Airframe and Powerplant Technology Certificate: Program Summary

Certificate programs in airframe and powerplant technology can be completed in one or two years. These programs teach students how to repair, maintain and troubleshoot aircraft structures and propulsion systems.

Essential Information

Individuals interested in working as aircraft mechanics can gain the necessary skills through airframe and powerplant technology certificate programs. Classroom training is supplemented by hands-on work. Most programs also provide students with the training necessary to meet the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) eligibility requirements for airframe and powerplant certification exams

These programs can be completed in one to two years, and applicants are required to have a high school diploma or GED.

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Certificate in Airframe and Powerplant Technology

Students in airframe and powerplant technology certificate programs complete laboratory work in addition to lecture courses. While in this program, students study various systems: aircraft electrical, communication, safety controls, and cabin control. Other topics of study may include the following:

  • FAA regulations
  • Corrosion control
  • Welding for aircraft
  • Aircraft structures
  • Powerplant inspections
  • Turbine engines

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians were expected to show little or no change between 2014 and 2024 ( This decline is due to the continued outsourcing of aircraft maintenance work. The median annual salary for these service and repair technicians was $58,370 as of May 2015.

Certification and Continuing Education Info

According to the BLS, most employers prefer to hire aircraft mechanics who've earned airframe and powerplant certifications from the FAA. This is due to the fact that FAA regulations require mechanics who are not certified to be supervised by those who do hold these credentials. To earn airframe and powerplant certification from the FAA, applicants must first meet experience requirements. These may be fulfilled by completing FAA-approved training programs. Applicants must also take a series of written, practical, and oral exams.

Graduates of airframe and powerplant technology certificate programs may consider completing an extra semester or two of coursework to earn associate's degrees in aviation maintenance. According to some schools, earning these extra course credits in English, communications, and math may improve students' employment prospects.

Certificate programs in airframe and powerplant technology combine hands-on training with classroom instruction to prepare students to earn aircraft and powerplant certifications from the FAA. Obtaining an FAA certification or completing an associate's degree in aviation maintenance may help increase employment opportunities.

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