Aircraft Mechanics School
Shoot for the sky with a career in fixing planes
There are about 150,000 aircraft mechanics in the United States. Nearly half of them work for air transportation companies, and most of those work at large airports for large airlines. There are also airplane mechanics at small airfields, working for the federal government and in the aerospace manufacturing industry.
Aircraft mechanics are an important part of the aviation industry. They are the ones in charge of keeping the planes in the air and the people inside the planes safe. The job of the aircraft mechanic is almost entirely about routine maintenance. Planes are inspected to schedule, based on how many hours they have flown. If you've ever had a flight delayed, there's a good chance it was due to aircraft mechanics needing a few extra minutes to perform their scheduled repairs and maintenance on the plane.
Aircraft mechanics must be certified by the FAA. You can qualify with 18 months of experience working under the tutelage of a licensed mechanic, however most prospective aircraft mechanics complete the air mechanics program at an FAA certified school.
There are about 200 of these schools across the United States, and while you can acquire a degree from any of them, some offer Associate's degrees and some offer Bachelor's degrees. Courses normally run for 24 to 30 months. Students can specialize in technologies like turbine engines, composite materials and aviation electronics. If you're versatile, that's seen as an advantage in the eyes of potential employers.
Armed Forces Training
Some airplane mechanics receive their training in the Armed Forces. This can be a good option if you don't have the money to attend a school that offers an air mechanics program. However, the schooling provided by FAA-approved air mechanic schools is broader, and therefore more applicable to the needs of the domestic aircraft industry.