Airframe and powerplant mechanics are an essential part of the aviation industry and community, but what are the steps to become an A&P mechanic?
A&P mechanics are vital in ensuring the reliability and safety of airplanes across the country. This is a highly responsible and respected position, and as a result, needs dedication. Want to know how to get your A&P license to become an A&P mechanic? Today we will talk you through the requirements and what you need to do.
What is a Certified A&P Mechanic?
A certified A&P mechanic is a person who performs routine and ad-hoc maintenance on different types of aircraft. In the most basic terms, if it is part of the aircraft, the A&P mechanic’s job is to make sure that it is working correctly. This includes things such as:
- Flight controls
- The interior trim and fittings
- Safety Equipment
- Flight instruments and avionics
- The engine
- The wings
- Navigational equipment
The role of an A&P mechanic is a very responsible position. You will be signing the aircraft technical log, and your signature will be what the pilots take as a sign that the aircraft is 100% airworthy. Conversely, as an A&P mechanic, if you do not think the airplane is safe to fly, it does not fly.
Why Become an A&P Mechanic?
There are plenty of reasons to become a fully qualified A&P mechanic. Here are some for you to consider:
1. An Interesting and Varied Role
As an A&P mechanic, no two days are ever the same. Aircraft can be unpredictable. One day you might be performing routine inspections, the next rushing your way to an airfield to help make sure a flight goes on time.
The role opens up exciting possibilities too. From Antarctica to Alaska and everywhere in between, you will find A&P mechanics, ensuring flight safety for various operators.
2. Constant Learning
Aviation is constantly evolving, and maintenance requirements must follow suit. From day one of your career, there will always be a new challenge and more to learn.
3. A Reliable Career Choice
Due to the specialized nature of the role and the vast array of aircraft needing maintenance, A&P mechanics are highly sought after. This gives you plenty of career options.
Depending on the operator or employer, you could expect to enjoy benefits such as staff travel and health insurance.
5. Gain a Degree
The benefits of college over on-the-job training are numerous. One of the biggest advantages of enrolling at an aviation college is gaining two qualifications simultaneously.
Your course could satisfy the requirements for both an Associate’s Degree while also meeting the mandated requirements specified by the Federal Aviation Authority to get your A&P license.
The Requirements to Become a Certified A&P Mechanic
There are two ways you can become an A&P mechanic. The first is on-the-job training. This can be challenging, and the quality of training can be variable.
Attend an AMT course at an aviation college.
The following is all the requirements given and mandated by the Federal Aviation Authority:
- Pass the written and oral exams
Here is a quick rundown of the steps to take to get qualified as an A&P mechanic.
1. Ensure you Meet the Minimum Requirements to be an AMT
There are a few strict requirements that must be satisfied before you can even apply to a course. They are as follows:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have the ability to read, write and speak English fluently
2. Choose an AMT School
The better the aviation maintenance technology school, the better the training. AMT schools have to satisfy the minimum criteria laid out by the FAA. It is worth noting that some schools offer more than others.
Ideally, you will want a school that offers you as much value as possible. Aviation colleges that offer a degree as part of the package are really worthwhile.
3. Look at Funding Options
One area which prospective A&P students worry about is funding. A career as an A&P mechanic offers significant returns on an initial investment. That said, it is well worth looking into funding options. Some colleges have a dedicated department to help students, many of which provide an assessment on a case-by-case basis.
4. Attend the School
Provided you attend a good AMT school, you will get excellent training value in a modern and up-to-date syllabus. As we said before, the learning never stops, and you will have to work hard to get the most out of your course.
It isn’t just about the theory, either.
Part of being a good aircraft mechanic is getting your hands dirty. We mean this literally. Hands-on experience will present you with some of the most valuable learning opportunities.
5. Graduate and Find a Role
One key advantage of attending Aviation College is that you will be connected to employers from the outset. Colleges like CAU can offer valuable career assistance, along with interview practice and effective techniques to make your resume stand out from the crowd.
Is an A&P License Worth it?
You will be on the path to an interesting and varied career. There are lots of benefits, great pay, and above all, real-world responsibility. When you throw in the fact that you will also gain a degree during your studies, attending an aviation college to become an A&P mechanic is a great career choice. Why not submit an application and make your career really take off.
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.