Aircraft maintenance schools train students to be certified airplane technicians. These mechanics work with airplane manufacturers and airlines to build, repair, and inspect aircraft to make sure they are safe for flight. Almost 200 aircraft maintenance schools across the country provide two and four-year programs that cover engineering, mechanics, electronics, plumbing, welding, and machining in a complete educational package.
A high school graduate might choose to attend an aircraft maintenance school because he or she is adept at fixing mechanical objects, doesn't want a traditional college degree, or is interested in a steady career right out of school. Aircraft maintenance schools are a perfect option because they combine with other degree programs. Universities often have programs in conjunction with a degree in aviation management or aircraft engineering. Community colleges, while more affordable, might require more classes than needed just to start a career. Vocational schools have very concentrated programs, with fewer requirements, and get a graduate into the field in the least amount of time.
Since aircraft maintenance is so important to safety, the government certifies certain schools through the Federal Aviation Administration. Those schools approved by the FAA award degrees, called Mechanics Certificates, to their students so they become certified Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, or AMTs. They have pursued a rigorous course of study that includes practical experience in the field, and oral and written evaluations.
Attending one of the many proficient aircraft maintenance schools, one can expect to receive a basic education in electronics, plumbing, carpentry, mechanical engineering, and other technical fields. Once the student moves beyond these classes, he or she would receive more specific training in avionics and aeronautics to learn how planes fly and what safety mechanisms are in place to keep them functioning at their best. A technician in training can concentrate on one area, such as the engine, electrical system, or radio communication devices. Often, one can keep a part-time, introductory level job at an airport to build confidence.
Finally, there is plenty of hands-on experience offered to get the student comfortable with working in a manufacturing plant, a hangar's repair station, or out on the tarmac. After graduating from one of the aircraft maintenance schools, an advisor may help the AMT locate a job. Some schools work closely with major airplane manufacturers to provide them with skilled employees. The demand for AMTs continues to rise, so aircraft maintenance schools are a popular and dependable educational option.