What are the Requirements for a FAA Mechanic Certificate?
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) issues an aviation mechanic certificate with an Airframe (A) rating, or a Powerplant (P) rating, or both (A&P) ratings to qualified applicants. To obtain a FAA approved mechanic’s certificate you will need to complete the following:
- You should be at least 18 years old, and you must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English.
- You must have 18 months of practical experience with either powerplants or airframes, or 30 months of practical experience working on both at the same time. As an alternative to this experience requirement, you can graduate from an FAA-Approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School, like MIAT College of Technology.
- You must pass three types of tests:
- Written aviation mechanics exams for “General, Powerplant and Airframe.”
- An oral test.
- A practical test.
Although a FAA approved mechanic’s certificate is not required to work on aircraft, most airlines require the certification as part of the hiring process. Also, without a FAA mechanic’s certificate you cannot release an aircraft to service. An FAA A&P certification is good until surrendered, suspended, or revoked, so you have it for life. This is different than a repairman certificate that ends if you leave an employer. With these limitations it is typical that mechanics with an FAA Airframe and Powerplant Certificate will on average have more job opportunities than unlicensed counterparts. Also, the potential of higher pay is also increased with a FAA aviation mechanic’s certificate. MIAT’s aviation technician program focuses on A&P, Airframe and Powerplant, certification.
Due to the experience requirement, a FAA approved aviation mechanics license is usually acquired through the military, work apprenticeships, or through an Aviation Maintenance Technician School. Students at MIAT College of Technology can obtain their A&P certificate in as little as 20 months. At MIAT students are given both hands-on training and technical skills education. This training helps students meet the experience requirement set by the FAA. MIAT helps educate students for the examination and gives students the experience they need to acquire an entry into aviation maintenance employment. In addition, MIAT partners with employers like Delta Airlines and Spirit Airlines to give students an advantage in the hiring process.
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