An Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) is a job within the aviation industry that can be very rewarding. There may be a common misconception that this position is only about fixing airplanes at an airport – without much versatility. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Becoming an AMT opens up many different career paths within the aeronautical field. Today, let’s look at some of the aircraft maintenance technician jobs and options available.
Working as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician
The aviation industry had some setbacks due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic it brought with it. However, now that travel has been deemed safe, and countries have opened their borders, airline transportation has been recovering as more and more people take to the skies. Security regulations have been upgraded to ensure flight safety. The future occupational outlook for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians is projected to grow at an average of 6% over the next ten years.
An AMT’s primary focus is to maintain and repair aircraft to ensure the safety of all who use them. This job is the perfect combination of physical work and logical reasoning, keeping your mind healthy by utilizing technical knowledge and mechanical skill while using strength and fine motor skills. While there are a variety of aircraft maintenance technician jobs, positions, work environments, and situations, the primary job functions remain similar. Typical responsibilities of an Aircraft Maintenance Technician include the following:
- Inspecting all parts and components of the aircraft;
- Performing routine maintenance checks;
- Troubleshooting anything malfunctioning;
- Finding and repairing anything worn, damaged, or broken;
- Using computers, diagnostic systems, and technology to test systems;
- Knowing how to utilize specific tools and operate equipment used for testing.
Keep in mind that this is just a general overview of the tasks of an AMT, not a specific or exhaustive list.
Aircraft Maintenance Technician Jobs and Career Paths
AMTs are responsible for maintaining the fleet of aircraft so that they can fly safely at all times. Commercial passenger airlines have busy flying schedules carrying many crew members and passengers most of the time. Aircraft need to meet specific standards, there may be strict schedules, and all ground staff is responsible for ensuring that the fleet is ready to go on time. This can be a demanding position.
Freight carriers fly goods and materials all around the world. Just like tractor-trailers and railways, freight carriers are integral to our country’s supply chain system. These cargo planes need to stay on track and keep things moving so that people and businesses all over the country can get what they need when they need it. Aircraft Maintenance Technicians play a huge role in keeping this system functioning properly.
Private Jet Companies
Private jet companies house mostly small aircraft exclusively used for charters or maintained for private owners’ use. These companies need Aircraft Maintenance Technicians to keep these jets in healthy working order so that they are ready to go when it is time for them to take flight. Working for private jet companies can vary in benefits, but some find this career path very exciting.
Aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing employ Aircraft Maintenance Technicians. For those interested in working in this arena of the aviation industry, job duties may include routine tasks like repair, maintenance, and general care, but could also venture into the more creative territory, such as working on new models or refurbished aircraft.
Medical Flight Services
Medical flight services are almost always on life-saving missions. The nature of medical flight services is being prepared to help in an emergency, which means they must have the confidence and trust that the aircraft is always well cared for and ready to go when needed. Working diligently and meeting high safety standards is required in this Aircraft Maintenance Technician career path, yet it also means being a part of something special.
Once you work in the field for a while and build up your proficiency and experience level, you may find that teaching those skills to future classes of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians is very rewarding. FAA-approved AMT schools like California Aeronautical University (CAU) consistently look for knowledgeable and experienced instructors to make a difference in their programs and teach future AMTs everything there is to know about the field. This career choice will still require some hands-on repair and maintenance as used in teaching and training; however, it will be less hands-on than other professional options.
Military / Government Aircraft
The military and government have a somewhat independent sector within the aviation industry. Many Aircraft Maintenance Technicians find these areas to be personally satisfying and financially sound, as they often come with quite a few unique benefits. Be aware that the benefits come with some risks: this career path can be more challenging and competitive than other options. Depending on the circumstances, it can also be dangerous. Nevertheless, if this is a path that you strongly believe in, there can be nothing better than the satisfaction you get from knowing that you are doing your part in keeping your country safe.
Career Paths Outside the Aviation Industry
Are you interested in becoming an AMT but want to spread your wings outside the aviation industry? It’s possible. When you hold an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license, there are many roles you can fill that require your technical skills. As a licensed aviation mechanic, your training included areas such as hydraulics, different types of engines (turbine and reciprocating, for example), and electrical and mechanical systems.
You learn how to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair various issues (oil leaks, punctured tires, etc.). A solid understanding of fuels and their chemical compounds and metals and components was also part of your instruction. And that was just to get your certification! If you decide to apply those skills to industries other than aviation, they are applicable in a variety of other fields, such as automotive, industrial, or manufacturing, to name a few.
Join an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Program
If you are fascinated with how to fix things and have always dreamed about working within the aviation industry, then the role of Aircraft Maintenance Technician may be for you! It may be worthwhile looking into an AMT program so that you can prepare to become an A&P technician. The CAU diploma program courses that can be completed in less than a year and a half include:
- Electrical and hydraulic systems;
- Aircraft structures;
- Turbine and reciprocating engines;
- Propellers and other power units;
- Powerplant systems;
- And more.
Life moves incredibly fast. What will you be doing in a year and a half? Meet with us now and see if we can help you chart your future as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician.
Mr. Matthew A. Johnston has over 23 years of experience serving various roles in education and is currently serving as the President of California Aeronautical University. He maintains memberships and is a supporting participant with several aviation promoting and advocacy associations including University Aviation Association (UAA), Regional Airline Association (RAA), AOPA, NBAA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program. He is proud of his collaboration with airlines, aviation businesses and individual aviation professionals who are working with him to develop California Aeronautical University as a leader in educating aviation professionals.