What Is the Employment Outlook for a Career in Aircraft Mechanics?
Aircraft mechanic employment is expected to grow at an average rate from 2016-2026. However, there are some ways to improve your job prospects. Read on to learn more about the employment outlook and salaries for this career.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be a five percent employment growth for aircraft mechanics and service technicians over the 2016-2026 decade (www.bls.gov). This figure reflects growth about as fast as average for all occupations. There were 131,690 of these professionals employed in 2018. By 2026, this number is expected to grow to 138,500 employed.
Important Facts About Aircraft Mechanics
|Work Environment||Airports, repair stations, hangars, airfields|
|Similar Occupations||Aerospace engineer, operating technicians, mechanical engineering, electronics engineers|
|Key Skills||Diagnose mechanical and electrical issues, inspect and test aircraft parts, repair or replace defective components|
|Required Education||Certificate from FAA approved training program|
Factors of Growth
The need for aircraft mechanics increases as the economy and population has greater demand for air travel. The BLS notes, though, that this field will have limited growth since less maintenance is needed for newer planes. Since there are specialized maintenance shops that can do the work of aircraft mechanics, some airlines may also use these businesses instead of having their own mechanics.
According to the BLS, aspiring aircraft mechanics and service technicians can improve their job prospects by possessing an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate and a bachelor's degree. Being up-to-date with technologies used in the field and having a knowledge of computer systems can also help you find more job opportunities.
Many aircraft mechanics begin their careers at large airline companies in their major repair centers located throughout the United States, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Once an individual gains enough experience, he or she can choose to transfer to a line station, located at almost all airports in the United States.
Aircraft mechanics can also work for the federal, state and local government. According to the FAA, these professionals repair aircraft such as:
- Military aircraft
- Government aircraft
- Emergency medical aircraft
- Police aircraft
Aircraft mechanics and service technicians were paid an average wage of $65,230 in May 2018, reported the BLS. Earnings for most workers fell between $36,760 and $97,820. Those working in the air transportation support activities industry earned an average wage of $55,140, while those working in the scheduled air transportation industry averaged $80,860. Mechanics and technicians working in aerospace product and parts manufacturing averaged $65,120.