How Much Does An Airplane Mechanic Make A Year 2023?

A&P mechanics are the reason we have fewer aircraft falling from the skies. Their job is delicate that they can’t afford to make any mistakes!! This is why they spend lots of years in training to ensure they don’t ever have a bad day at work – for obvious reasons.

But have you ever wondered what an A&P mechanics’ salary is? Well, I did, and I’m going to share my findings with you.

We will also clearly explain what it means to be an A&P mechanic, their job description, and lots more.

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Who is an A&P Mechanic?

A&P is an acronym for Airframe and Powerplant. Hence, qualified A&P mechanics are issued the appropriate license to enable them to work on both the external frame (airframe) and the engine (powerplant) sections of an aircraft.

A&P mechanics are also referred to as aircraft mechanics or aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs).

If you have a passion to work as an A&P mechanic, you can apply for training at an accredited flight school that offers an AMT program. There are also trade schools that offer AMT programs where you can also attend and obtain an A&P License at the end of your training.

A&P Mechanic’s Job Description

As an A&P mechanic, your job description includes ensuring that the aircraft is updated with FAA safety guidelines and standards. The A&P job description involves regular inspection, maintenance, and repair of aircraft.

The A&P mechanic has to service and repair any aircraft that is experiencing some form of problem. In other words, they are responsible for fixing and signing off airplanes.

The aviation industry will be dead without the services of the A&P mechanics. When it comes to ensuring that aircraft are in good condition for passengers and pilots, the person to look up to is the A&P technician. Other essential duties of the A&P mechanic include:

  • They carry out tests on aircraft to ascertain the condition of the airframe and powerplant
  • They carry out routine checks on the plane to determine the safety of the aircraft and ensure that it is in good condition to fly

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What are the Skills Required to Become a Good Airplane Mechanic?

To become a good airplane mechanic, you need to have a combination of technical, mechanical, and analytical skills. Here are some essential skills required to become a good airplane mechanic:

  1. Technical knowledge: You need to have a strong understanding of aircraft technology, including the principles of flight, systems and subsystems of aircraft, engines, and avionics. You should be familiar with the latest tools and technologies used in aircraft maintenance.
  2. Attention to detail: Aircraft mechanics have to work with complex systems and equipment, and even the slightest mistake can cause significant damage or jeopardize the safety of the aircraft. As a result, attention to detail is critical.
  3. Analytical skills: You need to be able to analyze complex technical problems and diagnose issues. You will be responsible for identifying and repairing problems in various systems, such as electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems.
  4. Manual dexterity: Working on an aircraft requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. Mechanics need to be able to handle tools with precision and operate equipment with care.
  5. Physical fitness: Aircraft mechanics may have to work in cramped and awkward positions for extended periods, requiring physical strength and stamina.
  6. Communication skills: Good communication skills are essential to coordinate with other mechanics and pilots to troubleshoot and solve issues.
  7. Troubleshooting skills: As a mechanic, you will be responsible for troubleshooting aircraft systems, identifying the root cause of problems and coming up with solutions to fix them.
  8. Time management: Aircraft mechanics work under tight schedules, and they must manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and ensure aircraft are returned to service as quickly as possible.
  9. Continuous learning: Technology is constantly evolving, and mechanics must stay up to date with the latest trends, tools, and equipment in the industry. A good airplane mechanic must have a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development.

Average Salary of an A&P Mechanic

A&P mechanic’s salary varies according to years of experience, location, skill, etc. Nonetheless, the annual salary of an A&P mechanic usually falls within the range of $35,000 to $110,000.

Likewise, A&P mechanics receive hourly pay of $20 to $50. According to, commercial A&P mechanics’ salary falls at an average of $87,930 per annum. Notwithstanding, a well-recognized A&P mechanic can earn as much as $76,618-$99,117 annually.

For a general aviation mechanic that does not work on large jets, the yearly salary expectation is around $50,000. General aviation mechanics are those that work with small aviation companies, flight schools, tour companies, and local airports.

While commercial mechanics are likely to earn more than general aviation mechanics, there are many benefits of being a general aviation mechanic. One of the benefits includes the freedom to live in a rural community for a long time rather than reside close to an airport in a big city.

Also, general aviation mechanics enjoy quality hours and better relationships, and longer personal time with their management and co-workers.  Many A&P mechanics chose the general aviation mechanic lifestyle over that of commercial aviation.

To be able to work on helicopters, you need to enroll in training in helicopter-specific maintenance skills. On the other hand, not all AMT colleges include helicopter maintenance as part of their standard curriculum.

If you have an interest in working in helicopters, it is essential to find a school that includes helicopter maintenance in its curriculum.  

Presently, only Southern Utah University of Aviation includes helicopter maintenance as part of their curriculum at no extra cost. Other universities that add it to their curriculum do so at an extra cost.

At SUU, helicopter training is part of their standard curriculum and students don’t have to pay any extra fees to access this training.

Starting Salary of an A&P Mechanic

If you are wondering what an A&P mechanic’s salary looks like for a beginner, the truth is that you will not be earning so much. The average entry-level salary of an A&P mechanic is usually from $40,000 to $60,000 per annum depending on the industry you find yourself in.

As you spend time and advance in your career, your value and experience increase and you begin to earn more money. A&P mechanics that have spent time on the job can earn as much as $99,000+ per year.  

The first step as an A&P mechanic is entry-level. As you gain more experience and exposure in the field, you move up in rank. The top level which every A&P mechanic aspires to attain is the position of lead A&P mechanic.

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Factors that can Help Determine an A&P Mechanic’s Salary  

A few factors can help determine your salary as an A&P mechanic. They include factors like:

  • Your place of work
  • How many years you have spent at your place of work?
  • What kind of aircraft are you working on?

The mechanic who works on helicopters usually earns more than those that work on planes. Since helicopters are more complex and difficult to maintain, many aviation companies pay A&P mechanics more to render this service.

A&P Mechanic Jobs| Types

Whether you are a new or established A&P Mechanic, there are different types of A&P mechanic jobs that you can do.

Nonetheless, as an A&P mechanic, it is most likely that you will be working for either an airline or a flight school or work in the area of general aviation operations. However, there are many aviation options available too.

Many A&P mechanics do not end up in the aviation industry. rather, they transfer to other industries and make a successful career there. One of such industries is the amusement park industry.

With the technological know-how, you acquire as an A&P mechanic, it is easy to understand the workability of rides and other park infrastructures. Therefore, many amusement parks today love to employ the services of an A&P mechanic. Some of the possible places where an A&P mechanic can work include:

  • Air force base
  • Aircraft manufacturing companies
  • Aviation industry
  • Commercial and private airlines
  • Flight schools
  • Freight Carriers
  • Local airport
  • Medical airlines
  • Private companies
  • Tour companies

A&P Mechanics| Benefits

Besides a good salary, other benefits of A&P mechanics include health and dental insurance, life insurance, dental and vision insurance, travel insurance, and retirement benefits.

There are many more benefits you can enjoy as an A&P mechanic. You can check with your state department of labor for more information on what applies to you.

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A&P Mechanics| Requirements   

The first requirement for working as an A&P mechanic is an A&P license. For those that make it to a university that offers an AMT program, the university provides them with a license at the end of their program.

Universities like the SUU (SUU Aviation) offer a five-years AMT course.  One of the benefits of attending SUU is that, besides an A&P license, you also receive an associate bachelor’s degree.

With an associate degree, you are better positioned to compete with other graduates in the industry when applying for a job. However, you do not require a degree to become a mechanic generally. To become an A&P mechanic, all you need to do is to obtain the appropriate A&P license.

To be eligible to receive a license, you will need to pass FAA’s license qualification test. An A&P license qualifies you to work in different countries as an airline mechanic.

While the license is only issued in the United States, many countries understand and recognize its importance and love to hire those who have the license.


A&P mechanic’s salary is quite a lucrative one, even for a starter. Therefore, if you are considering taking up a career as an A&P mechanic, you made the right choice.

Even though the aviation industry was faced with a lot of challenges as a result of COVID-19, there is no doubt that the industry is looking up lately.

Recent studies carried out by Boeing show that by 2038, there will be a shortage in the labor market for A&P mechanics. The studies projected around 769,000 A&P mechanics shortages across the globe.

Due to the essential role of A&P mechanics in ensuring that airplanes, passengers, and pilots are safe, their services will continue to remain in demand as long as the aviation industry remains and continues to flourish.

Deciding to become an A&P mechanic means that you are choosing a career that is most likely to last for a lifetime. The job of an A&P mechanic is also most likely to remain in strong demand for a long time.

There are higher chances of never going out of a job as an A&P mechanic than in some other careers. Therefore, if you wish to become an airline mechanic, you can start today by enrolling in an AMT program with a reputable institution or university.

Before settling for a career as an A&P mechanic, it is essential to consider A&P mechanics’ salary and other benefits that come with the profession to see if it is the right career path for you.


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