings for certificated mechanics, i.e.
ground equipment specialist, welder, electronics specialist?
Q. I have 10 years
of experience as an Armed Forces jet aircraft mechanic.
Why do I have to demonstrate knowledge and skill in
such areas as woodwork, welding, dope and fabric, weight
and balance, etc., for a civil mechanic certificate?
A. Mechanic certificate privileges allow mechanics
to perform maintenance in a large number of areas. The
holder of a mechanic certificate is relatively unrestricted
as to working on a particular type of aircraft or to
specialized maintenance functions. Therefore, the FAA
must ensure that an applicant is competent to perform
in the broad work areas in which he is privileged to
Q. I was an instrument specialist
in the Armed Forces. If I get a mechanic certificate,
will I be permitted to be in charge of maintenance of
instruments in a certificated repair station?
A. No, you must also have a repairman certificate
(the same applies to propellers).
Q. Where can I get information
about aviation mechanic jobs?
A. Members of the Armed Forces should check with
their service personnel office or Project Transition
Officer for leads on job opportunities in civil aviation.
Others may wish to write to the personnel department
of any of the airlines and request information about
job opportunities at their overhaul bases. Another source
of information is the local U.S. Employment Service
Q. I worked 10 hours a day,
6 days a week, for a total of 3,120 hours as an A&P
mechanic apprentice during the past year. Since this
time is equal to the number of hours accumulated by
working 40 hours a week for 18 months, does this comparable
mechanic experience time qualify me to take the mechanic
A. No. Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 65, Certification:
Airmen Other Than Flight Crewmembers, does not provide
for anything less than 18 months of practical experience
for issuance of a mechanic certificate with a single
rating, and 30 months of practical experience concurrently
performing the duties appropriate to both the airframe
and powerplant ratings for a certificate with both A&P
Q. How much aviation mechanic
experience do I need to qualify for the mechanic certificate?
A. A minimum of 18 months of appropriate experience
for each rating or 30 months of concurrent experience
for both ratings.
Q. Must I be a graduate of
an FAA certificated aviation maintenance technician
(mechanic) school to qualify to take the FAA mechanic
A. No, however, graduation from the appropriate
course of a certificated aviation maintenance technician
(mechanic) school is one way to meet the experience
Q. I am a U.S. citizen, living
in the United States. I have more than 3 years of experience
as an aviation mechanic, how do I get a mechanic certificate
A. Visit any FAA Flight Standards District Office
and present your documentary evidence of experience
to an FAA airworthiness inspector for his/her evaluation.
If the FAA inspector approves your documentary evidence
of experience, you will be permitted to take the FAA
mechanic written test.
Q. What documents must be
presented to an FAA inspector for evaluation prior to
taking the written test?
A. Applicants (U.S. citizens) for the written test
should present documentary evidence from former or current
employers indicating length and type of experience.
Applicants who were aviation mechanics in the Armed
Forces should present their Form DD-214, Certificate
of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, which list
their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) codes, schools
attended and length of service. In addition, those applicants
should present documents that certify training received,
length of time served in each MOS code and personal
evaluation records. Those applicants who are in the
Armed Forces should present documents certifying training
received, personnel evaluation records, and a letter
from either their Executive Officer or Classification
Officer indicating length of military service, their
MOS codes, and length of service in those codes. Applicants
(U.S. citizens or foreign nationals) who are graduates
of an FAA-certificated aviation maintenance technician
(mechanic) school should present their graduation certificate.
In addition to the required documents, an applicant
should be prepared to present appropriate personal identification
to the FAA inspector.
Q. What must a foreign national
show to the FAA in order to take the airframe and powerplant
A. A foreign applicant who graduated from an FAA-approved
aviation maintenance technician (mechanic) school must
present an appropriate graduation certificate or certificate
of completion. The ability to read, write, speak and
understand the English language. Positive identification
(i.e., passport). A signed and detailed original statement
from their employer substantiating the specific type
of maintenance performed and duration of each. A detailed
statement obtained from the foreign airworthiness authority
of the country in which the experience was gained or
from an advisor of the International Civil Aviation
Organization that will validate the applicant's experience.
All documents presented to the inspector or advisor
must be signed, dated originals, and traceable to the
initiator. If located outside the United States, a foreign
applicant (without a certificate of graduation or completion)
must show the following at the time of the application.
Proof that he worked on U.S.-registered aircraft or
for a U.S. carrier. Positive identification. A signed
and detailed statement from their employer substantiating
the specific type of maintenance performed and duration
of each. A detailed statement obtained from a foreign
airworthiness authority of the country in which the
experience was gained or from an advisor of the International
Civil Aviation Organization that will validate the applicant's
experience. All documents presented to the inspector
or advisor must be signed, dated originals, and traceable
to the initiator. NOTE: Applicants are not required
to read, write, speak, and understand the English language
if employed outside the United States by a U.S. carrier;
however, mechanic certificates issued to foreign applicants
who are not fluent in the English language shall be
endorsed "Valid Only Outside the United States."
Q. If I meet the experience
requirements for the mechanic certificate, can I take
the required tests while in the Armed Forces?
Q. Can I take the mechanic
written, oral, and practical tests if I am in the Armed
Forces and stationed overseas?
A. In some instances, yes. You should contact the
FAA office responsible for the general area in which
you are located and request information about the feasibility
of taking the tests while stationed overseas.
Q. How do I obtain permission
to take the written test?
A. Applicants are required to complete FAA Form
8610-2, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application,
and present it to an FAA airworthiness inspector. When
your experience has been evaluated and approved by an
FAA inspector, you may take the written test at an FAA
approved testing center.
Q. What are the written test
A. Written test questions are of the objective,
multiple-choice type. Sample questions will be found
in the current issue of Advisory Circular 65-2 or subsequent
revisions, Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics Certification
Guide, and Advisory Circular 65-9A, Airframe and Powerplant
Mechanics, General Handbook. Both are available (fee
required) from a Government Printing Office.
Q. What document(s) must be
presented prior to taking the mechanic oral and practical
A. An applicant for the oral and practical tests
must present a valid AC Form 8080-2, Airman Written
Test Report(s), indicating that all parts of the written
test have been passed. In addition, applicants for the
oral and practical test may present documentation of
practical experience obtained through previous employment,
or training schools, or in the military services. Such
documentation may be used by the Designated Mechanic
Examiner (DME) when determining the oral and practical
projects to be assigned during the test.
Q. If an applicant fails any
part of the written or oral and practical test(s), how
soon may he/she apply for a retest?
A. An applicant who fails any part of the written
or oral and practical test(s) may apply for retesting
30 days after the date he/she failed the test. Or, before
the 30 days have expired, an applicant may present a
statement signed by an appropriately certificated mechanic
or an appropriately certificated repairman indicating
that the applicant has received additional instruction
in each of the subjects failed, and the airman now considers
that the applicant is ready for retesting.
Q. Who administers the mechanic
oral and practical tests?
A. A Designated Mechanic Examiner.
Q. Where can I get a list
of the Designated Mechanic Examiners?
A. A list may be obtained from the appropriate FAA
District Office and in the current issue of Advisory
Circular 183-22, FAA Designated Maintenance Technician
Q. How much time is permitted
for completion of the airframe written test? For the
powerplant written test?
A. Applicants are given 5 hours to complete each
Q. Is there a fee for taking
the written test?
A. Yes, all tests are now conducted by FAA approved
Q. Is there a fee for taking
the mechanic oral and practical tests?
A. Yes. All oral and practical tests are conducted
by Designated Mechanic Examiners; however, he/she will
furnish the testing facility and can usually arrange
to furnish the tools, materials, and necessary supplies.
Q. Can I take the mechanic
written test at night or during the weekend.
A. Some testing centers may make arrangements for
taking written tests on weekends.
Q. What document must be presented
prior to retaking a written test that was previously
A. A valid AC Form 8080-2, Airman Written Test Report,
for the preceding test.
Q. Where can I obtain more
detailed information about the requirements, application
procedures, and the tests for a mechanic certificate?
A. The current issue of Advisory Circular 65-2 contains
detailed information about the certificate requirements,
application procedures, and the mechanic written, oral
and practical tests. It is available from the Government
Q. Are there any other reference
A. Yes, there are many good commercial textbooks
available on loan from public libraries or may be purchased
directly from the publishers. The Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington
DC 20402, will provide free of charge, on request, Guide
to Federal Aviation Publications (FAA-APA-PG-9), which
provides titles of aviation publications available from
GPO and the cost of each.
Q. Is there a charge for issuing
For how long is the mechanic certificate valid?
A. The mechanic certificate is valid until surrendered,
suspended, or revoked.