Concepts covered in class typically include fluid theory, electrical circuitry, and mechanical systems. Labs provide experience in applying classroom knowledge using specialized tools and test equipment. Many programs are designed to follow FAA requirements in order to prepare graduates for FAA airframe and powerplant (A&P) certification. Programs generally are two years in length.
Applicants need a high school diploma or GED. Some programs may require placement exams. Students may also be required to provide their own tools for the program.
Associate Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology
AMT associate degree programs can train students to test, inspect, and repair aircraft engines and related systems, which are collectively called the powerplant. Students also learn to work with systems and components including the fuselage, wings, fuel system, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, electrical circuits, and warning systems, which are collectively called the airframe. Program courses typically include:
- Propulsion theory
- Engine overhaul
- Hydraulics and pneumatics
- Electrical systems
- Assembly and rigging
- Aircraft welding
Popular Career Options
Graduates obtain the knowledge and skills needed by such employers as airlines, aircraft repair servicers, helicopter operators, and aircraft manufacturers. Common career titles can include:
- Aircraft maintenance technician
- A&P technician
- Helicopter mechanic
- Aircraft restorer
- Aircraft technical writer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists a median annual salary of $62,920 for aircraft service technicians and mechanics as of May 2018. Aircraft and avionics equipment technicians and mechanics should see a 3% job growth rate over the 2018-2028 decade, the BLS states.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Aviation-related bachelor's degree programs are available that may prepare graduates for careers as managers, pilots, or engineers. Degree programs may include aviation maintenance management, aircraft operations, and aerospace engineering.
By law, only FAA-certified workers or individuals working under the supervision of FAA-certified professionals may work on aircraft. Aspiring aviation maintenance professionals can prepare for certification either through work experience or through FAA-approved maintenance programs, though educational programs are the more common path for these professionals. Through the FAA, these workers can earn certification as an airframe, powerplant, or A&P mechanic, where the latter is commonly preferred by employers.
An Associate in Aviation Maintenance Technology trains students how to properly work with the powerplant and airframe to prepare for employment as aircraft service technicians. Graduates can pursue bachelor's degree programs and must earn the proper certification.