Transportation Aircraft Mechanic
Salary Range Jobs Available
$41,900 - $103,100 13,400+

What Does an Aircraft Mechanic Do?

If you’re fascinated by planes, here’s a job that will help you learn more about aircraft every day.

Aircraft mechanics — also called aircraft maintenance technicians or airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics — keep aircraft safe for flying. They follow detailed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines to repair and maintain different types of aircraft. They perform scheduled maintenance, troubleshoot problems, conduct inspections and make sure aircraft are ready for operation.

Many mechanics are generalists. These certified mechanics repair different types of aircraft, from commercial airliners to private business jets to single- or multi-engine propeller planes. Others are specialists who focus on a specific type of aircraft or a specific part. For example, avionics technicians repair and maintain a plane’s electrical systems.

Sound like a good fit for you? There's so much potential in this career, which is why it's one of SkillPointe's highest-paying skilled jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree. Read on to learn how to become an aircraft mechanic, including what training is required and what skills would make you a good fit.

An aircraft mechanic works on a plane
Aircraft mechanics keep aircraft safe and flying schedules on track. (Credit: NetJets)


  • Diagnose problems with mechanical and electrical systems 
  • Repair systems and specific parts, like brakes
  • Replace defective parts
  • Inspect all aircraft repairs and components, including de-icing systems, hydraulic systems and landing gear
  • Follow FAA rules for aircraft maintenance and other safety rules
  • Read and interpret maintenance manuals and service updates
  • Order supplies and equipment for repairs and maintenance
  • Keep detailed repair and inspection records 

How To Become an Aircraft Mechanic: FAQs

The bottom line:

For someone who is good with their hands, this is a career with room to grow. Talented aircraft mechanics can excel at general aviation, or drill down and become a specialist in a section of the aircraft or even types of specialty craft. As mentioned earlier, the majority of aircraft mechanics are generalists who work on many different types of aircraft and helicopters. But aircraft mechanics can also be specialists, focusing on specific areas of repair — such as hydraulics, electrical or engines — or specific types of aircraft, such as airships, rotorcraft and unmanned aircraft systems. Other roles to aspire to include lead mechanic, lead inspector, supervisor or FAA inspector.

There's plenty of opportunity for a satisfying career, with chances to learn at every turn. It's not a cliche to say the sky is the limit for this skilled career!

Aircraft mechanic Lorenzo Carlos Perez stands in front of an airplane engine

What is it like to be an aircraft mechanic?

The "wow" factor of planes and airports are what initially inspired Lorenzo Carlos Perez to become an aircraft mechanic. The best news? He still feels that way. 

He always loved working on cars, but he didn't realize how that inclination could lead to a different type of job. 

He got into aircraft mechanics after a family member whose car Lorenzo admired asked if he'd like to see the inner working of the airport where he worked. Lorenzo saw the planes and jets and was hooked.

He now works as a lead mechanic, which involves working on Airbus A320 passenger planes, assigning work to his team, ordering parts and setting the maintenance schedule. One of the best parts is he works outside — no hanger required — in Las Vegas. 

"I guess being a mechanic has always been in my blood. I’m always working on something — my cars or my motorcycle," says Lorenzo. 

Read the rest of his story and learn what a typical day looks like for an aircraft mechanic.

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