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Top 11 Aircraft Technician Certifications

This article explores the top certifications for aircraft technicians, providing an overview of each and their associated benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are an important part of the job market for aircraft technicians. They demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to work on aircraft safely and effectively. Having certifications can help a technician stand out from other applicants and make them more attractive to potential employers. Additionally, many employers require certain certifications as a prerequisite for employment. Therefore, having certifications is essential for anyone looking to enter the field of aircraft maintenance and repair.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Aircraft Technicians and explains how they can help to enhance an aircraft technician's career.

What are Aircraft Technician Certifications?

Aircraft technician certification is a program designed to certify individuals as qualified aircraft technicians. This certification is typically awarded after the successful completion of an approved training and education program that covers topics such as aviation maintenance, troubleshooting, repairs, inspections, and safety regulations. The certification process also includes a written examination and may include practical or hands-on testing as well.

Aircraft technician certification can help individuals in many ways. It can provide job security by ensuring that employers know they are hiring certified technicians who have demonstrated their knowledge and abilities in the field. It can also give technicians access to more job opportunities since employers are often looking for certified personnel when they need to fill positions. Additionally, it provides a sense of accomplishment and recognition for those who have put in the effort to attain certification. Finally, having a certified aircraft technician on staff can provide peace of mind to customers by ensuring that their aircraft is being serviced by someone with the right qualifications and experience.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research and understand the requirements for aircraft technician certification in your area. Different states or countries may have varying regulations and requirements, so it’s important to be aware of these before beginning the certification process.

Related: What does an Aircraft Technician do?

Top 11 Aircraft Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Aircraft 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) that certifies individuals to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations on aircraft. The certification is divided into two categories: Airframe and Powerplant. An A&P certificate holder must have both ratings in order to work on any type of aircraft.

It typically takes about 18 months to 2 years to get an A&P certificate. The process includes completing a formal aviation maintenance technician program at an FAA-approved school, passing the FAA written exam, and then passing the FAA oral and practical exams.

To get an A&P certificate, you must first take a formal aviation maintenance technician program at an FAA-approved school. Once you complete the program, you will need to pass the FAA written exam with a score of 70% or higher. After passing the written exam, you will need to schedule an appointment with your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for your oral and practical exams. During the oral exam, you will be asked questions about airframe systems and powerplant systems as well as general aviation knowledge such as regulations and safety procedures. During the practical exam, you will demonstrate your ability to perform tasks related to airframe systems and powerplant systems such as inspecting components or performing repairs.

The cost of getting an A&P certificate varies depending on where you take your training program but can range from $5,000-$10,000 for tuition alone. Additional costs include books, supplies, test fees, travel expenses for attending classes or taking tests at FSDOs, etc.

2. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspection Authorization (IA)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspection Authorization (IA) is a certificate issued to aircraft mechanics that allows them to perform annual and 100-hour inspections on aircraft. This certificate is required for any mechanic who works on an aircraft with a gross weight of 12,500 pounds or more.

In order to obtain an IA, the mechanic must have at least 18 months of experience working on aircraft and must pass a written exam administered by the FAA. The exam covers topics such as airframe systems, powerplant systems, electrical systems, and FAA regulations. It typically takes about two weeks to receive the results from the exam.

Once the mechanic has passed the exam and has been approved by the FAA, they will be issued an IA certificate. The cost of obtaining an IA varies depending on where it is obtained; however, it typically costs around $150-$200.

3. Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Certification

Aircraft Electronics Technician (AET) Certification is a certification issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that verifies an individual has the knowledge and skills to install, troubleshoot, repair, and maintain aircraft avionics systems. An AET must have a minimum of 18 months of experience in the field or have completed an FAA approved training program.

The process to become certified as an AET requires passing two exams: General and Avionics. The General exam covers topics such as electrical theory, electronics fundamentals, mathematics, and safety practices. The Avionics exam focuses on aircraft systems such as communications, navigation, autopilot, radar and other electronic systems.

The cost for taking both exams is $150 USD each. In order to take the tests you will need to register with a testing center near you. After passing both exams you will be issued an AET certificate from the FAA which is valid for two years from the date of issue.

In order to maintain your AET certification you must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years and pay a renewal fee of $50 USD every two years.

4. Avionics Technician Certification

Avionics Technician Certification is a certification program designed to help technicians demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the installation, maintenance, and repair of avionics systems. This certification is offered through the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT).

To become an Avionics Technician, you must have at least 18 months of documented experience in the field or a combination of education and experience. You must also pass the NCATT AET exam with a minimum score of 70%. The exam consists of 150 questions covering topics such as aircraft systems, wiring diagrams, troubleshooting techniques, and FAA regulations.

The cost to take the NCATT AET exam is $400. The exam can be taken at any authorized testing center or online through the NCATT website. It takes approximately two hours to complete the test. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your Avionics Technician Certification within four to six weeks.

The cost of maintaining your certification varies depending on your employer's requirements but generally includes annual fees for recertification and continuing education courses.

5. Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification

Aircraft Maintenance Technician Certification (AMT) is a certification that is awarded to technicians who have completed the necessary training and passed the required examinations. The certification is administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

To become certified as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, applicants must first complete an FAA-approved training program. This typically consists of classroom instruction and practical experience in aircraft maintenance. After completing the program, applicants must pass a written exam and a practical test administered by the FAA.

The cost of the training program varies depending on the school or institution providing it, but can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with taking the exams such as registration fees and exam materials.

Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their AMT certificate from the FAA. The certification is valid for two years before needing to be renewed. Renewal requires proof of continuing education credits in order to maintain currency in aviation maintenance technology.

In total, it typically takes around six months to a year to complete all requirements for AMT certification.

6. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer License (AME)

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) License is a certification issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. The license allows an individual to perform aircraft maintenance and repairs, including inspections, troubleshooting, and overhauls.

It typically takes up to two years to obtain an AME License. To become eligible for this license, individuals must first complete either an FAA-approved Aircraft Maintenance Technician School or an accredited college degree program in aviation maintenance technology. After completing the educational requirements, applicants must pass both written and practical tests administered by the FAA.

The cost of obtaining an AME License varies depending on the type of training program chosen and other associated expenses such as books, supplies, test fees, etc. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 or more to obtain an AME License.

7. Airworthiness Inspector Certificate

A Airworthiness Inspector Certificate (AIC) is a certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience in aircraft maintenance and inspection. The AIC is required for any individual who inspects, maintains, repairs, or alters an aircraft or its components. It is also necessary for those who supervise maintenance personnel.

The process of obtaining an AIC can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on the individual’s experience and background. To become eligible for an AIC, applicants must meet certain requirements including having at least three years of aviation maintenance experience or equivalent education, passing a written examination, and completing a practical evaluation. Applicants must also pass a background check conducted by the FAA before they can be issued an AIC.

The cost of obtaining an AIC varies depending on the individual’s qualifications and experience level. Generally speaking, it will cost between $500-$1000 to obtain an AIC. This cost includes the fees for taking the written exam and practical evaluation as well as any other associated costs such as travel expenses or lodging if necessary.

Overall, obtaining an Airworthiness Inspector Certificate is a lengthy process that requires dedication and commitment from the applicant in order to be successful. However, once obtained it provides individuals with the opportunity to work in the field of aircraft maintenance and inspection which can be very rewarding both financially and professionally.

8. Certified Aviation Maintenance Technician (CAMT)

A Certified Aviation Maintenance Technician (CAMT) is a professional designation awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to individuals who have successfully completed specialized training and demonstrated proficiency in aircraft maintenance. The CAMT certification is designed to ensure that technicians are knowledgeable and competent in their field, providing a higher level of safety for aircraft owners and operators.

In order to become certified, an individual must complete a minimum of 18 months of formal aviation maintenance training, including both classroom instruction and practical experience on actual aircraft. Upon completion of the required coursework, applicants must then pass an FAA-approved written exam as well as a practical test administered by an FAA inspector or designated examiner. Once these requirements are met, the applicant will be issued a CAMT certificate.

The cost of obtaining the CAMT certification varies depending on the type of training program chosen and other associated costs such as books and materials. Generally speaking, most programs range from $3,000 - $10,000 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the written exam or practical test.

9. FAA Part 145 Repair Station Certificate

A FAA Part 145 Repair Station Certificate is a certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that authorizes an organization to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations on aircraft. The certificate holder must have personnel, facilities, and equipment that meet FAA standards and regulations.

It typically takes between 3-6 months to receive a Part 145 Repair Station Certificate. To obtain the certificate, applicants must submit an application to the FAA with the appropriate fee. The application requires detailed information about the repair station’s personnel, facilities, equipment, procedures, and quality control system. Once submitted, the FAA will review the application and conduct an onsite inspection of the repair station before issuing a certificate.

The cost of obtaining a Part 145 Repair Station Certificate depends on several factors such as size of repair station and number of employees. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $5,000 or more for all associated fees including application fee, inspection fee and any other required fees.

10. FAA Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School Certificate

A FAA Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School Certificate is a certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to an aviation maintenance technician school. The certificate indicates that the school has met the requirements of Part 147 of the FAA’s regulations, which include having properly trained instructors and up-to-date facilities and equipment.

The length of time it takes to get a FAA Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School Certificate depends on several factors, including the size of the school and its existing infrastructure. Generally, it can take anywhere from six months to two years for a school to receive its certificate.

To obtain a FAA Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School Certificate, an applicant must submit an application package to the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). The application package must include documentation such as proof of accreditation, instructor qualifications, curriculum outlines, and facility descriptions. The FSDO will then review the application package and conduct an on-site inspection to ensure that all requirements are met before issuing the certificate.

The cost of obtaining a FAA Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School Certificate varies depending on factors such as the size of the school and its existing infrastructure. Generally speaking, costs can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

11. FAA Human Factors for Aviation Maintenance Technicians Certification

FAA Human Factors for Aviation Maintenance Technicians Certification is a program designed to help aviation maintenance technicians understand the importance of human factors in aircraft maintenance. The certification provides an understanding of how human factors can affect aircraft safety and performance, as well as how to identify, prevent, and mitigate potential risks associated with human errors.

The certification requires completion of a two-day course that covers topics such as fatigue management, stress management, communication skills, teamwork dynamics, and decision making. The course also includes hands-on activities and discussions about the impact of human factors on aircraft maintenance.

To get certified, individuals must complete the two-day course and pass a written exam at the end of the course. The exam consists of multiple choice questions based on material covered during the course. Upon successful completion of the course and passing of the exam, individuals will receive their FAA Human Factors for Aviation Maintenance Technician Certification.

The cost for this certification varies depending on where you take the training; however, it typically ranges from $200-$400 USD.

Do You Really Need a Aircraft Technician Certificate?

When it comes to aircraft maintenance, having an Aircraft Technician Certificate is absolutely essential. Without this certification, you will not be able to work as an aircraft mechanic or technician. In addition, certain employers may require that you have this certificate in order to be considered for a job.

The Aircraft Technician Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It requires that you pass both a written and practical exam. The written exam covers topics such as aircraft systems and operations, maintenance regulations, and other related areas of knowledge. The practical exam includes hands-on checking of various components of an aircraft.

Having an Aircraft Technician Certificate demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to properly maintain and repair aircrafts. This certification also ensures that you are up to date on FAA regulations and safety protocols. Additionally, it shows potential employers that you take your profession seriously enough to pursue additional training and certifications beyond the minimum requirements for a job in the field.

Overall, having an Aircraft Technician Certificate is important if you want to pursue a career as an aircraft mechanic or technician. It demonstrates your level of expertise in the field, increases your chances of being hired by potential employers, and gives you peace of mind knowing that you are meeting all FAA regulations for safety on the job.

Related: Aircraft Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Aircraft Technician Certifications

1. What certifications do I need to become an aircraft technician?

Answer: You will need to obtain an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Additionally, you may also need to earn other certifications such as those for avionics systems or composite materials repair.

2. How long does it take to get certified as an aircraft technician?

Answer: The process typically takes between 18 months and two years, depending on the type of training program you choose, such as a self-study course or a college/university program.

3. What is the cost of becoming an aircraft technician?

Answer: The cost of becoming certified can vary widely based on the type of program you select. Generally speaking, self-study courses can cost between $2,000 and $4,000 while college/university programs can range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more.

4. Are there any prerequisites for becoming an aircraft technician?

Answer: Yes. Most applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years old before they can apply for certification with the FAA. Depending on your chosen training program, you may also need prior experience in aviation maintenance or related fields.

5. How often do I need to renew my aircraft technician certification?

Answer: Your FAA A&P certification must be renewed every 24 calendar months by taking a refresher course in either general or powerplant theory and passing a written exam administered by the FAA.

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