Aircraft mechanics are the unsung heroes of aviation, ensuring the safety and smooth operation of every flight. They are also commonly known as Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs). Their work includes performing tasks necessary to maintain the airworthiness of aircraft and all their components while in service or undergoing an overhaul and/or modification.

Have you ever dreamed of working on the machines that take us to the clouds?

Aircraft mechanics isn’t just about grease and wrenches. It is a diverse field with many career paths, from troubleshooting complex avionics systems to specializing in specific aircraft types. With the boom in the aviation industry, the demand for skilled aircraft mechanics is skyrocketing.

Understand the Role of an Aircraft Mechanic: Before embarking on the journey to become an aircraft mechanic, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what the job entails. Aircraft mechanics, also known as aviation maintenance technicians, are responsible for ensuring the safety and airworthiness of aircraft. They inspect, repair, and maintain aircraft and its components, from engines to avionics.

What is an Aircraft Mechanic

An aircraft mechanic is a maintenance technician certified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) based on personal knowledge gained through training and experience, demonstrated through the successful completion of written, oral, and practical tests.

Aviation mechanics perform scheduled maintenance, repairs, and complete inspections on aircraft. They are responsible for maintaining aircraft safety standards mandated by the NAA (National Aviation Authority). In the United States, the NAA is The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates civil aviation.

The designation for aircraft maintenance personnel can be a little confusing because countries around the world use different titles for the same role. In the United States, the title “aircraft mechanic” is the most commonly used designation for aircraft maintenance personnel.

The core job in aircraft maintenance is the “certification of maintenance,” which is a regulatory requirement. This defines the necessity for categorizing jobs in aircraft maintenance.

The aircraft maintenance personnel can be categorized into two groups: Certifying and Non-Certifying. A Certifying person has the privilege to certify the work because they have a certificate or license issued by the NAA. A Non-Certifying person can only work under the supervision of a Certifying person until they obtain the certificate or license from the NAA. In the United States, the NAA is the FAA. In Europe, it is EASA, and in India, it is DGCA.

The following designations are most commonly used in aviation, and many of them are considered equivalent positions for maintenance personnel.

  • Aircraft Mechanic: Most commonly used in the United States for FAA-certificated Aircraft Mechanics.
  • Aircraft Technician: Most commonly used worldwide for non-certifying maintenance personnel.
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT): Most commonly used in the United States for Aircraft Maintenance personnel.
  • Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT): Most commonly used worldwide for non-certifying maintenance personnel.
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME): Most commonly used worldwide for certifying maintenance personnel.
  • Licensed Aircraft Engineer (LAE): Most commonly used in Gulf countries for certifying maintenance personnel.
  • Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME): Most commonly used in Gulf countries for certifying maintenance personnel.

What does an Aircraft Mechanic do

The Aircraft Mechanic is responsible for the delivery of aircraft maintenance services to support the operational requirements under the supervision of the Maintenance Manager.

Their work includes troubleshooting, disassembly, checking, cleaning, repairing, replacing, testing, adjusting, assembling, installing, servicing, fabricating, taxiing or towing airplanes, run-up engines, de-icing aircraft, and other tasks required to maintain the airworthiness of aircraft and its components.

The Aircraft Mechanic will ensure all maintenance and related activities are performed in accordance with the company and/or customer procedures and supplied aircraft maintenance data, such as Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM).

Aircraft mechanic inspecting engine

Aircraft mechanics are responsible for the safety and airworthiness of aircraft. Their duties include:

  • Inspection and maintenance of aircraft and its components.
  • Repairing and troubleshooting mechanical, avionic, and structural issues.
  • Ensuring compliance with safety regulations and standards.
  • Collaborating with other aviation professionals to ensure airworthiness

Steps To Become an Aircraft Mechanic

Let’s go through the step-by-step journey of how to become an aircraft mechanic.

Step 1: Eligibility Requirements

  • Ensure you have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Take courses in mathematics, physics, and mechanical subjects to build a solid foundation.
  • You must be at least 18 years old and able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.

Step 2: Attend Training School

  • Enroll in an approved Aircraft Maintenance Training school to receive formal training and get the course completion certificate.
  • An aircraft maintenance training school (also known as a “147 school”) is an educational facility approved by the NAA in accordance with Part 147. These schools train aircraft mechanics for careers in the airline industry and aviation maintenance facilities.
  • In the United States, these schools are certified by the FAA in accordance with 14 CFR Part 147. Academic training through an FAA-certified Aviation Maintenance Technician School (AMTS) will typically take from 18 to 24 months.

Step 3: Gain Practical Experience

Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. Gain hands-on experience to hone your skills:

  • On-the-job training (OJT) provides practical experience with processes and practices.
  • Seek apprenticeships or entry-level positions to gain practical experience. Some companies offer apprenticeship programs where you gain experience while working under the supervision of licensed engineers.
  • You will need to consistently document your OJT (On-the-Job Training) activities. It is recommended that you document your experiences and activities in a personal logbook. Be sure to include important details such as the maintenance task performed, time spent on each task, and validation by a certified or licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. You can purchase a logbook or create your own, adhering to the format specified by the CAA.
  • Consider internships with aviation companies to further enhance your knowledge.

Step 4: Obtain a License or Certificate

To become a certified aircraft mechanic, you must meet the eligibility requirements set by the NAA, which typically include relevant work experience. Additionally, you must successfully pass the oral and practical examinations administered by the NAA (FAA for the US).

If you do not have an Aircraft Mechanic certificate or an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) license along with the appropriate privileges and limitations, you are allowed to engage in aviation-related work only under supervision. This supervision must be provided by a person holding a valid aircraft maintenance license or certificate, including airframe rating, powerplant rating, or both. The terms “certificate” and “license” are used interchangeably.

Step 5: Pursue Specializations (Optional)

As you gain experience, you can specialize in various areas like avionics, structural repair, engines, or non-destructive testing. Advanced training and certifications can further enhance your career prospects.

Jobs and Responsibilities of Aircraft Mechanic

Let’s delve into the various jobs and responsibilities that define the daily tasks of aircraft mechanics.

  • Performing scheduled and non-scheduled tasks on aircraft in accordance with maintenance data and procedures.
  • Removal and installation of aircraft components in accordance with the manufacturer’s technical documentation.
  • Consult maintenance blueprints, manuals, and other documents to assist with troubleshooting and repairs.
  • Perform rectification of airframe, engines, avionics, and cabin systems defects.
  • Perform servicing and testing of aircraft systems.
  • Perform transit, extended transit, daily, layover, weekly, and service check/inspection of aircraft.
  • Advising and assisting the Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer on the aircraft and in the technical documentation to ensure that all relevant information is entered correctly into the respective records in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Ensuring that all Health and Safety issues are followed always.
  • Ensuring compliance with company standards and regulations and ensuring colleagues also adhere to these.
  • Ensuring all equipment and tools are serviceable before use.
  • Ensuring all ground support equipment (GSE) used are clean and serviceable and are returned to the original location at the end of the task.
  • Examining and inspecting aircraft, engines, or other components for cracks, breaks, or leaks.
  • Servicing, cleaning, greasing screens, greasing moving parts, and performing tasks on aircraft.
  • Providing support in the case of AOG. The role will be required to travel to the station for aircraft recovery as required.
  • Performing Line maintenance services to Customer Airlines according to contract. Ensure customer procedures are always complied with.
  • Maintaining Line store as per company requirements.
  • Inventory aircraft parts, supplies, and equipment, and keep detailed records of inspections, repairs, and other maintenance operations.
  • Collaborate with other mechanics and engineers to perform maintenance and ensure aircraft are operating smoothly.

Skills required for Aircraft Mechanic

Aircraft mechanics need a variety of skills, including:

  • Fluent in spoken and written English.
  • Effective communication and teamwork skills.
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to read and interpret engineering drawings.
  • Strong mechanical aptitude and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to use hand and power tools.
  • Ability to work rotating shifts including weekends, holidays, and days off.
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to follow procedures precisely.
  • Have extensive knowledge of aircraft materials and their properties.
  • Knowledge of aviation safety and airworthiness regulations.
  • Knowledge of safety precautions and fire prevention.
  • Ability to make consistent and precise repairs under pressure.
  • Physical stamina and dexterity to perform tasks in various conditions.
  • Very good knowledge of computers and common MS Office Products.
  • Willing to learn new skills as technology advances and aviation regulations change.
  • Have a keen attention to detail to identify potential problems before they become serious issues.
  • Reliable, systematic, and self-reliant functioning ability to work in a team, willingness to work on weekends, and on holidays.

Tips to Become a Great Aircraft Mechanic

A great aircraft mechanic is not only adept in technical matters but is also a person who excels in every aspect of his craft. Aviation technology is constantly evolving. Continuous learning is the key to staying ahead. Stay updated and obtain additional certifications. Here are some tips to help you become a great aircraft mechanic.

  • Network with experienced aircraft mechanics to gain insights and mentorship.
  • Volunteer at aviation-related organizations to gain hands-on experience.
  • Keep your resume and portfolio updated showcasing your skills and experience.
  • Attend workshops, seminars, and industry events to stay informed.
  • Earn additional certifications to demonstrate expertise in specific areas.
  • Learn to use aviation software commonly employed in maintenance operations, such as AMOS and RAMCO.

Benefits of being an Aircraft Mechanic

Being an aircraft mechanic comes with a host of benefits, making it a rewarding and desirable career choice. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Flight Benefits: Enjoy discounted or complimentary air travel for yourself and your family.
  • Working Hands-On: Engage with cutting-edge technology, engines, and avionics, experiencing varied challenges daily.
  • Competitive Pay and Overtime: Receive competitive salaries with frequent opportunities for overtime pay.
  • Safety Responsibility: Find satisfaction in ensuring the safety of passengers and crew through meticulous work.
  • Continuous Learning: Pursue continual development with opportunities for further education and certifications.
  • Global Opportunities: Explore international career options due to the worldwide demand for skilled mechanics.
  • Networking Opportunities: Build a strong professional network by interacting with various industry experts.
  • Job Security: The demand for qualified aircraft mechanics is expected to grow in the coming years, thanks to the increasing popularity of air travel and the aging of the existing aircraft fleet.

Challenging Work Environment

  • Expect to operate sophisticated equipment and handle potentially hazardous power tools.
  • As a newcomer, your work hours may extend into weekends and nights, as aviation maintenance is a 24/7 operation. Preference for more favorable shifts typically comes with seniority. Be ready for physically demanding work, including climbing, crawling, and handling hefty aircraft components.
  • Be prepared for high noise levels in your work environment. The roar of engines and other operational sounds are part of the job, requiring you to work effectively in such conditions.
  • Working against tight deadlines is a norm in aircraft maintenance. The responsibility of ensuring planes are ready for operation on schedule can be stressful for some individuals.
  • Be flexible to travel to different locations as per company requirements.
  • Work outdoors in any weather conditions in accordance with company safety guidelines.
  • Work extra hours when there are operational needs, such as weather delays.
  • This job is subject to drug and alcohol testing – strictly follow regulatory and company guidelines.

Find jobs for Aircraft Mechanic

To find jobs as an Aircraft Mechanic, you can explore the following options:

  • Online Job Portals: Websites like Indeed list job openings for various positions, including aircraft mechanics. You can search for relevant job listings, upload your CV, and apply directly online. Use relevant keywords like “Aircraft Mechanic,” “Aviation Maintenance Technician,” “Aircraft Maintenance Technician,” and your preferred location.
  • Company Websites: Visit the websites of airlines, aircraft maintenance companies, and aviation organizations. Many of them post job openings on their career pages. Look for positions related to aircraft maintenance, repair, and inspection.
  • Networking: Connect with professionals in the aviation industry through networking events, conferences, and online platforms like LinkedIn. Join relevant groups or forums where aviation professionals gather to share insights and job opportunities. Networking can help you learn about job opportunities that may not be publicly advertised.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Consider working with recruitment agencies or staffing firms specializing in aviation to help you find job opportunities that match your skills and experience.
  • Cold Outreach: If there are specific companies or organizations you’re interested in working for, don’t hesitate to reach out to them directly with your resume and cover letter, even if they don’t have current job openings listed. Sometimes, companies create positions for highly qualified candidates.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Resume and Cover Letter: Tailor your resume to each job description, emphasizing relevant skills, certifications, and achievements. Customize your cover letter to showcase your passion and suitability for the specific role.
  • Online Presence: Build a professional online presence through platforms like LinkedIn. Share relevant articles, participate in industry discussions, and showcase your expertise. So you can leverage your professional network to get a job
  • Stay Updated: Keep yourself informed about industry trends, technological advancements, and regulatory changes to stay competitive.

Aircraft Mechanic Salary

The salary of an aircraft mechanic can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Experience: Entry-level aircraft mechanics typically earn less than experienced mechanics. With experience, mechanics can earn higher salaries through promotions, bonuses, and increased hourly rates.
  • Location: Aircraft mechanics working in major metropolitan areas with high costs of living tend to earn more than those in smaller cities or towns.
  • Type of Aircraft: Mechanics who work on larger, more complex aircraft, such as jets, typically earn more than those who work on smaller aircraft, such as private planes.
  • Certifications: Mechanics with additional licenses and certifications, such as those for specific aircraft types or engines, can lead to higher salaries.

In the United States, the median annual salary for aircraft mechanics and service technicians was around $70,010, and for avionics technicians was $75,450 according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2022.

Diverse Career Paths

The world of aviation mechanics offers a range of exciting opportunities, including:

  • Line Mechanic: Performs routine maintenance and inspections on aircraft before and after flights.
  • Avionics Technician: Specializes in the electrical and electronic systems of the aircraft.
  • Powerplant Mechanic: Focuses on the maintenance and repair of aircraft engines.
  • Structures Technician: Repairs and maintains the structural components of the aircraft.
  • Quality Inspector: Ensures all maintenance work meets strict quality and safety standards.

Becoming an aircraft mechanic can be a very rewarding career for those who are up for the challenges, as it offers the chance to work on some of the most advanced machines in the world. This job comes with a competitive salary and the opportunity to build lasting relationships with fellow professionals.


  1. Thanks for explaining that a good aircraft technician will always follow the procedures to ensure the equipment and health safety issues are corrected. My grandfather’s neighbor has an aviator that needs some repairs, and they both plan on fixing it themselves. I will advise them about hiring a technician instead since they are trained and know the aviator better.

  2. My uncle plans to work in the aircraft maintenance industry. Now I know that when you’re an aircraft mechanic, expect to service, clean, and grease parts like the compressor. I hope he could prepare for the job by choosing the proper tools and products he can use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *