Aviation Engine MechanicJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

An aviation engine mechanic repairs or replaces worn, defective, or damaged aircraft engine parts. They also test engine components and systems to ensure they are functioning correctly and use testing equipment to diagnose and identify engine problems. In addition, an aviation engine mechanic is responsible for disassembling and inspecting engine parts like turbine blades and cylinders, for wear, warping, cracks, and leaks. The aviation engine mechanic is in charge of making sure aircraft airframes and engines are maintained within Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards.

Aviation engine mechanics usually work in hangars, repair stations, and airfields. They should be highly detail-oriented, thorough, and organized. Also, an aviation engine mechanic should have the ability to understand complex engine specifications and equipment and strong mechanical skills.

Sample job description

Without skillful aviation engine mechanics, we wouldn’t be able to keep our clients’ aircraft running properly. One of the most crucial roles an aviation engine mechanic plays is running diagnostic tests on engines, determining potential issues, installing upgraded parts, and performing necessary repairs. You do this by having the proper credentials and training to understand the different components of different aircraft engines and how to fix potential problems within the engines. This may also include recommending engine upgrades to certain customers. [Your Company Name] is on the lookout for an experienced aviation engine mechanic who will take our business to new heights by exceeding our customers’ expectations. If you pay close attention to detail and love working with engines day and night, we would love to have you apply.  

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Inspect aircraft engine components for wear, warping, cracks, and leaks
  • Analyze and understand aircraft blueprints, specifications, and maintenance manuals to troubleshoot engine issues
  • Conduct routine, scheduled aircraft engine maintenance, and inspections
  • Ensure all repairs and engine functions are up to FAA specifications
  • Order supplies, equipment, materials, and parts for repairs and general maintenance
  • Keep detailed records of inspections, maintenance, repairs, and parts inventory

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent or an Airframe and Powerplant License certificate from a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Some companies may require Aviation Engine Mechanic candidates to have an associate degree.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Mechanical aptitude and ability to understand wiring diagrams and schematics
  • Strong hand-eye coordination and proficiency in using tools
  • Sufficient physical strength and dexterity to climb on aircraft and manipulate engine parts
  • High-level organization skills

Preferred qualifications

  • You have an A&P license
  • You have at least 3 years of experience in aircraft turbine engine maintenance
  • You have the ability to read and interpret engineering documents and repair manuals
  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or related field

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an aviation engine mechanic is 79,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$78,550$106,300
Los Angeles, California$88,650$119,900
Denver, Colorado$73,850$99,950
Washington, DC$90,000$121,750
Miami, Florida$73,550$99,500
Orlando, Florida$67,800$91,750
Tampa, Florida$68,500$92,650
Atlanta, Georgia$71,850$97,200
Chicago, Illinois$82,600$111,750
Boston, Massachusetts$89,300$120,850
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$71,200$96,300
New York City, New York$94,000$127,200
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$76,550$103,550
Dallas, Texas$74,550$100,850
Houston, Texas$73,850$99,950
Seattle, Washington$85,950$116,300
National Average$67,150$90,850

Typical work environment

Aviation engine mechanics are found working in hangars, in repair stations, or on airfields. While most aviation engine mechanics work indoors, the place is usually not environmentally controlled, and it can get fairly noisy with different engines running throughout the area. Working as an aviation engine mechanic can get overwhelming and busy at times. Most employees are working forty-hour weeks with little overtime hours. 

Typical hours

Aviation engine mechanics usually work rotating eight-hour shifts. That means overnight, weekend, and holiday shifts are common in this field.

Available certifications

Attending a technical school with Federal Aviation Administration accreditation is the first step to becoming an aviation engine mechanic. Check out their following certifications:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT). This certification is offered by several technical schools to help prepare aviation engine mechanics for their future job. The AMT requires participants to take several classes, including Airframe Structures, Maintenance Practice, and Aircraft Systems. These will allow students to become familiar with various aircraft and engines, which is critical for them to know in order to diagnose future engine problems.
  • Aviation Mechanics Airframe Certificate (AVAC). The Aviation Mechanics Airframe Certification teaches students about aircraft structures and hydraulic, electrical, and landing gear symptoms. The AVAC also includes several labs that will allow participants to properly inspect, troubleshoot, and repair aircraft. Earning this certification is the best next step in your career path as a successful aviation engine mechanic. 

Career path

This position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent and an Airframe and Powerplant License certificate from a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Some companies may require aviation engine mechanic candidates to have an associate degree. Successful aviation engine mechanics can advance into leadership roles such as lead mechanic, lead inspector, or shop supervisor.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 49-3011

2020 Employment130,100
Projected Employment in 2030145,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 12% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift15,300 increase

According to a 2020 article on Yahoo! Money, one current trend in the aviation industry is a demand for turbofan engines. They currently hold a significant share of the aircraft engines market, and that trend should continue over the next five years as orders for new commercial aircraft increase. Aviation engine mechanics who are experts in these types of engines will likely be more marketable to employers than those with less experience maintaining them.

Another trend affecting aviation engine mechanics is the growth of the Asia-Pacific market. China’s commercial aircraft fleet should become larger than the United States’ fleet by 2024. That will likely mean a higher demand for aviation engine mechanics in China and other Asian markets in the next few years.

Sample interview questions

  • What qualities should every good aviation engine mechanic have?
  • What motivates you at work?
  • What made you want to become an aviation engine mechanic?
  • Describe the procedures you use to examine and inspect various aircraft parts.
  • What type of engines are you used to working with?
  • How do you conduct routine inspections as required by regulations?
  • What have you found to be the best ways to document inspections and repairs?
  • Talk me through a test operation of engines and other systems.
  • How do you organize, plan, and prioritize your work?
  • What experience do you have related to handling vehicles and mechanized equipment?
  • Tell me about a time you applied new information or technology into your role. How did it benefit the company?
  • Share an experience in which your attention to detail greatly impacted your outcome with a repair.
  • How did you handle a failed inspection once you found out about it?
  • How do you inspect engines for wear and other defects?
  • Walk me through how you disassemble engines.
  • How do you determine if an engine is damaged beyond repair? How do you recommend a new engine to clients?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?

Aviation Engine Mechanic Jobs in Ashburn

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