Industry & Market Outlook

Industry and Job Market Outlook

The Overview

People working in aviation maintenance are responsible for keeping airplanes and drones in the air. They maintain, fix, and overhaul airframes, engines, instruments, and electrical and hydraulic systems. In addition to the increasing demand for candidates, rapid advances in technology keep the educational requirements high.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) demands the world’s highest and strictest standards for training aircraft maintenance personnel. Aviation Institute of Maintenance meets the established curriculum and operational requirements and is an FAA approved PART 147 school. Aviation Institute of Maintenance graduates are prepared to earn their Airframe and Powerplant certifications so they can begin an aviation career in the global marketplace. Aircraft engineer is the international equivalent for American Aviation Maintenance Technician.

The 2019 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects that 769,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed in order to maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years. This forecast is inclusive of the commercial aviation, business aviation, and civil helicopter industries.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for aviation maintenance technicians was reported as $67,110 in the year 2019. The lowest 10% of aviation maintenance technicians earned $37,890 annually, while the highest 10% earned $101,070 annually. Aviation maintenance technicians typically work for eight hours a day, although sometimes overtime is expected. Many workers are usually affiliated with a workers union.

Heating/Cooling Mechanics

Avionics Mechanics

Aircraft Mechanics

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67,110

Mean Annual Wage

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44,000

New Airplanes Needed

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769,000

New Maintenance Technicians

The Best Candidates

Avionics is a world that many people are excited about early on. They love airplanes and everything about them. They do not always have what it takes to be a pilot, but they still want to be part of that world. They do share certain characteristics beside the passion:

  • Accurate: Workers in aircraft maintenance must use precision tools, measure accurately, and perform to exact specifications.
  • Adept: Aircraft Maintenance workers need the dexterity to manage and manipulate parts and tools with fingers and hands.
  • Agile: Aircraft Maintenance employees will climb ladders, stretch, reach, and squeeze into narrow spots.
  • Alert: Candidates have a knack for observing and recognizing problems, breaking down mechanical parts, and repairing problems.
  • Analytic: Aircraft Maintenance workers are expected to diagnose problems, evaluate options, and implement solutions.

Basically, you need interest and a high degree of mechanical aptitude.

The Daily Work

These base skills, and your mechanical aptitude will help candidates perform tasks that include some or all of the following:

  • Check parts and systems for defects
  • Identify mechanical and electrical problems
  • Research and study available procedures for repair and replacement
  • Work on airplane components, such as wings, brakes, and electrical systems
  • Use hand or power tools to fix or replace parts
  • Install electrical controls, junction boxes, and software
  • Diagnose problems with gauges, voltmeters, circuit testers and other equipment
  • Confirm work meets performance standards
  • Maintain records of maintenance and repair work

Aircraft maintenance workers will prepare for specific career paths in electronics, mechanics, fueling, or more focused tracks.

Other Opportunities in Aviation

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Personal Air Taxis & Shipping

While Amazon is currently working to roll out their amazon blimp to do drone deliveries, the business of personal transportation is in the process of a major changes as well, and future-focused A&P technicians may want to pay close attention.

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Aircraft Manufacturers

Aircraft Manufacturers assemble and design planes such as the AirBus, Bombardier, and Embraer. In order to make an aircraft the manufacturers have to source a number of different and unique parts to be able to construct the aircraft.

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Regional & Commuter Airlines

Regional airlines are airlines that operate regional aircraft to provide passenger air service to communities without sufficient demand to attract mainline service.

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Major Airlines

These are the heavyweights of the airline industry, and you will often hear about them in the news. A major airline is defined as an airline that generates more than $1-billion in revenue annually.

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Maintenance Repair & Overhaul Stations

Commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is an essential requirement to ensure that aircraft are maintained in pre-determined conditions of airworthiness to safely transport passengers and cargo.

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Cargo Carriers

A cargo aircraft, also known as freight aircraft, or freighter is a Fixed-wing aircraft that is designed or converted for the carriage of Air cargo rather than passengers. Such aircraft usually do not incorporate passenger amenities and generally feature one or more large doors for loading cargo.

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Historic/Vintage Aircraft

While some museums have non-functioning airplanes dangling from ceilings which are just for show, many Museums around the world take the time and invest the money necessary to offer vintage planes the chance to fly again in airshows.

“The industry has now recorded nine straight years of steady and above-trend growth. The air travel market is projected to be 2.5 times larger in 20 years and the global commercial jet fleet will grow to accommodate, doubling in size by 2038.”
Boeing's Commercial Market Outlook 2019 - 2038
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