To qualify for aviation and powerplant certifications, aspiring airframe mechanics and aircraft maintenance professionals must complete specific training approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Community colleges, technical schools and universities offer degree and certificate programs that offer this training.
The four schools highlighted below include a designated aeronautics college, two private universities and a public university. Each school was ranked regionally or nationally by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Flushing, NY
|School Highlight: Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology offers online associate and bachelor's degree programs in aviation maintenance.|
The Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology was ranked 9th among the top regional colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The college includes the Aviation Training Institute that prepares students for employment in the aviation maintenance field. Training options include an FAA-approved certificate program in aviation maintenance with airframe and powerplant instruction. Students can also earn an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aviation Maintenance. Prior to enrolling, applicants must pass the FAA airframe and powerplant certification exams.
Lewis University in Romeoville, IL
|School Highlight: With less than 15 students per classroom, small classes is one of the many features at Lewis University.|
For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Lewis University 24th among the best regional universities in the Midwest. The university offers a B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Management program that trains students for positions as FAA-certified aviation maintenance technicians. The school also offers a 65-66-credit certificate program and a 77-78-credit associate degree option that also qualifies graduates for both FAA certifications. School resources and facilities include an on-campus airport, airplane hangar, flight simulator and university-owned aircraft.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
|School Highlight: Admission to the University of Alaska's airframe and powerplant programs are left up to the discretion of the program's faculty and an interview with the faculty advisor.|
The university offers aviation maintenance certificate programs through its College of Rural and Community Development at the UAF Community and Technical College. The airframe or powerplant certificate programs require 31 credits to complete and can be combined with a 49-credit-hour certificate program. Credits earned through both the airframe and powerplant certificate programs can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance. The school was ranked #202 among national universities and #110 among public schools for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.
Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI
|School Highlight: Facilities at this school include a flight simulation building.|
The Department of Aviation at Andrews University offers Associate of Technology and Bachelor of Technology programs in aviation with an aviation maintenance emphasis. Undergraduates can also pursue a minor in the field. Coursework is divided between airframe-and powerplant-related studies, and it involves both classroom-based coursework and hands-on instruction. For 2017, Andrews was ranked #183 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Top Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Schools
Here are some more colleges with strong educational offerings in airframe mechanics and aircraft maintenance:
- Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL, has a partnership with HOVA flight services.
- The curriculum at Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID, includes supervised training in which students work on real customers' aircraft.
- Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA, offers A&P certificate programs, as well as multiple associate and bachelor's degrees in aviation.
- At South Seattle Community College in Seattle, WA, students receive training at an on-campus hangar and Boeing Field.
- At Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK, students have access to multiple training aircraft and a flight deck simulator.
- The Hall of Honor at the College of Aviation at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI, recognizes accomplished alumni.
Students who are interested in the mechanical and maintenance area of the aviation industry can enroll in degree or certificate programs at ranked schools around the country.