Like all assets, aircraft also require constant for max efficiency and safety. It’s critical to keep the air vehicle functional and brushed up because valuable lives depend on it. For that reason, the average aviation maintenance technician salary is higher than most related-jobs.
But how much do aviation maintenance technicians make? And what does this role entail?
In this article, we’ll share the aviation maintenance technician salary figures, the roles and responsibilities of a technician, and the qualifications required to step into this field.
Let’s get started.
Who is an Aviation Maintenance Technician, and What Do They Do?
An aviation maintenance technician is the caretaker of aircraft engines, airframes, and aerospace systems. They ensure the safety and flight readiness of aircraft.
They understand the entire aircraft systems, how each component is integrated into the system, and how everything works.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities of an Aviation Maintenance Technician – Job Description?
The typical responsibilities of an aircraft maintenance technician vary according to their experience in the field, type of aircraft, and the mechanic and technician staff's availability.
However, here’s a generic job description of an aviation maintenance technician:
- Rig flight control systems and thoroughly inspect the aircraft before they take off and after they land.
- Demonstrate a high aptitude toward mechanical, hydraulic, and structural systems and understand preventative maintenance programs to save the systems from collapsing.
- An aviation maintenance technician has to rectify/maintain machines at all costs. Therefore, they should be comfortable with crawling into tight spaces and utilizing ladders to visually inspect the aircraft's inaccessible parts.
- Collaborate with maintenance engineers and technicians to install, maintain, or remove an aircraft’s pneumatic systems.
- They often play avionic technicians' role in maintaining an aircraft's electronic systems such as radar systems, radio communication devices, and navigation tools.
- Collaborate with airframe mechanics and powerplant mechanics to ensure the well-being of landing gears, air-conditioning systems, and electrical systems.
- Utilize x-ray, ultrasonic, and magnetic inspection techniques to discover cracks in the aircraft's exterior or interior body.
An aviation maintenance technician could be employed at a commercial firm or a military department as an entry-level intern or a full-time employee.
What Skills Should an Aviation Maintenance Technician Possess?
An aviation maintenance technician’s job title demands him/her to be the epitome of discipline, diligence, and prudence. They’re responsible for the safety and security of the passengers on the aircraft and can’t consider any room for negligence or loopholes in their work.
Following are the skills that put together a praiseworthy aircraft maintenance technician:
- They should know how to do basic math – better yet, be fast at doing calculations and solving complex problems.
- Since an aviation maintenance technician has to perform all the repair work using tools like speed handles, wrenches, wire pliers, etc., they must have agility and strong hand-eye coordination.
- Stay calm under stressful and noisy environment, endure harsh weather conditions, and defeat hasty deadlines.
- Should be medically fit with great vision and hearing.
- Be available to travel to different locations on a regular basis.
In addition to everything above, an aviation maintenance technician should know how to log their work, report to their seniors/ managers, and maintain a professional attitude with their co-workers.
What are the Qualifications of an Aviation Maintenance Technician?
A mechanical engineer with a related master's degree is ideal for becoming an aviation maintenance technician.
However, people having a high school diploma can also get into it by completing a VET (Vocational Education and Training) qualification in aero-skills and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved courses.
Other than that, employees should have a continuous thirst for knowledge and value on-the-job training programs provided by the employers.
What is the Average Aviation Maintenance Technician Salary in the United States?
Similar to the aircraft maintenance technician salary, according to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2019, an aviation maintenance technician's average base salary in the United States is $30.92 per hour, making their annual median salary around $64,310.
To get an idea of the average pay of aviation maintenance technicians, let’s look at other sources that publish anonymous individual salary reports:
Glassdoor is a platform where individuals can review the latest job , get salary estimates for a job, and apply for jobs.
According to Glassdoor's reports, an aviation maintenance technician's national average salary is $60,904 per year. The average annual salary ranges between $34,000 and $93,000.
Glassdoor lets you add the following filters to your search to make it precise and refined:
- Search for the industry.
- Search a based on its total of employees.
- Look up salaries based on the total years of experience.
Furthermore, you can also search for salaries of related jobs by entering keywords like aircraft mechanic salary, AP mechanic salary, etc.
Indeed is among the most popular job-search platforms (especially in the US), using which you can create your whole portfolio, research companies, and apply for jobs.
According to Indeed, an average aviation maintenance technician works at the hourly rate of $24.03, which cumulates to an average base salary of $48,847 per year.
Besides reviewing the base salary, Indeed also states some common benefits that an aviation maintenance technician can enjoy like food, parental leave, professional development assistance, etc. (visit the website for a complete list).
You can also view the top companies for aircraft maintenance technicians in the US and the cities that provide the highest paying jobs.
Lastly, you can also set job alerts on based on salaries, company, and city to get notifications for specific job openings.
PayScale is another top-tier salary compensation software that lets employees and employers gauge a job title's market value.
According to PayScale’s salary aggregator, an average aviation maintenance technician earns $55,975 per year.
PayScale also offers cost of living estimates, pay-difference by location, gender, and years of experience.
The aircraft maintenance technician salary depends on their qualification, certifications/degrees, organization, years of experience, etc.
However, an employee who successfully displays their productivity via a brilliant work ethic can create an excellent portfolio and ask for a better salary.
Josh is a partner at Maintenance Manager HQ.