California Trade Schools Train New Generation of Aircraft Mechanics
With 160 working airports from San Diego to the Oregon border, California-based aircraft mechanics stay busy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for graduates of airframe and powerplant technical schools will be excellent in the coming years. The best job opportunities for mechanics and technicians will be in general aviation, at small commuter and regional airlines, and at FAA repair stations. California aircraft mechanic trade schools offer a direct path into this rewarding vocation.
Aircraft trade school programs offer comprehensive training in the mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical systems that keep planes flying in safety. Prospective students should ensure that their degree programs are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which sets educational standards and work-place requirements.
At your technical school, you can expect to learn math and science applications for aviation, engine powerplant maintenance and repair, sheet metal procedures, pneumatic and hydraulic system maintenance, reciprocating, turbine and propeller systems, and airframe electrical systems.
FAA standards require certified mechanic trade schools to offer at least 900 actual class hours, although coursework can be completed in as little as 18 months. The BLS reports that mechanics and technicians held 142,000 jobs in 2004. Several thousand baby boomer mechanics will retire from the industry over the next few years, creating job openings across the country.
California, with its abundance of small- and medium-sized airports along with major international flight hubs, consistently offers technical airframe and powerplant maintenance jobs across a wide spectrum. Constant advancements in aircraft systems and computer technology make trade school training a real advantage in the workplace.
FAA-Approved Trade Schools Offer Experience Incentives
California-based airplane mechanic trade schools offer programs that prepare students to pass the FAA certification examination. While the FAA requires a minimum of 18 months' work experience to qualify for certification, graduation from an FAA-approved technical school can often serve as a substitute.
According to Salary.com, an Oakland, California-based airplane mechanic or technician can earn a starting annual salary between $38,981 and $66,877.
The BLS reports that many flight line mechanics gain on-the-job experience that lead to advancement to supervisory and higher-paid administrative positions. Crew chief, shop supervisor, and lead inspector roles can be well-compensated, highly respected roles in the vocation.