Career Definition for a Private Plane Maintenance Technician
Private plane maintenance technicians inspect and repair the many systems found on private planes, including electrical, hydraulic, fuel, engine, and flight control systems. Private plane maintenance technicians frequently work overtime and have a greater variety of responsibilities than traditional plane mechanics, who may specialize in either inspection or repair. Private plane maintenance technicians diagnose and fix problems on all parts of a plane and write detailed reports about their repairs.
|Education||High school diploma and technical training required|
|Job Skills||Private plane specifications and standards knowledge, mechanical skills, problem solving, physical shape|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$61,020 (for aircraft mechanics and technicians)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||5% (for aircraft mechanics and technicians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A career as a private plane maintenance technician requires a high school diploma and technical training, which usually is acquired from one of 170 training centers licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA requires 1,900 class hours or 30 months of work experience to achieve certification. Courses for private plane maintenance technicians include math, physics, computer science and mechanical drawing. Private plane maintenance technicians must recertify every two years.
Private plane maintenance technicians must keep up-to-date on information about private plane specifications and standards. They also must possess mechanical aptitude and have solid problem-solving skills. Private plane maintenance technicians must be in good physical shape.
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Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 5% employment growth is expected from 2016-2026 for aircraft mechanics and service technicians. The BLS reported that there were 132,000 jobs in 2016, and prospects will be best for applicants with a Federal Aviation Administration certification and a bachelor's degree. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for aircraft mechanics, including private plane maintenance technicians, was $61,020 in May 2017.
Alternate Career Options
Below are some other options for entering the maintenance and repair field:
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician
With an associate's degree in engineering technology, these techs develop and test new spacecraft and aircraft. Growth of 7% in available jobs was expected from 2016-2026, according to the BLS. In 2017, these techs earned an annual median wage of $67,240, per the BLS.
Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic
Although a high school education and on-the-job training are the only actual requirements, many employers seek applicants who've attended formal training programs. These techs and mechanics maintain and repair light trucks and cars. Average employment growth of 6% was projected by the BLS from 2016-2026, and an annual median salary of $39,550 was reported in 2017.