The Demand for Airframe & Powerplant Skills
Mechanics who have their Federal Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Licenses have a range of career opportunities in aviation and other industries! The attention to detail and safety standards an aircraft mechanic gains in their A&P training make them highly sought-after maintenance professionals.
This article will discuss the types of companies, aircraft, and career opportunities where mechanics can use their advanced skillset.
Areas of Aviation Maintenance
There are four main sectors of aviation:
- General Aviation includes flying for personal, business, or flight training through smaller privately owned aircraft.
- Commercial Aviation is air transportation that operates on a schedule, using large aircraft for high volumes of passengers and cargo.
- Military Aviation includes defense, combat, surveillance, and transportation of military personnel and cargo.
- Aerospace is a specialized field of aviation and includes the development and use of rockets for space flight and discovery.
Many companies will have involvement and overlap in multiple sectors, and even other industries. Check out the career opportunities in the below categories!
Executive jets are luxury aircraft used for frequent business travel. Clients typically include corporations, high-profile celebrities, pro-athletes, or elected officials. Embraer and Gulfstream are examples of companies that design, develop, manufacture, market, and service business jets.
Companies like Delta, Jet Blue, and American Airlines use a schedule to transport high volumes of passengers and cargo. These companies have substantial maintenance operations that require several teams of technicians to inspect and repair just one aircraft. Delta TechOps is a commercial aircraft repair station commonly referred to as Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities. Many companies offer their mechanics’ incredible flight benefits and opportunities to travel!
Include smaller aircraft models and experimental aircraft. These aircraft types are typically for personal travel, short-distance business trips, flight training, or business operations like agriculture, aerial photography, and patrolling. Piper is an example of a general aviation manufacturer, whereas Embraer produces aircraft for agricultural purposes.
Because helicopter systems are incredibly complex, companies may require a few years of working on other aircraft to qualify for their positions. Companies like Sikorsky, Airbus, and Bell Helicopter service and produce aircraft for military and civilian purposes. Helicopters provide medical emergency lifts, Military defense, search and rescue, and transporting workers to remote locations.
Companies in this sector may manufacture the entire aircraft or focus on producing specific parts and components. GE Aviation specializes in the design and production of engines for commercial and military aircraft. Both Boeing and Airbus are leading manufactures in commercial, defense, aerospace aircraft, helicopters, and innovative aircraft technologies.
Goodyear Blimps serve for advertising, sightseeing, surveillance, research, and advocacy! Technicians typically follow their assigned Blimp to monitor systems and are available for immediate repairs.
In this area, A&P mechanics will primarily use their airframe and avionics skills to inspect and repair the structural body of a rocket. Rocket engines are incredibly advanced and require years of experience. There is not currently formal training available for this type of engine.
NASA is a United States government agency and rocket manufacturer responsible for space exploration, space technologies, and continuously making discoveries for the future. Companies like Space X, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin are competing aerospace manufacturers intending to reduce space transportation costs by building reusable rockets to make space travel and space tourism more affordable and accessible.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
UAV’s are aircraft that are guided autonomously, by remote control, without a human pilot on board. These aircraft can carry up to 55,000 tons and have wingspans as wide as 80 feet. General Atomics is a military company that manufactures UAVs and specializes in energy and technology solutions for military defense.
Working on UAV’s presents a lot of travel opportunities! While these aircraft do not need a physical pilot, the mechanic must travel with their UAV to closely monitor the systems and be available for maintenance and repairs. In this area, Avionics skills are essential for working on advanced autonomous systems.
Other Parallel Industries
While there is a vast need for Aircraft Mechanics in aviation, there are other industries where A&P licenses are needed! A&P skills incorporate several other technical skills, which is why they are transferable to so many other heavy industries like marine ships, lift trucks, mass transit, and the examples listed below.
Formula One racing is an incredibly advanced sport. Like aircraft, racing vehicles house complex engines and must be repaired, maintained, and inspected. Airframe and structures are also a significant component of automotive racing. Everything a mechanic does in a race can make or break the vehicle’s performance. A&P mechanics are responsible for maintaining vehicles, so they are in the best racing condition.
The detailed and precise training that A&P schools offer makes this an excellent parallel industry to start a career.
According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, more than 300 million people a year ride rollercoasters, and that’s just in the United States! Just like airlines, safety is a top priority for theme parks.
Theme park rides operate at high speeds, so they must be inspected, repaired, and maintained for passengers to ride safely. Amusement parks like Disney, Universal, and Busch Gardens hire graduates with A&P licenses to preserve rollercoasters due to trained attention to detail and understanding of safety precautions.
According to statistics by the Wind Solar Alliance, the wind industry has invested over $145 billion in the United States in the last decade. Renewable energy is continuously evolving globally, as well. Wind is now the second fastest-growing source of electricity in the world!
As the demand for more wind-powered electricity grows, so does the need for A&P licensed turbine technicians! A wind turbine technician installs, inspects, maintains, operates, and repairs wind turbines. A&P licenses allow wind turbine technicians to travel, see the world, and commission constructed turbines all across the globe! They are tasked with keeping wind turbines from shutting down, ensuring that renewable energy is provided to a growing number of people.
Our Career Placement Services
Our alumni’s success is a critical measurement of our institution. Beyond getting you trained and certified, our goal is to make sure you are successfully employed. National Aviation Academy’s Career Services Team works with industry employers to help students find positions that align with their career goals.
During your training, Career Services will assist you with:
- Resumes writing, applications, and other employer documents
- Interview practice and preparation, so you know what to say, how to dress and correspond with hiring employers
- Company introductions, scheduling and conducting your interviews
- Understanding employee benefits, pay, and best negotiating practices
Once you are a certified Aviation Maintenance Professional, you’ll have a range of career opportunities. It is estimated that 626,000 new aviation maintenance technicians will be needed globally in the next 20 years, not including need in other industries. Career Services is here to explore and learn about the options you’ll have in and outside of aviation.
Want to gain access to these high-earning, highly demanded careers? Apply Now to get started!