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. 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.
Airframe Technology Associate's Degree
Associate's 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 1% for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians from 2014-2024. The mean annual salary for these professionals was $60,160 as of May 2015.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-accredited associate's degrees in airframe technology provide instruction in various aircraft systems through classroom learning as well as practical lab experience. Following graduation from one of these programs, students can seek certification from the FAA in order to work in the aviation industry as technicians and mechanics.