The High-Earning Potential of an A&P License. 

Being an aircraft mechanic is a rewarding career opportunity with great earning potential! Despite how essential and valuable A&P certified mechanics are, these unseen positions are often overlooked – which is unfortunate considering the earning potential and amazing career opportunities these positions offer. See for yourself how much you can earn!

Want to know more about the earning potential of aviation maintenance careers? See how to make the most out of this in-demand skill!



Airframe, Powerplant, and Avionics are highly sought-after skills. The need for new certified aircraft mechanics combined with the number of mechanics retiring from the workforce has magnified that demand. The 2020 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook predicts that 739,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed in the next 20 years. This forecast does not include the need for technicians in parallel industries, like alternative energy solutions, mass transit, theme parks, and other heavy industries.

Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects aircraft mechanics’ overall employment to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the majority of occupations.

Due to the high demand for aviation maintenance skills, most aviation industry employers provide competitive pay for aircraft mechanics.



There are employment possibilities for airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics across the US and all over the world! Willingness to relocate, presents the soonest opportunity to take your highest-paying option and gain new experience, which also increases your value.

If you’re interested in traveling abroad, there are many countries where aircraft mechanic skills are hard to come by and companies will pay top dollar for mechanics who are A&P certified! Working overseas offers incredible high-paying opportunities and can be well worth the distance, whether permanently or temporarily relocating.

Another viable strategy is to establish yourself in a local company and build on your experience over time.

Work experience is valuable to aviation maintenance employers. Showing time commitment, consistent growth, and good work performance could potentially lead to higher-paying advancement opportunities.


Sectors of the Industry 

Income and benefits are different for every organization, and will depend the position and even the sector of aviation the employer is in. Some companies will offer extensive and robust benefits, while other companies may offer high pay, overtime opportunities, and bonuses. Each sector of aviation has their own set of benefits and compensation practices. Below will describe how opportunities and compensation will vary in each aviation sector and employer.

General Aviation (GA) companies are typically smaller-scale operations, in which employees work more closely with clients. In this environment, mechanics have the opportunity to establish relationships with aircraft owners, making GA a strategic place to start a new business. 

The earning potential of owning a business is limitless, and would be based on your client base, the rates of services you offer, and overhead cost of the operations.


The Commercial Air Transport (CAT) companies run on a schedule using large aircraft for high volumes of passengers and cargo. Due to strict timeframes and deadlines, there are often opportunities to work overtime with increased pay for additional hours. Overtime may also be mandatory due to the seasonal demand of the industry.

CAT companies are typically larger-scale organizations, which presents many potential opportunities to advance into higher-level management positions, which may also come with a pay increase.


Another option is to work for a private military company as a civilian contractor. As an independent contractor, work could be based on a timeframe or completion of a project, typically for a set amount of money. Once the job is done, you can either seek high-paying contracts or take time off in-between jobs.


More Skills and Education 

The key to gaining access to high-earning aircraft maintenance jobs is having your A&P ratings. Adding more skills will expand your career growth options, open opportunities in other industries, and increase your value as a mechanic.

Mechanics may enjoy a particular type of work and want to hone their craft to become specialists in airframe, powerplant, or avionics systems. Mechanics can also expand their maintenance skills by combining their A&P Ratings with other certifications in HVAC systems, welding, or non-destructive inspections to perform work in these areas of aircraft. Specializing also presents the opportunity to start a privately owned business, hold a specific position, or oversee a department within a maintenance operation.

Having a college degree may also open opportunities for management roles and other responsibilities. Many organizations require degrees for higher-level, high-paying positions such as production manager, director of maintenance, or quality control inspector. 

The experience gained from completing college courses may qualify you for higher positions and is an excellent way to enhance your professional skills. Being able to engage with a range of people at various levels and departments within the workplace is a very desirable quality for employees.


Money vs. Value

Aside from financial compensation, there are several other aspects of a job that you may consider to be just as important as the paycheck. In addition to aviation maintenance offering competitive pay, there is also immense value in this type of work.

Flight Benefits
This perk depends on the employer and is not guaranteed. However, benefits can range from discounted rates to completely free. This offers mechanics the opportunity to travel the world in their spare time!

A Range of Interesting Job Opportunities
There is a need for airframe & powerplant skills in all areas of aviation and other industries. Mechanics can gain experience working on various aircraft or use their skills in other industries like wind energy, marine ships, mass transit, roller coasters, and much more.

Advance into Higher Roles
Many employers provide career advancement opportunities and want to see their best mechanics stay and grow within their organization. See how one of National Aviation Academy’s recent alumni has worked his way up to chief mechanic just a few years after graduating!

Hands-on Work is Engaging
Aviation mechanics have very active jobs performing inspections, maintaining, and repairing aircraft using various tools and equipment. This career is perfect for those who enjoy working with their hands. NAA’s hands-on projects and experiences simulate the type of work done out in the industry!

Continual Learning
The industry is always expanding with new aircraft and technology, which offers continuous learning. Mechanics can also gain new experience working on different types of aircraft.

Keeping Others Safe
Constant inspections and maintenance keep aircraft in the air and flying safely. Passenger travel would not happen without qualified A&P mechanics! Keeping people safe adds a sense of purpose to the work aircraft technicians do every day.


Interested in a Hands-on Career with High Earning Potential?

While the earning potential in aviation maintenance depends on factors like location, education level, experience, or career strategy, there are limitless career opportunities in aviation and other industries for A&P certified mechanics!

NAA offers accelerated training programs that make it possible to earn more A&P certificates in as little as 14 months! Beyond training, NAA’s Career Services team assists graduates and alumni with interview preparation, employer documents, and the hiring process.

Fill out the form below to get more information about our training options and the career opportunities in aviation and beyond!