|$ Associate's Degree in Aircraft Maintenance: $8,000-$30,000||$ $ Bachelor's Degree in Aircraft Maintenance: $20,000-$80,000|
The aircraft mechanics are trained to Federal Aviation Administration standards in order to maintain, repair and inspect aircraft such as propeller-driven airplanes, jets, and helicopters.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the specialties within the field include the structure of the plane – airframe mechanics, the engines and propellers – the powerplant mechanics, A&P – the combination of airframe and powerplant mechanics, as well as the avionics systems such as navigation and radar systems, radio communications, and computers.
The associate’s degree in aircraft maintenance costs $8,000-$30,000 and can be completed in two years.
For example, Portland Community College in Oregon charges $8,500 for tuition and fees for the two-year program, while Columbus State Community College charges $14,000 for Ohio residents and $31,000 for non-residents.
The graduates of this program usually apply for an entry-level job as a certified aviation maintenance technician.
The bachelor’s degree in aircraft maintenance costs $20,000-$80,000 and can be completed in four years.
For instance, the Pennsylvania College of Technology charges $54,360 for state residents or $68,040 for non-residents for the four-year bachelor’s degree.
Another example is Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, which costs $76,800 for tuition and fees for the accelerated bachelor’s degree program.
The graduates of a four-year program can have a career as an aviation maintenance technician, technical representative, aircraft salesperson, or ground operations person, according to Education Portal.
With an advanced degree and experience fixing higher-level aircraft, a mechanic’s salary typically increases.
The cost of the test preparation courses for aircraft maintenance certification exams is between $150-$2,500.
For instance, Washington’s Everett Community College offers test prep courses for $150-$500, while at the same time the Aviation School of Excellence in Valdosta, GA offers courses for $600-$2,450.
The FAA certification for aircraft mechanics costs $100-$600 per exam, and actual costs vary by testing location.
The applicants need to pass a written, oral and practical exam in the area they apply for certification.
In Florida designated testing centers, for example, the written exam costs $150, while practical airframe or powerplant tests cost $350 each or $600 for both.
What Is Included
According to Education Portal, the common coursework for aircraft mechanics programs cover aviation science and aircraft structures, mathematics and physics.
Specific skills include rigging an assembly of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, dismantling and reassembling an engine, as well as interpreting test flight reports.
Bachelor’s degree programs are more in-depth than the associate’s degree programs as they cover theory and business-related issues.
- The living expenses can add $10,000 -$20,000 per year to education costs.
- Vaughn College in Flushing, NY, for example, estimates $7,300-$9,900 for housing and $1,190-$3,300 for a meal plan.
- A membership to the Aircraft Maintenance Professionals Society costs $35-$70.
- The industry groups such as the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association and the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance provide scholarships of $1,000-$2,000.
- Some FAA-certified mechanics further receive initial training through the military, with all tuition and fees paid.
- Don’t want to get your hands dirty? – You might want to consider a career as an aviation manager.
- Federal Aviation Administration features a searchable database of approved aviation maintenance technician schools.
- The available programs contain a minimum of 1,900 classroom hours over one or two years.
- The Federal Aviation Administration features a study guide and sample test questions for mechanics seeking certification.