Home / Career Guides / How to Become an Aviation Service Technician

How to Become an Aviation Service Technician

If you’ve been searching for a hands-on job working with various types of planes, an aviation service technician may be the perfect job for you. Aviation service technicians perform maintenance checks and repairs on aircraft machinery. To succeed in this role, you must be detail-oriented and have extensive knowledge about electrical systems.

Aviation service technicians are responsible for making sure aircraft engines and airframes are kept within Federal Aviation Administration standards. Individuals in this position usually operate in hangars, repair stations, or airfields to perform routine checks and keep records of daily logs.

This career path is exciting as you work with different machinery to solve problems on various airplanes and helicopters. This career is an entry-level aviation technician job and has room for growth to greater leadership roles such as inspectors, supervisors, or instructors. 

Sample job description

Aviation service technicians are critical to providing safe and high-quality repair work on various aircraft machinery. One of the most important roles of an aviation service technician is ensuring aircraft airframes and engines are aligned with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards. They achieve this by paying close attention to detail and understanding complex engine equipment and specifications. Aviation service technicians need to have strong mechanical skills to properly inspect, repair, and install different aircraft pieces. [Your Company Name] is looking to hire experienced aviation service technicians that are passionate about solving problems with the aircraft machinery we receive. If you have experience with aviation systems and different aircraft parts, we would love to have you as part of our company!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Repair and install different aircraft components
  • Examine aircraft to identify maintenance and repair issues
  • Read and comprehend aircraft manuals to understand aircraft components
  • Inspect completed work and ensure it matches standards
  • Interpret and analyze data to identify performance issues 
  • Maintain accurate record of repairs 
  • Install software, hardware, and other components

Education and experience

This position requires an associate degree’s and Airframe and Powerplant License certificate from a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Aviation systems and controls have become more computerized and the appropriate background to operate them will also be required. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Physical stamina and strength 
  • Manual dexterity
  • Keen attention to detail 
  • Knowledge of aviation technology and machinery
  • Ability to comprehend complex documents, blueprints, sketches, and manuals

Preferred qualifications

  • Aviation experience
  • Strong mechanical skills
  • Ability to work in a team to solve complex problems
  • Extreme attention to detail
  • Bachelor’s degree

Typical work environment

Most aviation service technicians are found working in repair stations, hangars, and airfields near an airport. Aviation service technicians are expected to meet strict deadlines while following safety standards, so it isn’t uncommon for them to work overtime during week nights and weekends. This work involves working independently, however, the environment can get loud while operating aircraft engines and equipment in the area, so it is important that aviation service technicians can stay focused amidst the noise. 

Typical hours

Aircraft service technicians typically work during regular business hours, from 9 AM to 5 PM, in repair stations, shops, or airfields, usually near airports. Overtime and weekend work is common.

Available certifications

Most companies are looking for an aviation service technician that has demonstrated some expertise in the area. Check out the following certifications available for anyone interested in learning more about this particular field: 

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) – This certificate is offered by several universities throughout the country to help prospective aviation service technicians gain the proper training and skills needed to succeed in their position. This certification usually takes participants up to a year to complete since they are completing several courses, including Airframe Structures, Maintenance Practices, Aircraft Sciences, and Powerplant Fuel Systems. Earning this certificate will show future employers your passion for the business and your willingness to learn about these complex aircraft systems. 
  • Certified Professional Maintenance Manager (CPMM) – The Association for Facilities Engineering offers this program for a variety of people looking to go into maintenance roles. This certification will ultimately help aviation service technicians maintain proper records while safely repairing various aircraft pieces. Participants will learn about maintenance management, documentation, health and safety in the workplace, maintenance planning and scheduling, and preventive maintenance. Earning this certificate will help you become efficient while taking care of different installments and repairs as an aviation service technician. 

Career path

This position requires an associate’s degree or an Airframe and Powerplant License certificate from a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Aircraft service technicians may have the opportunity to advance into positions such as lead mechanic, lead inspector, and shop supervisor. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 49-3011

2020 Employment130,100
Projected Employment in 2030145,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 12% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift15,300 increase

Air travel should significantly advance and expand in the coming years resulting in the demand for service technicians to maintain and repair machinery. The Aviation Technician Education Council offers professional knowledge and skill development opportunities such as certifications, programs, and webinars.