Aircraft Mechanics Have Options for Training Certification 

Maintenance Human Factors

Aircraft mechanics may earn FAA certification in multiple ways 

If I had a nickel for each time I tried to convince my kids to consider a trade school or apprenticeship program, I’d be rich beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t tell you how much I believe in on-the-job training (OJT) and hands-on experience for career preparation. It’s much more focused for the student, even for something as heavily regulated as an FAA A&P license, with its long list of FAA regulations to adhere to.  

Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics are in high demand these days. If my stepson wasn’t a licensed A&P, I’m not sure who would do the routine maintenance on our small plane. I have several friends who are grounded because they can’t find an A&P to do their annuals. The mechanics I know are overwhelmed with work orders and aren’t accepting new customers.   

Aircraft maintenance schools aren’t doing much better, either. There are long wait lists for admissions, and competition is high for the available spots. Fortunately, the Academy College has developed a way to help with the backlog. They have created a new program to support maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) providers by offering aviation maintenance technician (AMT) apprenticeships.   

Not only have they created these innovative apprenticeship opportunities, but they have done it with a structured on-the-job training component that will reduce the burden of administrating these programs.  

The AMT Apprenticeship Support Program includes numerous tools to help students prepare for their new careers, including:  

  • Study materials  
  • Virtual seminars  
  • Apprentice mentoring  
  • An app to track their OJT hours and self-study progress  
  • A report card to track overall progress  

While the enrolled students appreciate the level of support offered by this program, it is even more helpful for the supervisors and managers tasked with hiring and training new technicians. Because of the nationwide shortage, many maintenance organizations are hiring uncertified mechanics to work alongside certified mechanics to gain the hands-on experience required by the FAA. Teaching, demonstrating, monitoring, and recording student progress adds to the already high workload of the managers who are just trying to keep up with their daily maintenance duties. The AMT Apprenticeship Support Program will go a long way toward easing this burden and producing competent newly certified A&P mechanics. 

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