Aircraft Mechanics

Written by Robert Mac
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Aircraft mechanics--those that are FAA-certified--can find work in general aviation maintenance, commercial airline maintenance, or in any of the highly specialized fields within the aircraft industry. And as the technology behind airplanes continues to advance, so does the need for qualified aircraft mechanics. The sooner you start studying for your certifications, the sooner you can find rewarding work as a mechanic.

An Option for Aircraft Mechanics: Colorado Northwestern

Colorado Northwestern Community College is one of many locations where prospective aircraft mechanics learn their craft. Using FAA-approved curriculum, CNCC emphasizes hands-on education, and has numerous airplanes (and a helicopter, too) for maintenance training. Their instructors are all FAA-certified and are pilots as well.

The two-year Aviation Maintenance Technology program at Colorado Northwestern covers the three most useful fields of aircraft mechanics. They are general maintenance, airframe maintenance (everything on the plane except the engine), and powerplant maintenance (the engine and related systems.) Airframe and powerplant maintenance are collectively called A & P.

Students can earn the AMT certificate at CNCC or, by taking an additional 16 credits of general education, can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. Taking more units and getting a higher degree may make one's resumé stand out more than the next student's, but a certificate is all that's required to get work in aviation maintenance. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that 315,000 airplane mechanics will be needed in 2005, meaning there are lots of jobs available for appropriately-certified people.

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