Many programs are structured to prepare students for FAA airframe and powerplant (A&P) certification because only FAA-certified technicians are allowed to work on aircraft unsupervised. These programs can take 1-2 years to complete. Admission requirements generally include a high school diploma or GED. Applicants typically must pass placement exams in math and writing. Proficiency in English speaking, reading and writing is a requirement for FAA certification. Some programs require students to purchase a set of tools prior to their first class.
Aeronautical Maintenance Technology Certificate
Certificate programs in aeronautical maintenance technology, also known as aviation maintenance technology (AMT), trains students to inspect, test, repair and modify aircraft powerplants and airframes. Students learn theory and FAA regulations in classroom settings and apply them in the lab by working on aircraft using special tools and test equipment. Typically, time is evenly split between the class and lab to satisfy the 1,900 total hours of instruction required for FAA certification. Typical courses include the following:
- Gas turbine engines
- Fuel metering systems
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Electrical systems
- Assembly and rigging
- Aviation welding
Popular Career Options
Programs generally prepare graduates to get jobs with such employers as aircraft manufacturers, executive airport repair facilities, airlines and helicopter operators. Career options may include the following:
- Aviation maintenance technician
- A&P technician
- Helicopter mechanic
- Aircraft restorer
- Aircraft maintenance supervisor
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Aircraft mechanics and service technicians earned an annual median salary of $62,920 in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the decade spanning 2018-2028, these professionals could expect to see a 3% growth, the BLS stated.
Continuing Education Information
Bachelor's degree programs are available in such subjects as aviation maintenance management and aerospace engineering. Some programs, such as aircraft operations, train students to become pilots.
Certificate programs in aeronautical maintenance technology are also known as aviation maintenance technology (AMT). These programs prepare students to sit for FAA certification, which is required to work in the industry as A&P technicians, maintenance supervisors, mechanics and in other aircraft-related jobs.