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Job Expectations and Salaries for Aircraft Technicians

Aircraft technicians and avionics equipment mechanics are usually only able to locate jobs in a small number of employers. However, job prospects are generally good as long as you have the proper training, education, and skills set to back up your experience.

Most aircraft technicians and avionics equipment mechanics work either in air transportation or directly for the benefit of air transportation. The majority of the workers are employed in parts manufacturing and for the federal government. The rest tend to work for either private companies that have their own planes or for commercial airline companies.  There are also civilian technicians who are employed by the U.S. Armed Forces as well.

For the most part, job growth is expected to be average for aircraft technicians in the near future. Those employees who have completed a training program should have favorable job opportunities. This is especially important for those that want to work for the federal government or for commercial airline companies, which tend to offer the best salaries and benefits.

As the population continues to grow, air travel is expected to increase. More and more service technicians will be needed in order to maintain and repair the new aircrafts that are introduced, as well as to maintain and repair the older units as well.

Most airlines prefer not to outsource their work to other countries because they feel more securely about American companies complying with federal safety regulations. For that reason, aircraft technicians have fewer reasons to worry about their jobs being outsourced overseas.

It is also expected that many people in the industry will retire within the next 8 years, leaving behind jobs that will need to be filled. Plus, other technicians will be promoted or leave the field altogether and leave behind jobs for new employees.

The best job opportunities will be for those candidates who wish to seek employment at regional and commuter airlines and at FAA repair stations. Regional and commuter airlines are the fastest growing part of the transportation industry. However, most candidates do not find these positions as lucrative as working for larger airlines since the pay tends to be less.

Because there are fewer applicants, though, there tend to be more job opportunities available. Those who wish to seek employment at larger commercial airlines will face a lot of competition from other employees that probably have more experience and education.

Those technicians that possess an A&P certification and have computer skills will also enjoy a favorable job outlook compared to those who do not. Even though technicians work with a variety of hand tools, they are also required to work with highly complicated computer systems as well so having these skills will be essential to securing a good job.  

In 2008, the median hourly wages for aircraft technicians were around $24. Some earned as high as $33 per hour while others earned around $16.  The highest wages went to those who worked for scheduled air transportation industries. Other high-paying jobs were found in the federal government, aerospace parts manufacturing, and support activities for air transportation.

Those technicians who worked on powerful jets for commercial airlines normally earned more than those technicians who worked on other types of aircrafts. In addition, those employees who graduated from a maintenance school or program usually had higher starting salaries than those who did not.

In order to stand out to potential employers, it is highly suggested that you complete a training program at a technical or vocational school or though a community college. As more and more employees seek educational opportunities, it will become even more important in the future to find ways to compete with them in this field in order to get the best job prospects and salaries.