One of the first questions we get from prospective students is, how long does it take to become an aircraft mechanic?
In this post we’re going to break down the various paths available to become an aircraft mechanic and exactly how long each path will take.
Here’s a look at how long it takes to become an A&P mechanic and the best ways to do it.
How Long Does Aviation Mechanic School Last?
The traditional route to becoming an A&P was based on the apprenticeship model, getting on-the-job training from experienced mechanics.
This is where the first numbers from those FAA requirements come from—you must get 18 months each in training on powerplants and airframes, or 30 months combined before you can take your exams.
This is based on a hands-on training model, not a formal school setting.
This option is still available, but it’s becoming less and less common in the industry.
Most shops now want to hire folks who are already certified by the FAA. It’s become harder to find apprenticeship positions to apply to, so getting a foothold in the industry this way can be difficult.
Instead, graduating from an FAA-approved aviation mechanic school is the easiest and fastest way to get a job. These schools are formalized training programs that include classroom study and hands-on training.
Different programs are set up in different ways, however.
Many community colleges and technical school programs have longer terms and evening or night courses. This is optimal for those who are taking classes after work.
But these programs usually take 20 to 28 months from start to finish.
And, if you combine mechanics school with a college degree program, expect to spend two to four years completing it.
While considering these time commitments, it’s also important to understand what you can expect in terms of compensation once you become certified. For more information on the earning potential of an aircraft mechanic, be sure to check out our detailed article on aircraft mechanic salary.
Fast-paced programs like the one Thrust Institute offers are designed to get you in and out faster.
So, how long does it take to become an aircraft mechanic?
These intense programs get you up to speed and ready for the FAA exams in as little as 12 months. From the beginning, you’ll be focused on building your knowledge and skills to meet the growing demands of this fast-paced industry.
After you’ve been an A&P certified aircraft mechanic for a few years you should consider getting your inspection authorization to expand your career options.
Requirements to Become an AMT
The FAA has a few minimums you must meet before getting certified as an aviation maintenance technician (AMT).
These aren’t the minimums to enroll in the program, just the minimums you must have before you take the FAA exams.
- Be at least 18 years old
- Complete 18 months of practical experience with powerplants, 18 months of experience with airframes, or 30 months combined with both, or graduate from an FAA-approved aviation mechanic school (AMTS)
- Pass three written FAA exams
- Pass the FAA practical exams
- Pass an FAA oral exam
Get Up and Running with Thrust Institute of Maintenance
Thrust Institute was set up to qualify you as an aircraft mechanic as quickly as possible. We’re certified by the FAA using expert instruction, small, close-knit classes, and hands-on training.
With Thrust Institute of Maintenance you can become an aircraft mechanic in as little as 12 months.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!