Is it easy to get a job as an A&P Mechanic?

Posted: September 28, 2020 | Author: Jaidyn Crookston | Read Time: 9 minutes

If you’re thinking of getting a job as an A&P Mechanic, then I know you’re probably wondering what the industry is like and whether or not it’ll be easy for you to get a job. Everyone wants to feel secure in their career choice (at least I certainly do), and it’s important to research the industry before taking the leap to AMT school. 

So, is it easy to get a job as an A&P Mechanic? 

Cirrus SR20 Airplane Engine

Generally speaking, yes, it should be pretty easy to get a job as an A&P Mechanic. However, during my research I found a couple of factors that may make it easier for you to find a job, which will be addressed in a moment. For now, here’s why many A&P Mechanics find it easy to get a job. 

High demand:

The demand for A&P Mechanics is very high and is expected to continue to grow. In Boeing’s recent outlook report, it’s estimated that there will be a shortage of 193,000 A&P Mechanics in North America and 769,000 mechanics worldwide by 2038. 

Even though COVID-19 has thrown everything a little out of whack, A&P Mechanics (also known as aircraft maintenance technicians) are still needed to maintain aircraft and keep them safe to fly. In fact, there are currently over 2,000 job listings for A&P Mechanics on JSfirm. Because mechanics are in such high demand, there will continue to be lots of jobs and opportunities for growth in the industry. 

Industry is expanding:

Before COVID-19 hit hard earlier this year, the aviation industry was growing and expanding. This meant that more aircraft were being used and more mechanics were needed to keep up with this growth each year. Although COVID-19 put a temporary stop to the aviation industry’s expansion, the industry has begun to recover. Over the next few months and years, the industry is expected to continue recovering and soon be in high demand again. Just as before, the more the industry expands, the more mechanics will be needed to maintain the aircraft. 

Because mechanics are still in high demand and the industry has begun to recover, now is a great time to become an A&P Mechanic! As a mechanic, you’ll most likely have a stable job for years to come. 

Technicians who have the minimum amount of experience needed to qualify for a job are finding it easier and easier to get hired because of the high demand and the number of jobs available. There’s no guarantee that you’ll easily find a job as a technician, but chances are in your favor and it’s likely that you’ll have work once you finish your training. 

A&P Mechanic student working on an R44 helicopter

There’s no guarantee that you’ll easily find a job as a technician, but chances are in your favor and it’s likely that you’ll have work once you finish your training. 

As mentioned before, there are a few factors that can increase your chances of easily finding a job once you finish your AMT training. Some of those factors are:

A&P License:

Believe it or not, not every mechanic working on aircraft has their A&P license. It’s possible to get a job as an unlicensed mechanic and then take the A&P license exam once you have enough experience to qualify. If you don’t go to school you’ll need 30 months of experience working on airframes and powerplants before qualifying to take the exams. 

However, it’s much more difficult to get a job this way and I think it’s a better option to go to AMT school and get the necessary qualifications and experience before finding a job.

To get an A&P license the traditional way you’ll need to go to an AMT school. Most programs take about 2 years to complete and at the end of your training you’ll be ready to take the written, practical, and oral exams needed for your A&P license. With an A&P license under your belt, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a job as a mechanic. 

A&P mechanic student holding the tail of an R44 helicopter

 Lots of experience: 

The more experience you have as a mechanic, the easier it will be to get a job. After going to AMT school, you’ll qualify for entry level A&P jobs and can work your way up from there. By working hard you’ll be able to build your experience level until you’re comfortable maintaining any aircraft and fixing any problem. 

Experience on different aircraft:

While training to be an AMT, you’ll probably learn to maintain only a few types of aircraft. At the beginning of your training you’ll need to decide whether to focus on airplanes or helicopters. Both types of aircraft have different pros and cons, and it’s really up to your own personal preference. 

Within both aircraft types there are many different airplanes or helicopters that each take different techniques and maintenance. I’ve heard that the more aircraft you can expertly service, the more desirable you’ll be to employers that fly multiple kinds of aircraft. Other employers that fly only a certain type of aircraft, however, will probably be more interested in seeing a lot of experience on that specific aircraft. A good rule of thumb, though, is to get as much experience as you can on as many aircraft types as possible so that you’re ready for anything.

Trained using updated techniques:

Something to be aware of when looking for AMT schools is that most schools train their students using outdated techniques and materials. This is because of strict regulations by the FAA that don’t allow most schools to train using updated techniques. In fact, the only AMT school currently authorized to train students using updated techniques is SUU Aviation. 

SUU Aviation student A&P Mechanic working on an R44 Raven II Helicopter

Most of the time, when a newly licensed mechanic starts working for a company, he or she must then be trained by that company on new procedures, techniques, and materials. This takes time and money away from the employer and causes a steeper learning curve for the mechanic. If you’re properly trained during AMT school you’ll have a big leg up when it comes time to look for jobs because your employer won’t have to waste time and money retraining you.

Right now, only one AMT school is authorized to train students using updated techniques and materials. That school is SUU Aviation. If you want to ensure that you’re receiving the best training that will prepare you to enter directly into the workforce, I would recommend SUU Aviation.

The more experience you have and the less extra training an employer has to give you, the easier it will be to get a job as an A&P Mechanic. 

Here are some other things to consider when thinking about becoming an A&P Mechanic:

An A&P license isn’t only for aviation: 

Even though AMT training is aimed towards students going on to work for the aviation industry, that isn’t where every mechanic ends up. 

Another great option for those with an A&P license is going to work for an amusement park. Amusement parks love to hire aviation technicians because a lot of the techniques that are used to maintain aircraft transfer well into maintaining roller coasters and other amusement park rides. I know that Disney especially likes to hire A&P Mechanics. 

If you want to be a mechanic because you love fixing things and not necessarily because you love aviation, working for an amusement park might be a fun option for you. If you want to be a mechanic because you love aviation as well as fixing things, then you’ll probably want to stay in the aviation industry. 

A&P Mechanic student working on an aircraft

Does A&P Mechanics have great salary?

Because A&P Mechanics are in such high demand and have such an important role in the aviation industry, they actually make really good money. According to salary.com, the average salary of an A&P Mechanic working on jets is $87,000 a year. 

It’s true that you’ll start your career working lower paying jobs until you’ve built up the experience needed to get a high paying technician job. Once you’re well established in your industry and get the job of your dreams, you’ll be making really good money and will have a lot of benefits. 

The Return on Education (ROE) for A&P Mechanics is really high. For every $1 you spend on your education, you can expect to earn about $63 back throughout your career. This ROE is higher than that of doctors ($22) and engineers ($40). AMT school is an investment, and it’s one that will definitely pay off big in the end. 

If you’re ready to take the leap to AMT school and start on your path to becoming an A&P Mechanic, I recommend SUU Aviation as the best school for you. As the only school in the nation authorized by the FAA to train students using the most up-to-date training methods, I’d say you’re guaranteed to get the most for your money at SUU Aviation. 

A&P mechanic working under a Cirrus SR20 Airplane

If you have any questions about the AMT program, contact SUU Aviation or go in for a tour. You can meet the mechanics that maintain the flight school’s own fleet of aircraft and talk to instructors and other students. I promise you’ll love training to become an A&P Mechanic at SUU Aviation.  


Produced by SUU Aviation

The university's fleet includes 16 airplanes, 23 helicopters by the end of 2020, and state of the art maintenance training facilities. SUU Aviation offers advanced and relevant flight training in the safest and most efficient way possible. The program continues to be on the cutting edge of the industry, training tomorrow's aviation leaders.

With Southern Utah University of Aviation, you’ll get a high-quality education and have the experience needed to get a job as a mechanic when you graduate. 

Tags: Aviation

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