Aviation maintenance management distance education programs are rare. Some of these bachelor's degree programs limit online learning to students who hold the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Airframe and Powerplant Certificate.
Students may sit for this professional certification exam after acquiring 30 months of hands-on airframe and powerplant maintenance experience or completing an FAA-certified aircraft maintenance associate's degree or certificate program.
However, if you need the 30 months of hands-on airframe or powerplant maintenance experience required for this professional certification, hybrid aviation maintenance management degree programs are available, but also rare. These programs allow students to study aircraft systems and structures on-campus before registering for online core aviation maintenance management courses. Distance learning degrees in this field are more commonly found at private aeronautics schools.
A somewhat related educational option is an associate's degree in engineering technology. While these programs don't focus specifically on aircraft technology, they do offer technical studies entirely online, and they often include concepts that may be applied to the maintenance of aircraft.
Once students have mastered aircraft electrical and propulsion systems, online coursework may include aeronautical science, calculus, physics and computer science. Students may also find themselves enrolled in accounting, marketing or human resources management courses in addition to taking general education classes.
Aviation management coursework will cover topics like logistics or project management. Students can discuss how to set work schedules or draw up a budget. They are often introduced to software programs used for calculating staffing and resource needs. Students may also learn how to forecast workloads, maintain inventory and keep down operating costs. Typical aviation maintenance management coursework includes the following:
- Aviation safety management
- Operations management
- Organizational behavior
- Labor relations management
Distance learning courses are conducted via audio and video conferences, e-mail and Web casts, which likely require a stable, high-speed Internet connection. Students who are enrolled in online classes can access course materials at a time convenient for them by logging on to their schools' virtual classroom. Lectures, assignments and instructional aids are typically included on these sites.
FAA-certified aircraft mechanics with a bachelor's degree in aviation maintenance management can work in the air transportation or aerospace parts manufacturing industries, according to some schools' degree programs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that they may also open an aircraft maintenance business of their own (www.bls.gov). Employment of aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians is expected to change little if at all in the 2014-2024 decade; this is due in part to the fact that newer aircraft don't need as many repairs, the BLS reports.
Although education in the field of aviation maintenance management involves a lot of hands-on training, students can find certain online courses and degrees that support the educational needs of aspiring professionals in this field.