How Can I Learn Aircraft Technology?

Airplanes, helicopters, gliders and other aircraft are complex machines that require careful maintenance and repair. If you're interested in the technology that drives aircraft, then a degree in aircraft maintenance technology might be right for you. Read on to learn more about these training programs. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Aircraft Technology Overview and Career Information

Aircraft technology or aircraft maintenance technology programs prepare students to become aircraft mechanics. Aircraft mechanics are responsible for preventative maintenance and repair work on all types of aircraft. Most mechanics are certified to work on particular parts or systems of aircraft. You could become an avionics technician who maintains instruments and electronic systems, a powerplant mechanic who works on engines and propellers or an airframe mechanic who works on all other parts of planes, including frames and landing gear. Many mechanics choose to become certified in both powerplant and airframe systems; they are then referred to as A&P mechanics.

Important Facts About Aircraft Technology Education

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's programs are available in aviation maintenance and aerospace engineering, respectively
Online Availability Full certificate and associate programs are available
Specializations Aviation electronics, helicopters, aircraft maintenance
Programs Fellowships and scholarships are available
Median Salary (2018) $62,920 (for all aircraft mechanics and service technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 5% growth (for all aircraft mechanics and service technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Options

In order to work on aircraft, you will need to demonstrate the appropriate skills by passing a set of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exams and becoming certified. To earn the certification, you will need to be 18 years of age, have 18 months worth of experience and pass three exams, one written, one oral and one practical. Without this certification, you will only be able to work on aircraft while supervised by a certified mechanic. It is possible to learn the skills you'll need to pass the exam through on-the-job training; however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that most aircraft mechanics learn by attending an FAA certified training program ( After completing an aircraft technology program, you should understand the systems that drive modern planes, from engines to ignitions.

Aircraft Maintenance Technology

Schools offer associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in aircraft maintenance technology. Many of these programs are designed to prepare students to become A&P mechanics, although some programs focus exclusively on airframe or powerplant components. Typical courses in aircraft maintenance technology programs include aerodynamics, hydraulics, supply chain logistics, and ignition systems. After completing one of these programs, you will be prepared to take one or more of the FAA certification exams.

Avionics Maintenance Technology

To understand the electronic components of aircraft technology, a degree, diploma or certificate in avionics maintenance technology is often useful. As an avionics technician, you would maintain and repair an array of electronic systems, including communications, navigation, autopilot and radar. Courses in these programs might include direct and alternating currents, interfacing and microelectronics. Just as with A&P mechanics, avionics technicians must become FAA certified.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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