Aircraft mechanics repair and maintain aircraft mechanical and avionics equipment, making flying one of the safest modes of transport there is. It's a job that requires dexterity, technical skills, a close attention to detail and great troubleshooting ability. Being an aircraft mechanic is both challenging and rewarding, and it's a qualification deployed in a wide area of operations. Help maintain the multi-million-dollar fleet of the airlines, service corporate jets or specialize in light aircraft repairs at your local airport.
Aircraft maintenance training is a highly practical education with a combination of field experience, classroom work and mentoring. There are several ways you can earn an aircraft mechanic’s license.
Aircraft Mechanic is an encompassing term covering airframes, power plants (engines) and avionics. However, most A&P mechanics often tend to specialize in either airframe & powerplants or avionics.
How do I become an Aircraft Mechanic?
You must be at least 18 years old (21 in some countries) at the time you apply for the license and in most countries you need to demonstrate a minimum period of practical experience working on airframes, powerplants or both. The practical experience can be gained either as part of a school program, an apprenticeship, or if you’re lucky, a paid repairman assisting a licensed aircraft mechanic.
In the United States you need to demonstrate 18 months of practical work experience with either airframes or powerplants, or 30 months working on both if you wish to get both the A & P on your license at the same time
An alternative to the experience requirement is to graduate from an FAA Approved course with one of the aircraft maintenance schools listed on this website.
To obtain your FAA A&P License you will also have to pass three types of tests -- a written examination, an oral test and a practical test.
Aircraft Maintenance Training in Other Countries
Canada – In Canada an Aircraft Mechanic is referred to as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME). To apply for an AME license you need to be at least 21 years old and complete a Transport Canada approved training course followed by a period as an apprentice. After your apprenticeship is served you can sit the written examination for the grant of an AME license. A Canadian AME license can be endorsed with various ratings to grant privileges for non-turbojet aircraft under 12,566lbs (M1), all aircraft not included in M1 (M2), aircraft electronics systems (E), aircraft structures [including airframe] (S) and balloons. Each endorsement requires a specific training program and practical experience.
Europe – In Europe an Aircraft Mechanic is referred to as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) and the license is often referred to as an EASA Part 147 license, named after the regulation that governs the licensing of AMEs in Europe. There are two routes to achieving an EASA Part 147 license:
First you must complete an EASA Part 66 AME Qualification Course. You can find EASA Approved maintenance schools listed on this website.
Route 1: Type Training + Two Years Practical Training
After you have completed the Qualification Course you need to add Type Training (Airbus 320, Boeing 737 etc.) and start your practical on the job training period. You need at least two years working in aircraft maintenance before you can apply for a full EASA Part 147 License, and this is probably the most expedient route if you wish to work for an airline or a maintenance organization maintaining large aircraft.
Route 2: Five Years Practical Training Only
If you do not want to add Type Training followed by practical on the job training, then the second route is to work for five years in the aviation industry conducting maintenance on operational aircraft before you apply for an EASA Part 147 license. This option is a more common route for mechanics wishing to work on smaller general aviation aircraft or mechanics with aircraft maintenance experience from the military.
The EASA Maintenance License comes in three categories – (A) Maintenance Certifying Mechanic, (B1) Technician – Mechanical, (B2) Technician – Avionics and (C) Base Maintenance Certifying Engineer.
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