What Does an Aircraft Mechanic Do?

Do you have a passion for airplanes? Do you like working with your hands and solving technical problems? If this sounds like you, then you may be interested in becoming an aircraft mechanic. Aircraft mechanics are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for aircraft mechanics is projected to grow 11% by 2030.* But you might be asking yourself, what does an aircraft mechanic do?

What Does an Aircraft Mechanic Do?

Aircraft mechanics repair and perform scheduled maintenance on a variety of aircraft, including airplanes, helicopters and light aircraft. Aircraft mechanics perform the following duties on a day-to-day basis:

  • Diagnose mechanical or electrical problems
  • Repair aircraft components including wings, brakes, hydraulics, and electrical systems
  • Examine aircraft parts for defects
  • Read individual aircraft maintenance manuals to identify repair procedures
  • Test aircraft parts with non-destructive testing procedures and diagnostic equipment
  • Inspect maintenance work to ensure it meets FAA performance standards

Airframe and powerplant mechanics may maintain and alter aircraft parts, including the engine, landing gear, brakes and air-conditioning system. A&P mechanics also use X-ray and ultrasonic inspection equipment to identify cracks in a plane’s exterior from corrosion and distortion.

What Certifications Do You Need to Be an Aircraft Mechanic?

Students must earn certificates in airframe and powerplant technology through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In MIAT’s trade school studies, students are taught in accordance with FAA standards and guidelines.

Where Do Aircraft Mechanics Work?

Most aircraft mechanics work in hangars, in repair stations or on airfields. Employers of aircraft mechanics typically support activities for air transportation companies like airlines, helicopter transportation services, aerospace product and parts manufacturers, and the federal government. Some common employers of aircraft mechanics include:

  • Commercial airlines
  • Cargo carriers like FedEx, UPS and Amazon
  • Military or government agencies
  • Private aircraft and helicopter companies
  • Tourist and sight-seeing companies
  • Aviation parts and product manufactures like Boeing, Airbus and Lockheed Martin
How Do You Become an Aircraft Mechanic?

A great way to become an aircraft mechanic is by attending a trade school that specializes in aircraft maintenance. At MIAT College of Technology, not only do students get to train on a variety of aircraft, but they also become prepared to take the FAA certification exam upon graduation. During this program, students will learn about gear systems and operations, sheet metal fabrication, composite structure fabrication, high performance piston and turbine engines, hydraulics and pneumatics, avionics and advance electrical systems.

Whether you’re looking for a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology or want to earn an Airframe and Powerplant Technician certificate or diploma, these programs can be completed at MIAT in as little as 24 and 20 months, respectively.

Why Obtain a Formal Education in Aircraft Maintenance?

One of the main requirements to become an aircraft mechanic is to get certification from the FAA. You must a complete an FAA-certificated program to be eligible to take the certification exam. The additional benefits of obtaining a formal education in aircraft maintenance include:

A Complete Curriculum

During the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, students learn the theory behind flight, the mechanics that keep aircraft aloft and the main systems that need to work together to keep an aircraft airborne. The degree program can be completed in as little as 24 months and is offered at our Canton, Michigan, campus.

Hands-On Experience

In addition to classroom theory, students get plenty of hands-on experience during aviation labs and workshops taught by industry-experienced instructors. Students train using the same types of equipment and power tools that real-world aviation mechanics use.  They also learn to work as a team and come to understand the value of their team members.

Industry-Experienced Instructors

During the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at MIAT, students get expert guidance from industry-experienced instructors who have worked as entry-level aircraft mechanics. Our instructors understand what students need to succeed in the industry to keep curriculum up to date and relevant to the FAA certification exam.

Career Services

One of the benefits of attending MIAT is the career services that are offered. MIAT College of Technology’s Career Services team will work with students to build a solid résumé, prepare for any interviews they might participate in and help connect them to potential employers. MIAT has close ties with the local community, and employers understand that the school’s graduates are ready to work.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what aircraft mechanics do and where they work, it’s time to learn more about MIAT College of Technology. We have been training aircraft mechanics since 1969 and have built strong relationships with leading aviation mechanic employers. Let your training take off at MIAT College of Technology.

Want to Learn More?

At MIAT College of Technology, our Aviation Maintenance Technology training focuses on teaching students the advanced precision skills necessary to become FAA-certified technicians.

To learn more about the Aviation Maintenance Technology or Airframe and Powerplant Technician programs and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page. Contact us today if you are interested in becoming an airframe and powerplant technician.

 *The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that total national employment for Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians will be 145,400 by 2030. See Table 1.2 Employment by detailed occupation, 2020 and projected 2030, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, viewed April 6, 2022. The Universal Technical Institute family of schools, including UTI and MIAT, are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures for UTI and www.miat.edu/disclosures for MIAT.