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How to Become an A&P Mechanic or AMT (Aircraft Maintenance Technician)


Now is the perfect time to become an A&P Mechanic. Demand for A&P Mechanics has never been higher, meaning that when you choose to enter this profession, you’re setting yourself up for a long, stable career. Even if you know that you want to be an A&P Mechanic, you may be a little unclear on exactly how to make your dream come true.

How do you become an A&P Mechanic?

A&P Mechanics are also known as aviation maintenance technicians (AMT). A&P stands for Airframe and Power Plant.

The A&P certificate is consisting of two certificates, Airframe and Powerplant. 


The Airframe certificate allow you to sign off and inspect all things related to the Airframe.  Things such as the landing gear, the electrical system, the flight controls, the hydraulic systems, and the aircraft structure.

The Powerplant certificate allows you to sign off and inspect the aircraft engines, both reciprocating and turbine, and the propeller systems.

If working on and maintaining aircraft sounds like something you would enjoy, then becoming an A&P Mechanic may be perfect for you.


Requirements to Become a Certified A&P Mechanic

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Read, write, and speak English.

  • Attend an FAA-approved AMT school OR have 30 months of experience with airframe and Power Plant maintenance.

  • Pass a written, oral, and practical exams for both the Airframe and powerplant certificates.

Once students pass exams they become a certificated A&P mechanic and can get a job in this valuable industry. Here at International AeroTech Academy, the cost of these exams is included in your tuition.

As an A&P mechanic, graduates service most types of aircraft. Because every aircraft is different, they often require different maintenance techniques. This means that students learn how to work on many types of aircraft while in school and working in the industry. The more types of aircraft graduates can service, the more desirable they are to employers.


Why are we called a Certified A&P Mechanic instead of a licensed A&P Mechanic?

Once issued, your certificates, both Airframe and Powerplant, are good for life. 

They never expire like your driver’s license does.


Choosing an AMT School

The first step to getting an A&P certificate is choosing an AMT school. There are many AMT schools throughout the country and finding the right school for YOU should be the goal.

It’s important to attend an AMT school that has up-to-date curriculum and teaches the latest procedures. Here are International AeroTech Academy we constantly review and update our curriculum when we see the need to.

Find Funding for the Program

The cost to become an A&P mechanic depends on the AMT school. For a two-year program, students can expect to pay around $40,000 or higher. This sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that A&P mechanics make quite a bit of money once they have experience and an established career.

In fact, the Return on Education (ROE) for A&P mechanics is even higher than for doctors, lawyers, and pilots. The ROE for A&P mechanics is $63, meaning that for every $1 spent on education, graduates can expect to earn $63 back in a career.


Attending an AMT School

AMT students go through rigorous training to ensure they are capable of performing maintenance on any aircraft. Most AMT schools require students to purchase their own tools so that they can continue using them throughout their schooling and future jobs. Here at International AeroTech Academy your tools are provided as part of your tuition.

Most AMT programs will include classes and maintenance labs. Labs give students the chance to work on the actual aircraft and practice lessons taught in class. Depending on the training, students may be able to work on the actual aircraft used by pilots. At an AMT school like International Aerotech Academy, attached to a flight school, A&P students can possibly work on the aircraft used by the flight students.

Most programs take about two years to complete, but it depends on the training. At the end of the program, students are eligible to take the written, oral, and practical exams and obtain an A&P certificate.

The Nontraditional Route - No AMT School

Mechanics working on aircraft without a certificate but under the close supervision of a certificated mechanic, may not need to go to school. To qualify for the certificate, mechanics need 18 months of experience with either Airframes or Power Plants or 30 months of experience working on both at the same time. Mechanics that pass the same FAA written, oral, and practical exams, are able to get an A&P certificate.

It’s rare that a future mechanic is able to take this route to his or her A&P certificate. There’s no guarantee that a company will hire a mechanic without previous experience, and if they are hired, they’ll be doing work at a low wage until certificated. 

Many future A&P mechanics prefer to attend school and get instruction in a hands-on classroom setting rather than going straight into the industry to work with no previous experience. The idea of working on aircraft while still uncertificated is daunting to a lot of people. If this is the case, it’s best to find an AMT school and get proper training. At an AMT school, you’ll still be working on real aircraft and learning valuable skills, but there won’t be the level of scrutiny that this other option holds.

The Military Route

Many people who have recent experience in our Armed Forces with aviation experience may have the approval to take the written, oral and practical exams for Airframe or Powerplant or both.  This will depend on your Military Occupational Specialty and experience.  Many people who go this route will find that their knowledge base from the military does not effectively translate to the civilian world and chose to attend an AMT school like International AeroTech Academy. 


Finding Work as an A&P Mechanic

After obtaining an A&P certificate, there are many career options for an A&P mechanic. Many mechanics go to work for an airline, flight school, or general aviation operation. Another option is to work for an amusement park. Amusement parks love to hire A&P mechanics to maintain the rides because the same basic principles apply to both aircraft and rollercoasters. No matter what route you decide to go, there are job opportunities for A&P mechanics practically anywhere in the world.

If you go into aviation maintenance because you love aircraft and aviation, then staying in the aviation world will probably be the best option for you. If you got into aviation maintenance because you love fixing things and working with your hands, then you may choose to leave the aviation industry and work at an amusement park or another place hiring A&P mechanics instead.

Beyond an A&P Certificate

Beyond an A&P certificate, Avionics Technician training gives mechanics training in avionics-specific electronic equipment. This isn’t required to get a job working as an A&P mechanic, but to get a job as an avionics technician, Avionics Technician training might be a good idea. Having this extra training makes mechanics more valuable to employers and may raise your salary.


International Aerotech Academy’s AMT School

International AeroTech Academy’s AMT program takes less than two years and will qualify students to take the AMT certificate exams. Upon graduation, students are ready to enter the industry and start working as an A&P mechanic right away.


As you look at becoming an A&P mechanic, start by researching AMT schools and figuring out which school is best for you. Prepare to be accepted to AMT school by getting good grades and preparing funding.


If becoming an A&P Mechanic is your dream, don’t let anything stop you from making it your reality.

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