2018 is a great time to be (or become) an aircraft mechanic. The global increase in air travel is driving trends in aircraft purchasing and, of course, more aircraft means more mechanics will be needed to maintain them. In fact, Boeing has found that 648,000 new aviation maintenance technicians will be needed to meet the demands of the industry over the next twenty years.*
Two dominant trends will affect the aviation maintenance workforce in 2018: the need for new skillsets and an increasing demand for qualified technicians.
The introduction of new aircraft means that aircraft maintenance personnel will need to be trained to operate on new machines with changing technology. Not only are there new avionics in the cockpits of these aircraft but there is a growing need to retrofit the avionics in many models of older aircraft. Even aircraft that are less than a decade old will need to be retrofitted because of the rapid changes in technology.
In addition to developments in avionics, changes in aircraft materials are rewriting the maintenance requirements of new and retrofitted aircraft. Composites have traditionally been used to make structural components of the aircraft and are now being used increasingly within the airplane itself. Floors and floor beams, for example, are now made of high-strength composite material. Working with composites requires new maintenance skills and, therefore, training.
The anticipated mechanic retirements over the next 10 to 20 years will significantly affect the need for aircraft mechanics. Whether you are already working in aviation maintenance or are researching how to make the transition, there are currently more open jobs than qualified individuals to fills the positions. Retirements will only add to this number.
Call (800) 659-2080 (Tampa Bay campus) or (800) 292-3228 (New England campus) to learn more about NAA’s aviation maintenance courses.
*According to Boeing’s 2017-2036 Pilot & Technician Outlook