Commercial Aviation Repair Technician: Job Description & Career Information

Mar 14, 2019

Explore the job of a commercial aviation repair technician. Learn about the training, skills, salary and employment outlook to see if you're interested in pursuing this profession.

Career Definition for a Commercial Aviation Repair Technician

Commercial aviation repair technicians repair components of aircraft such as the brakes, engines, landing gear, and navigation instruments. They must carefully log all repairs they complete to ensure that the aircraft is in suitable condition to transport passengers or goods. All passenger airlines and airfreight services are required to employ commercial aviation repair technicians to keep their aircraft in working order.

Education Certification through FAA-accredited program
Job Skills Computer diagnostics, power tools, problem-solving, communication
Median Salary (2017)* $61,020 for aircraft mechanics and service technicians
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 5% for aircraft mechanics and service technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Federal regulations state that commercial aviation repair technicians must obtain certification from one of the approximately 170 training programs accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration in order to work. The approved programs range from 18 months to four years in length and certain training classes must be repeated every two years to insure that the person is keeping up with current technology. People interested in the field should take courses such as physics, mechanical engineering technology, mathematics, computer science, and chemistry.

Skills Necessary

Commercial aviation repair technicians need to be able to operate computer diagnostic equipment and power tools in order to repair aircraft. They also need strong problem solving skills, must be able to pay attention to small details, and should be able to communicate well.

Career and Economic Outlook

Based on a standard 40-hour workweek, commercial aviation repair technicians earned an estimated median salary around $61,020 in 2017, depending on their level of experience and actual hours worked, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Average growth in the number of positions is projected, with 5% growth expected in the field from 2016 through 2026, per the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Here are some other ideas for careers in the maintenance of large machinery:

Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technician

Average employment growth of 8% is predicted during the 2016-2026 decade for these techs. Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians maintain and repair machinery and vehicles used in industries such as farming, construction and rail transportation. Those with some postsecondary education may have the best job prospects, although many learn all of their skills while on the job. In 2017, the BLS reported an annual median wage of $49,440 for these technicians.

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician

Normally earning an associate's degree in engineering technology, some aspiring aerospace engineering and operations technicians also complete diploma or certificate programs. These techs operate and maintain equipment used in the computer-based development and production of new spacecraft and aircraft. A growth of 7% is expected by the BLS for the number of available positions from 2016-2026. These technicians earned a median wage of $67,240 per year in 2017, according to the BLS.

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