Maintaining today’s aircraft requires mechanics to be properly trained on managing complex machinery. Aircraft technicians may specialize in preventative maintenance while others may concentrate on repair work. An airframe mechanic works on most of the aircraft except for engines and instruments while powerplant mechanics work on engines. For mechanics trained to do both, they’re called A&P mechanics. In comparison, avionics technicians work with electronics such as radar, radio and navigation.
Aircraft Mechanic Salary
As of May 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that aircraft mechanics and service technicians earned a mean annual wage of $53,280. Aircraft technicians in the 10th percentile average $33,630 per year while those in the 25th percentile earn an average of $43,660 annually. Salaries for those in the 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles were $53,420, $62,280 and $72,250, respectively.
Avionics Technician Salary
BLS data reveals that avionics technicians earned a mean annual wage of $52,050 as of May 2010. For those technicians in the 10th percentile, they averaged $36,810 and those found in the 25th percentile average $44,670 per year. For aircraft mechanics in the 50th and 75th percentiles, the average annual salary was $52,320 and $59,910, respectively. A top average annual salary of $67,560 was realized by those who were in the 90th percentile.
Aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians can find work in a variety of industries. Scheduled air transportation, support services for air transportation, aerospace product and parts manufacturing and the federal executive branch are among the largest employers. Aircraft mechanics can find top pay in companies providing courier service, averaging $78,380 per year. One of the top industries for employing avionics technicians is scheduled airlines, offering an average annual salary of $56,270, and some of the highest salaries in the industry. About 30 percent of all aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians are union represented.
Top Paying States
Aircraft technicians seeking good paying work can find these in Tennessee where such technicians average $68,180 per year, the highest rate in the nation. Average salaries in Indiana are $60,940, followed by Kentucky at $60,250 and Connecticut and New Jersey, averaging $60,050 and $59,890 annually. For avionics technicians, top pay can be found in Hawaii where such individuals average $62,260 per year. New York and Connecticut follow, with average salaries of $59,870 and $58,250. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts round out the top five best paying states, with salaries averaging $56,610 and $56,530, respectively.
The BLS notes that job opportunities through 2018 will come as technicians retire and must be replaced. Anticipated growth for the decade ending 2018 is 7 percent with greater demand for aircraft technicians than for avionics technicians. However, avionics technicians trained to work with complex aircraft systems should be in demand and will have the best prospects for finding work.
- Mechanic’s Mistake Trashes $244 Million Aircraft (tech.slashdot.org)
- EU concerned over PIA aircraft maintenance mechanism (nation.com.pk)
- AMFA Fights to Keep American Jobs and Skies Safe (prweb.com)