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Aircraft mechanics perform a variety of tasks, including repairs, routine maintenance and installation of new parts and equipment. They ensure that the planes are in operation and follow the guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly safely. Aircraft mechanics keep a careful record of their work, and are often inspected by the FAA. They also receive education and training in the workplace or obtaining a degree to start in this career.
Requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA supervises and manages the standards for training and certification of aircraft mechanics. Obtaining certification requires passing a series of written, oral and practical exams administered by an FAA reviewer. Although not all aircraft mechanics require certification, they must work under the supervision of a certified mechanic if FAA credentials are not obtained.
Certification for aircraft mechanics
A university degree is not necessary to exercise this occupation, although most aircraft mechanics have at least 18 months of training in an FAA-accredited educational program. Associate and bachelor’s degree programs are available in disciplines related to aviation technology and management. Obtaining a degree can increase employment opportunities and allow students to take the certification exam faster than what they will learn in their job skills. Without any formal training, aircraft mechanics must have 30 months of verifiable training in the workplace to submit the certification exam.
Industries and job prospects
Aircraft mechanics can work in a variety of industries related to air transport, such as commercial, industrial airlines, government agencies and courier delivery services. More than 117,000 aircraft mechanics and technicians were employed in the United States in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency expects slow growth in the sector between 2010 and 2020, with approximately 9,100 job vacancies for aircraft mechanics in this period. Job offers are expected to grow as a result of an increase in air travel services and the replacement of workers who leave or leave the field during the decade.
Salaries for aircraft mechanics
The average salary for aircraft mechanics was $ 54,500 per year in 2011, according to the BLS. Salaries range from US $ 34,630 for the 10 percent of the lowest paid mechanics to more than US $ 74,200 per year for the 10 percent of the highest paid workers. Salaries may vary depending on the regional area and the type of employer. Among all the industries that hire aircraft mechanics, there are the courier and fast delivery service industry that pays the highest salaries, with an average of US $ 76,440 per year.