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Top 11 Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for aircraft maintenance technicians and what they entail.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are an important part of the job market for aircraft maintenance technicians. A certification is a form of recognition that provides proof of skills and knowledge in a particular field or job. These certifications demonstrate to potential employers that an aircraft maintenance technician has the necessary qualifications, training, and experience needed to safely and effectively perform their duties in the workplace. In addition, certifications can help aircraft maintenance technicians stand out from other applicants when competing for jobs. They also open up opportunities for career advancement and increased pay scales. Finally, certifications provide a sense of pride and accomplishment to those who have earned them as well as reassurance to employers that their technicians are knowledgeable and qualified to work on their aircraft.

This article reviews some of the best certifications for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, and explains how they can contribute to an aircraft maintenance technician's career.

What are Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certifications?

Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification is a professional certification program that is designed to help aircraft maintenance technicians demonstrate their knowledge and competency in the field of aviation. This certification is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is recognized as an industry-standard credential for aircraft mechanics. The program consists of two exams: the General, Airframe, and Powerplant (GAMP) exam, and the Oral & Practical (O&P) exam.

The GAMP exam covers topics like aircraft structure, systems, powerplants, maintenance procedures, and regulations. It requires applicants to have at least 18 months of experience working on aircraft or studying specific courses related to aviation. The O&P exam tests an applicant’s ability to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. It requires applicants to have at least 30 months of experience working on aircraft or studying specific courses related to aviation.

Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification can be beneficial for those seeking employment in the aviation industry because it demonstrates that they possess the skills necessary to perform maintenance safely and effectively. Employers may require this certification as a prerequisite for certain positions, which could open up more opportunities for job seekers who hold this credential. Additionally, having this certification may allow technicians to earn higher salaries than those without it due to its recognition within the industry. In addition to providing job seekers with greater career opportunities, Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification can also help ensure that aircraft are maintained properly, thereby promoting safety in the skies.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research and understand the requirements for aircraft maintenance technician certification in your state or country. Each jurisdiction has different regulations and requirements, so it's important to make sure you are familiar with them before attempting to obtain a certification.

Related: What does an Aircraft Maintenance Technician do?

Top 11 Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Aircraft Maintenance Technicians today.

1. Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certification

Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certification is a certification issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It certifies an individual as a qualified mechanic to inspect, repair, and maintain aircraft. To obtain an A&P certificate, an individual must pass both a written and practical exam administered by the FAA.

The written exam consists of questions related to aircraft systems and maintenance procedures. The practical exam requires the applicant to demonstrate their ability to perform basic maintenance tasks such as inspecting, servicing, troubleshooting, and repairing components on actual aircraft.

The process of obtaining an A&P certificate typically takes several months to complete. An applicant must first obtain an FAA-approved training program from an aviation school or college. This program will provide the necessary knowledge and skills required for the written and practical exams. Once the training program is completed, applicants can then take the written exam at any FAA-approved testing center. After passing the written exam, applicants can then take the practical exam at any FAA-approved testing center or through a designated examiner in their area.

The cost of obtaining an A&P certificate varies depending on factors such as type of training program chosen and location of testing centers. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $2,000 - $10,000 USD depending on these factors.

2. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Certificate

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Certificate is a certification that allows an individual to work as an aircraft mechanic. This certificate is required by the FAA in order to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations of aircraft. It is also necessary for anyone who wishes to become a certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic.

In order to obtain this certificate, individuals must first pass two written exams: one on general knowledge and one on airframe or powerplant topics. The exams are administered by the FAA at approved testing centers throughout the United States. Individuals must also complete an oral exam with an FAA inspector and demonstrate their practical skills in a hands-on test.

The process of obtaining the Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Certificate typically takes between three months and six months depending on the individual's background knowledge. Individuals must have completed at least 18 months of relevant work experience before they can take the tests, although some may be able to waive this requirement if they have completed certain courses or other training programs.

The cost of obtaining this certificate varies depending on the individual's situation but typically includes costs for study materials, test fees, travel expenses, etc. The exact cost will depend on how much time it takes for an individual to prepare for the tests as well as any additional training or courses that may be required.

3. Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Certification

Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Certification is a certification program for technicians who work on aircraft electronics. It is offered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and it is designed to ensure that technicians are qualified to work on aircraft electronics systems.

The AET Certification requires applicants to pass a written exam and an oral/practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as electrical theory, electronic components, wiring diagrams, and troubleshooting techniques. The oral/practical exam tests the applicant’s ability to install, configure, and troubleshoot aircraft electronic systems.

It typically takes about two years of experience in the field of aircraft electronics to qualify for the AET Certification. Applicants must also have at least 18 months of experience working with avionics equipment in order to be eligible for the certification.

In order to get the AET Certification, applicants must submit an application form along with supporting documents such as proof of experience and education records. Once approved, applicants will need to pay an application fee and take the written and oral/practical exams.

The cost of getting the AET Certification varies depending on where you take the exams and whether or not you need additional training courses before taking them. Generally speaking, it costs around $3,000-$4,000 USD for all fees associated with getting this certification.

4. FAA Certified Repairman Certificate

A FAA Certified Repairman Certificate is an official document issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allows a person to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations on aircraft. This certificate is required for any individual who wants to be employed as an aircraft mechanic or technician in the United States.

It typically takes between four and six months to obtain a FAA Certified Repairman Certificate. The process involves completing an application form, passing a written knowledge test, and obtaining a medical certificate. Applicants must also have at least 18 months of practical experience in aviation maintenance or repair work and must demonstrate their proficiency in the field by passing a practical test administered by an FAA-designated examiner.

The cost of obtaining a FAA Certified Repairman Certificate varies depending on the type of certification being sought. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $200-$400 for basic certifications, with additional fees for more specialized certifications such as avionics or turbine engine repair.

In order to maintain their certification, repairmen must complete continuing education courses every two years and renew their license every three years.

5. Avionics Technician Certification

Avionics Technician Certification is a certification that allows technicians to work on aircraft electrical and electronic systems. The certification is awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after passing an exam.

The exam consists of two parts: a written exam and an oral/practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as electrical theory, aircraft systems, and troubleshooting procedures. The oral/practical exam covers topics such as wiring diagrams, system installation, and maintenance procedures.

In order to take the exams, applicants must have at least 18 months of experience working with avionics equipment or have completed an FAA-approved course in avionics technology. Applicants must also pass a background check before taking the exams.

The cost of the exams varies depending on where they are taken but typically ranges from $200-$400 for both parts combined. It usually takes around 3-4 months to complete both parts of the exam, depending on how quickly you can study and prepare for them.

Once you have passed both parts of the exam, you will receive your Avionics Technician Certification from the FAA which will be valid for two years before it needs to be renewed.

6. FAA Inspection Authorization (IA) Certification

FAA Inspection Authorization (IA) Certification is a certification granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that authorizes an individual to perform certain maintenance and repair functions on aircraft. This certification is required for any person performing annual or 100-hour inspections, preventive maintenance, major repairs, and alterations on aircraft. To obtain this certification, an individual must pass a written examination administered by the FAA. The exam covers topics such as airframe systems, powerplant systems, electrical systems, and propellers.

The process of obtaining an IA certification can take up to six months or more depending on the individual's experience level and availability of study materials. To get started, individuals must first complete a minimum of 18 months of practical experience working with aircraft in the areas they wish to be certified in. After completing their practical experience requirements, individuals must then pass the FAA written exam before receiving their IA certificate.

The cost of obtaining an IA certificate varies depending on the type of training and materials needed to prepare for the exam. Generally speaking, it can range from $150-$400 for study materials and test fees. Additionally, individuals may need to pay for additional training courses if they are not able to self-study for the exam.

Overall, obtaining an IA certificate requires dedication and commitment from individuals wishing to pursue this career path but can provide them with valuable skills that will help them succeed in the aviation industry.

7. Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) Certification

Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) Certification is a certification issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allows individuals to work on aircraft. The certification requires applicants to demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in aircraft maintenance, repair, and inspection.

To obtain AMT Certification, applicants must pass a written test and an oral and practical exam. The written test covers topics such as airframe systems, powerplant systems, electrical systems, avionics systems, and general maintenance practices. The oral and practical exam tests the applicant’s ability to troubleshoot problems with the aircraft.

The process of obtaining AMT Certification can take up to six months depending on the individual’s experience level. It typically involves completing an FAA-approved training program or coursework from an accredited institution, passing the required exams, and submitting all necessary paperwork.

The cost of obtaining AMT Certification varies depending on the type of training program or institution chosen. Generally speaking, costs can range from several hundred dollars for self-study programs to several thousand dollars for more comprehensive courses at accredited institutions.

8. Composite Repair Technician Certification

Composite Repair Technician Certification is a certification program offered by the National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies (NCATT). It is designed to provide technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform composite repairs on aircraft.

The certification program consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical test. The written exam covers topics such as composite materials, repair techniques, and safety procedures. The practical test requires the technician to demonstrate their ability to safely perform repairs on an aircraft using composite materials.

In order to get certified, technicians must first complete an approved NCATT training course. These courses vary in length depending on the type of repair being performed, but typically last between four and eight weeks. After completing the course, technicians must pass both the written and practical tests in order to receive their certification.

The cost of the certification varies depending on the type of repair being performed and can range from $2,000 - $4,000 USD.

9. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Technician Certification

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Technician Certification is a certification that demonstrates the knowledge and skills of an individual in the field of non-destructive testing. NDT technicians are responsible for inspecting materials, components, and assemblies to detect flaws or defects without causing any damage to the material.

It typically takes around two years of on-the-job experience to qualify for NDT Technician Certification. To obtain this certification, individuals must complete a formal training program and pass an exam administered by a recognized certifying body such as the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT). The training program includes classroom instruction as well as hands-on practice with various NDT techniques such as radiography, ultrasonic testing, eddy current testing, and magnetic particle testing.

The cost of obtaining NDT Technician Certification varies depending on the certifying body and type of certification sought. Generally speaking, the cost can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

10. Sheet Metal Fabrication and Repair Technician Certification

Sheet Metal Fabrication and Repair Technician Certification is a certification that demonstrates expertise in the fabrication and repair of sheet metal components. The program is designed to provide individuals with the skills necessary to fabricate and repair sheet metal components, as well as troubleshoot and diagnose any issues that may arise during the process.

The certification typically takes about two years to complete, depending on the individual's prior experience and knowledge. To get certified, individuals must pass an exam administered by a recognized certifying body such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). The exam covers topics such as safety, welding, cutting, forming, assembly, finishing, inspection, and quality control.

The cost of certification varies depending on the certifying body. Generally speaking, it can range from several hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. In addition to the cost of certification itself, there may be additional costs associated with taking classes or purchasing materials for practice exams.

It is important to note that some employers may require a certain level of certification before they will hire an individual for a job involving sheet metal fabrication or repair. Therefore, obtaining this certification can be beneficial in terms of career advancement opportunities.

11. Aircraft Structural Repair Technician Certification

Aircraft Structural Repair Technician Certification is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and skills in the repair and maintenance of aircraft structures. This certification is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is required for anyone who works on aircraft structural repairs.

To obtain this certification, individuals must complete a training program that includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience. The program typically takes between six months to one year to complete, depending on the complexity of the material covered. After completing the program, students must pass a written exam administered by the FAA to earn their certification.

The cost of obtaining this certification varies depending on the type of training program chosen and any additional fees associated with taking the exam. Most programs charge tuition fees ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. Additionally, there may be other costs such as books, materials, or equipment needed for completion of the coursework.

Overall, Aircraft Structural Repair Technician Certification is an important credential for anyone interested in working in aircraft repair and maintenance. It provides assurance that individuals have received adequate training and possess the necessary skills to safely perform repairs on aircraft structures.

Do You Really Need a Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certificate?

Yes, you do need an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certificate if you want to become a professional aircraft maintenance technician. This certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is required for anyone who works on aircraft engines, airframes, and related systems. The certificate demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and effectively maintain aircraft.

The FAA requires that all aircraft maintenance technicians must complete a two-year program of instruction approved by the FAA in order to be eligible for certification. The program includes classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience working with aircraft components. The coursework covers topics such as aerodynamics, aviation safety, aircraft inspection procedures, engine maintenance, and troubleshooting. After completing the program, students must pass a comprehensive written examination administered by the FAA in order to receive their certification.

In addition to the formal training required for certification, many employers prefer that applicants have some experience working on aircraft or have completed an internship in the field prior to applying for a job as an aircraft maintenance technician. Experience working with mechanics or other technicians can provide valuable insight into what it takes to be successful in this profession.

Aircraft maintenance technicians are responsible for ensuring that all parts of an airplane are functioning properly before takeoff and during flight. They must inspect engines, airframes, avionics systems, fuel systems, landing gear systems, and other components of aircrafts regularly in order to ensure that they meet all safety standards set forth by the FAA. As such, having an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certificate is essential for anyone who wants to pursue a career as an aircraft mechanic or technician.

Related: Aircraft Maintenance Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certifications

1. What is an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification?

Answer: An Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification is a certification that verifies that a technician has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to safely and correctly perform maintenance tasks on aircraft.

2. How do I obtain an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification?

Answer: To obtain an Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification, you must complete a formal training program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This program typically includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience with aircraft systems and components.

3. What is the difference between an A&P License and an AMT Certification?

Answer: An A&P License is issued by the FAA to individuals who have met all of their requirements for becoming an aircraft mechanic or technician. The license allows them to perform maintenance tasks on aircraft without direct supervision from another licensed technician. An AMT Certification verifies that a technician has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to safely and correctly perform maintenance tasks on aircraft but does not confer any special privileges or authority from the FAA.

4. Is there a time limit for obtaining my AMT Certification?

Answer: Yes, in most cases, you must complete your training within 24 months of starting your program in order to qualify for your AMT Certificate.

5. Are there any prerequisites for obtaining my AMT Certificate?

Answer: Yes, before you can begin your training program, you must pass certain exams such as FAA written tests and medical exams, as well as demonstrate proficiency in basic English language skills such as reading, writing and speaking English fluently.