Airframe Technology Training and Education Program Overviews

Approved aircraft technology degree programs provide students with an educational foundation in the field as they learn about the internal and external makings and processes of aircraft.

Essential Information

Aspiring airframe technicians seeking an associate's degree program must first find one that is accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), from which they can seek certification. Specific curriculum varies by school, but typically includes general education courses, such as English composition and psychology and covers basic mechanic processes such as welding, rigging, assembling and finishing. Students learn how to apply these concepts in order to maintain, repair and calibrate aircraft electrical, navigational, hydraulic, landing gear, positioning and control systems. Most programs are offered by community, technical and vocational colleges and can be completed in less than a year. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) equivalent. In some cases, students must pass mathematics and English language placement tests to be admitted.

  • Program Levels: Associate's and certification
  • Prerequisites: A high school diploma or its equivalent; some programs administer placement tests
  • Program Length: Many last less than a year

Airframe Technology Associate's

Associate degree programs in airframe technology are comprised of both classroom lectures and practical laboratory sessions. Some specific course examples are:

  • Ground operation, service and cleaning
  • Materials and processes
  • Maintenance forms and regulations
  • Aviation physics
  • Aircraft electrical systems
  • Airframe inspection and repair

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), because of international outsourcing and the lesser need for maintenance on newer aircraft, employment growth rates are predicted to remain stagnant at 2% for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians. The mean annual salary for these professionals was $58,850 as of May 2014.

Certification Options

The FAA must certify all airframe technicians and mechanics before they are allowed to work on aircrafts. Those who are not certified must work under the direct supervision of a certified mechanic at all times. Individuals must have at least 18 months of professional experience before they can apply for a FAA certificate. In many cases, the completion of an associate degree program can be substituted for those work months.

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