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Airplane mechanic working on an engine

Aircraft Mechanic Salary: How Much Do Airplane Mechanics Make?

If you’re thinking about becoming an aircraft mechanic one of the first questions you’ve likely had is what is an airplane mechanic salary. And it’s a good question to ask whenever you’re considering a new career.

Statistics for aviation maintenance technician (AMT) or aircraft mechanic salaries are available from a variety of sources. We’ll look at a few of them in this article but one of the benefits of a union is all of the pay figures are publicly available.

This makes it much easier to get an accurate picture of how much aircraft mechanics make.

Airplane Mechanic Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage between 125,440 aircraft mechanics is $72,640. The averages spread from $41,000 on the low side and over $108,000 on the high side. 

Remember, these are average numbers across the entire nation. That means that salaries could be lower or higher than this range, and the median salary for someone in a high-paying region could be significantly higher.

Airplane Engine

Aircraft Mechanic Salaries by State

This report, dated May 2021, indicates the highest wages for aircraft techs are found in Maryland, New Jersey, and Connecticut, where average wages are between $81,110 and $84,240.

Texas employs the most aircraft service technicians, with 14,940 workers. Almost half of those jobs are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Other top states for high employment include Florida, California, Tennessee, and Georgia. The Miami, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York, and Seattle metro areas have the most techs surveyed.

Top Pay for Aircraft Mechanics

The highest aircraft mechanic salaries are at the major airlines (Delta, United, American) and the major cargo operations (FedEx, UPS, etc.). As an aircraft mechanic at one of these operations with your A&P you can earn over $100,000 a year within a few years of working.

Working overseas or working as a contractor are other ways of increasing your overall pay however they do come with tradeoffs like less time at home with your family.

Calculate Your Lifetime Earning as an Aircraft Mechanic

To help you get an idea of just how much you could earn as an airplane mechanic we’ve put together this calculator that allows you to see your total lifetime earnings. This calculator was built using the average hourly pay rates published but several major airlines.

This calculator only gives you an estimate and is likely a low estimate because it doesn’t factor in overtime pay, bonuses, or new union contracts that will likely increase pay even more.

AMT A&P Career Earnings


Estimated Lifetime Career Earnings

The output from this calculator is only an estimate and is based on the average hourly rates published by several airlines. This does not factor in the pay increase that comes from being a lead AMT and it does not include any overtime work.

Salaries for Avionics Technicians

The BLS tracks 18,910 avionics technicians separately. The overall median wage for that field is slightly higher, at $69,280. Florida, California, and Texas employ most of them, with the highest wages found in Connecticut. 

While perhaps more accurate than other sources, these statistics are still gathered from a limited sample and may not include all factors.

For one thing, international options are not included at all. For another, specializations and management positions relating to AMTs may not fit into these categories. 

Airplane Mechanic working on aircraft

Regardless, nearly all sources base their information on these numbers since they are much more reliable than other sources.

As with any career, you can get the best idea of how much money AMTs make by looking at the job listings in your area. What are the real jobs you could apply for once you have the credentials, and what are those positions offering? 

Other Sources of Aircraft Mechanic Salary Data

Indeed provides average base salary data for several relevant occupations. As an aside, the site also lists over 6,400 job openings for the career.

Aircraft Maintenance Technician, $60,854 per year or $29.93 per hour

Aircraft Mechanic, $75,648 per year or $30.59 per hour

Aviation Structural Mechanic, $57,642 per year or $24.70 

Avionics Engineer, $101,132 per year or $43.43 per hour 

The issue with the numbers from Indeed, and many other websites like it, is that there is little curation of the data they collect.

As a result, AMT and avionics engineer jobs are dispersed unevenly across various wordings of job titles.

For example, the site has listings and salary information for avionics technicians, avionics engineers, avionics maintenance technicians, and avionics system engineers. 

Airplane mechanic working on an engine

However, one handy thing that Indeed gives you is the top companies that employ each specialty.

For example, top employers for AMTs include Northrop Grumman, Wheels Up, and Alaska Airlines. The most avionics tech jobs on the site come from General Dynamics, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin. 

Glassdoor also publishes data for the career field.

For example, the site lists the average starting salary for an AMT at $57,371, with the most likely range falling between $47,000 and $71,000. Top paying companies, as listed by the site, include Boeing ($88,101 per year), GE ($87,990 per year), and United Airlines ($80,296 per year).

Key Takeaways

While the exact number varies from site to site, the job outlook for aviation maintenance technicians is extremely bright for this high-paying career.

Aircraft and avionics maintenance technicians can expect first-year job offers between the low $40s and the high $50s. What’s even better? There are plenty of jobs, and employers are competing to get your attention and time. 

Like all statistics, it’s easy to get distracted by the minutiae of each different title, location, and employer.

So instead, focus on the important things–is this a career that you’ll enjoy, and is it one in which I can get a job in an area where I want to live?

Become an Aviation Maintenance Technician

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