Prospective students who wish to break into aviation mechanics have two training program options to choose from. Would-be aviation mechanics should ensure that their certificate program of choice is certified by the Federal Aviation Commission (FAA).
The schools listed below offer certificates and associate's degrees.
10 Schools with Aviation Mechanic Programs
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Spokane Community College||Spokane, WA||Public||Certificate, Associate's||$5,997 total per quarter|
|Pima Community College||Tuscon, AZ||Public||Associate's||$1,974 (in-state), $8,610 (out-of-state)|
|Columbus State Community College||Columbus, OH||Public||Certificate, Associates||$16,500 (in-state), $27,000 (out-of-state) total|
|Salt Lake Community College||Salt Lake City, UT||Public||Associate's||$12,500 total|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||Public||Certificate, Associate's||$16,000 total|
|Lansing Community College||Lansing, MI||Public||Certificate, Associate's||$22,182 (in-district), $34,954 (in-state) total|
|Everett Community College||Everett, WA||Public||Certificate, Associate's||$29,120 total|
|Hinds Community College||Raymond, MS||Public||Associate's||$2,600 (in-state), $5,200 (out-of-state)|
|Tarrant County College||Fort Worth, TX||Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,320 (in-district), $2,064 (in-state), $4,920 (out-of-state)|
|Gateway Community College||Phoenix, AZ||Public||Associate's||$2,046 (in-state), $7,830 (out-of-state)|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, School Websites
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College Selection Criteria
Prospective students entering into an associate's degree program in aviation mechanics should check with the school's department to ensure eligibility for FAA certification, and hands-on experiences are another attribute to look for in a program. You should also keep the following in mind:
- Certificate programs consist of a maximum of 1200 training hours.
- An associate's degree offers the opportunity to compete for entry-level aviation mechanics positions.
- Look for programs that offer a high amount of lab hours - these are done in hangars where hands-on training is provided.
- General education courses are required if pursuing an associate's degree.
Aviation mechanics certificate programs are completed by fulfilling a required number of training hours. This number may vary from program to program but can go as high as 1,200. Courses may be grouped by blocks and each block can consist of 400 or 300 training hours. Some of the common courses offered in an aviation mechanics certificate program include aircraft fuel systems, airframe inspection, fluid lines and fittings, servicing and ground operations and aircraft electrical systems.
Students are also required to take courses in areas such as welding, mathematics, physics, aircraft systems drawings and weight and balance. Classes are divided into both theoretical and practical components. However, much of what a student learns about the field is done by completing various practical exercises in an aviation mechanics garage.
Associate of Applied Science Degree Program
An associate's degree program in aviation maintenance technology can be completed in two years of full-time study and is offered by many community colleges. General education courses are required along with aviation mechanics classes to complete the degree program. Some common core courses include ignition systems, airframe inspection, lubrication systems and propellers, fuel metering systems and aircraft landing gear systems.
Many of these courses feature a laboratory component where students are required to complete hands-on exercises. A graduate who holds an associate's degree in aviation maintenance technology and is FAA certified can compete for entry-level aviation mechanic positions in areas such as aircraft modification, overhaul, maintenance and repair.
Students who are interested in aviation mechanics will be able to complete a certificate or an associate's degree through any program that is certified by the FAA. Many of the programs available allow you to obtain a certificate on the way to completing your associate's degree.