How many hours does an aircraft mechanic work?

From small piston-engines to jumbo turbine-powered jets, aircraft mechanics are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and inspecting aircraft. Yet, the type of work that aviation maintenance technicians do depends on the company or airline.

Major airlines, like Delta, operate almost continuously, so being an aircraft mechanic is not typically a boring 9-to-5. It is hard but valuable work that requires an alert and responsible technician. The safety of aircraft pilots, crew, and passengers takes priority.

If it is something you are interested in, seek out companies who offer overtime. Overtime work can be beneficial to develop skills in newer aviation mechanics. It can also be helpful for extra pay! Availability depends on the aviation company or airline, and personal drive.

So, how many hours do these aircraft mechanics work?

The answer: It depends.

The most significant factor in deciding how many hours aircraft mechanics work are the employers. Airlines, MRO facilities, and private fleets all have schedules to which employees adhere. Some may be well-staffed, but an understaffed team may work more than a typical 40-hour week.

Schedules and shifts may change frequently. It might be frustrating at times, but it is a positive learning experience for newer aviation mechanics. Also, it allows newbies to work on projects they may not typically work on during regular shifts.

Seniority could also affect the hours that are given out, especially for overtime. Veteran mechanics may not work certain times, and instead, the shift may be offered to a newer person on the team.

Workload Increase

Let’s face it; aircraft mechanics are in high demand right now. According to Boeing’s 2019 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, growing global fleet size and advancement in technology will continue to drive demand for more A&P mechanics. The largest aircraft manufacturer in the world forecasts that 769,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to maintain the world’s fleet over the next 20 years.

The need for aircraft mechanics is growing veteran mechanics retire. This shortage of aircraft mechanics will have a significant impact on how many working hours are available – good news is you are hoping to become a technician!

Overtime Hours and Pay

Much like other industries, schedule and workload will vary company-to-company and position-to-position. Some aircraft mechanics may work a 40-hour workweek. Others may seek a position where overtime is necessary and mandatory. It is important to note that all manufacturers, airlines, and private aviation companies all have their own sets of rules when it comes to overtime. NAA’s Career Services department can assist you in finding the right fit for your needs and desires.

The choice is yours!

When considering what airline or aircraft maintenance company to work for, remember to inquire about the set hours and expectations. You may be surprised to find that overtime may be beneficial to learn more on-the-job skills, work with other veteran mechanics, or show off your work ethic and abilities. Or you may want to work 40 hours and call it a day. Ultimately, the choice is yours!

If you have any questions about how we can help YOU train to become an aircraft maintenance professional, fill out the form below!