Each year, the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) releases a Pipeline Report showcasing findings, statistics, and upcoming trends from the aviation and aviation education industries. This year, the Pipeline Report focuses on the impact of the pandemic on the industry, including short-term and long-term implications for stabilization and growth. The report also notes key hiring trends all aspiring aviation mechanics should learn. Let’s dive into the highlights of the report!

Long-Term Forecasts for Aviation Demand Remain Overall Positive

Although the aviation industry experienced widespread lows, long-term forecasts remain positive, and ATEC expects steady growth. The aviation maintenance mechanic population is expected to increase 13% over the next 20 years! However, the demand in commercial aviation still outpaces this growth. Even more technicians will be needed!

ATEC also expects continued innovation in the post-pandemic industry. Many industry sectors are adopting virtual learning opportunities, and organizations are bringing about more partnerships and scholarships for aspiring mechanics both in high school and in training.

Pandemic Caused a Dire Short-Term Impact

The impact of the pandemic on aviation surely cannot be understated. ATEC notes that their report will be treating these 2020 numbers as an anomaly, but only time will tell how the industry recovers in the coming few years.

The most significant decline in a statistic is the 28% fall in the number of mechanics certification students. On the other hand, enrollments in mechanic programs increased by 5%, which bodes well for recovery. Additionally, the lesser number of students means that much more opportunity and need for certified individuals.

Who’s Employing Aviation Mechanics?

Aviation mechanic hiring trends did not fluctuate much, with repair stations continuing to lead by hiring 34% of all A&P graduates. In second are regional airlines with 17% of the graduate population. These two subsectors have historically hired the most A&P graduates. Close behind are other subsectors: major airlines, general aviation, manufacturers, and business aviation, in that order.

Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce

The average age of an A&P graduate is 26. Consistent with previous years, 24% of graduates are veterans, and 40% are a racial or ethnic minority. However, breaking with previous trends, the female A&P student population grew from 8 to 11 percent, and foreign nationals increased from 4% to 17%.

ATEC reports an increased focus on diversity and inclusion throughout the industry. AMTS reported 11% of A&P graduates were female, compared to the previous year’s 8%. While women in the A&P workforce only make up about 2.57% of the population, the increasing trend in A&P training bodes well for the overall women workforce. Additionally, 40% of graduates represent a racial or ethnic minority.

As for overall growth in 2021, respondents were optimistic and marked a 34% increase over 2020 graduate output!

Opportunities for Students and Graduates in Aviation

Of candidates eligible for placement, 66 percent of graduates had a job offer upon graduation! Additionally, the rate of immediately employed graduates rose 8 percent from the previous year.

The demand for aviation mechanics remains high. While ATEC reports that the mechanic population will increase over the next 20 years, they estimate that 12,000 more mechanics will still be needed to fulfill the needs of commercial aviation! There is a significant space for growth in the aviation maintenance workforce. If you’re interested in filling that demand, fill out the form below to get in contact with National Aviation Academy and

To read the full report, click here!