Aircraft and Avionics Mechanic

What Does an Aircraft and Avionics Mechanic Do?
Aircraft and avionics mechanics repair, inspect and perform regular maintenance on aircrafts. They keep complex aircraft machinery functioning properly and ensure its safety when in flight. Many mechanics specialize in preventive maintenance, in which they perform various inspections to verify that each component is working correctly and replace any faulty parts. They examine aircraft engines, landing gear, instruments, pressure gauges, accessories and all other parts that require servicing. During the inspections, required by the Federal Aviation Administration, aircraft mechanics will keep track of the hours flown, aircraft wear and tear and fix any problems that pilots describe. It is essential for aircraft mechanics to keep records of all maintenance, inspections and aircraft operations for record keeping and legal purposes. Mechanics work as quickly as safety permits them to, so that the plane can be flown again. Aircraft mechanics have an extremely important duty of fixing and maintaining any parts that could endanger the pilots, passengers and citizens on the ground.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for an Aircraft and Avionics Mechanic?
The employment outlook for aircraft and avionics mechanics is expected to be positive, with an estimated seven percent job increase by 2018. This steady job growth can be attributed to a growing population and heightened air travel. As passenger air traffic increases, more mechanics will be needed to address the inspection, maintenance and repairs of planes. While there is a growing trend for large airlines to outsource maintenance and technical work overseas, most airlines favor aircraft maintenance in the U.S. because of compliance with strict U.S. safety regulations. Job opportunities should be best for individuals who have completed a formal aircraft mechanic training program and meet other industry requirements. In addition to positive job prospects, mechanics can look forward to a favorable salary outlook as well. Aircraft mechanics made $24.71 in average hourly wages in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How Can I Become an Aircraft and Avionics Mechanic?
Prospective aircraft and avionics mechanics will need to complete the mandatory educational and training requirements before they can enter the field. Most mechanics have earned a minimum of an associate degree in avionics, aviation technology or aviation maintenance management at various FAA-certified trade schools and postsecondary institutions. An associate degree in avionics will teach you the fundamentals of technologies, aircraft maintenance and emphasize mathematics, physics, and chemistry, as well as mechanical drawing and computer science. Once you’ve completed the required amount of college training, you are eligible to become FAA-certified. In order to do so, mechanics must meet the general requirements of being at least 18 years old, fluent in English and have a high school diploma in addition to college-level technical training. If you do not attend an FAA-certified school, you will have to complete 18 months of work to apply for an airframe or power plant certificate and 30 months of experience working with engines and airframes for a joint A&P certificate. For more information about aircraft mechanics careers, training programs or industry resources, visit The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association.