After many COVID restrictions were lifted, airline travel rebounded much faster than the airlines expected. As we know, there is a dramatic increase in the demand for employees throughout the aviation industry. In a simple search you can find hundreds of articles referencing the need for pilots and crewmembers; however, the demand for aviation technicians is rarely included in the conversation.
It goes without saying that maintenance technicians are essential to the aviation industry. Pilots can’t fly planes that aren’t properly maintained and deemed as safe.
Decades of telling young people the key to a successful life is going to college has done significant damage to the labor pool for aviation maintenance technicians, like so many other “blue-collar” jobs.
To try and tackle this foreseeable problem, many aviation companies are offering more hiring and referral incentives for maintenance technicians.
Pencil pusher jobs are necessary to run any business; however, the focus of students attending traditional college over the past few decades is starting to be felt worldwide.
Become an Aviation Maintenance Technician
While it’s great to hear about the additional aviation maintenance jobs becoming available, we need to remember the lack of properly trained personnel for those jobs.
I predict we’ll see more hiring announcements from the major and regional airlines this year. And while those announcements are great to see, without the proper incentives, they aren’t going to do much.
Last year we saw hiring bonuses for pilots climb to all-time highs. With American Airlines getting all the way to $150,000 doled out over several years.
But hiring bonuses aren’t necessarily the right solution to the aviation maintenance technician shortage.
An airline offering to outright pay for an aircraft mechanic course is unheard of, but it’s something I hope we see offered by other aviation companies. For most people, the cost of education is the biggest barrier to entry in becoming an AMT.
So if more airlines will offer incentives like this one in addition to increasing AMT pay, I think we’ll see far more maintenance technicians created in the near future.
There are many reasons why this issue has occurred and many situations that can improve it, but key players in the aviation industry will have to work together to solve this. Changes like this don’t happen overnight and won’t be a quick fix.
I applaud the companies that are trying to gain traction in the field, but if we don’t get the ball rolling now there will be a major crisis years from now.