Degree programs in airplane repair generally offer internships in which students can get hands-on training in professional settings. Graduates of an airplane repair college program are prepared to take certification tests and are qualified to work as airplane mechanics and, with experience and advanced education, as aircraft repair supervisors.
Certificate in Aviation Maintenance Technology
Aviation repairers know how to assess and fix airplane problems and how to perform general upkeep of aircraft. Students within a certificate program may be able to focus on body or engine maintenance. Graduates from such college programs generally go on to earn professional industry certifications. They are prepared for entry-level employment as airplane mechanics.
Those enrolled in an airplane repair certificate program gain knowledge of avionic theories and industry practices. Airplane repair coursework covers:
- Technical drafting
- Aircraft inspection
- Tools and materials used in airplane construction
- Airplane electrical systems
- Engine maintenance
- Hydraulics of landing gear
Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology
While an aviation maintenance associate degree program helps people become airplane mechanics, it can also provide students with grounding in the liberal arts. All participants study general airplane maintenance. Some may also be able to concentrate in specific areas, such as avionics technology, structural repairs or airframe and power plant technologies. Furthermore, students gain useful skills in writing and critical thinking.
Students enrolled in an associate degree program study general education courses in science, math, social sciences and humanities. They also take core courses in:
- Sheet metal construction
- Atmospheric controls
- Jet plane structures
- Airplane body repair
- Airplane fuel systems
Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology
Students interested in airplane repair leadership positions often look to an aviation maintenance bachelor's degree program. Students gain knowledge of general business practices and management strategies. They also develop practical skills in airplane inspection and repair.
Students in a bachelor's degree program in airplane repair typically participate in an internship and undertake a senior project. They also take classes that cover:
- Aviation regulations
- Safety procedures for airplane mechanics
- Non-destructive testing
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a 2-year airplane repair program can work for the government, airlines and airplane manufacturers. Depending on experience, individuals may be able to find work as:
- Commercial airplane mechanics
- Airplane product sales representatives
- Aviation inspectors
- FAA technicians
- Airfreight repair specialists
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Airplane maintenance manager is one potential career track for a bachelor's degree graduate. Individuals who supervise mechanics, installers and repairers, which can include airplane maintenance managers, earned a median annual wage of $63,010 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Airplane repair specialists often find work in commercial airports, private airports or aircraft repair stations. In 2015, the median wage for aircraft service technicians and mechanics was $58,370 annually, according to the BLS. Furthermore, the BLS predicted only a one percent rise in employment of aircraft mechanics and service technicians from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals interested in pursuing an advanced degree in aviation technology can enroll in a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering program. This avionics graduate course of study deals with developing aerodynamically sound aircraft and spacecraft.
Professional Certification Information
Graduates of a certificate program in aircraft repair often test for certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In order to qualify, applicants must be at least 18 years old. They should have graduated from an accredited program, and they need to pass agency examinations. Individuals generally earn the Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic license, which is accomplished by passing three exams. Those who want to become certified in only one area can take a general knowledge exam and either the airframe test or the power plant test.
Airplane repair college program options include certificate programs in addition to associate and bachelor's degrees. Master's degree programs are possible, as well.