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Airplane mechanic working on an engine

How Much Do Airplane Mechanics Make?

In this article we’re going to explore how much money airplane mechanics make.

When starting a new career path, one of the first questions anyone would ask is, “How much can I make?” 

Statistics for aviation maintenance technician (AMT) salaries are available from a variety of sources. Let’s look at what some of them have to say and what this means for someone considering a career in the aircraft service field.

Aviation Maintenance Technicians Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage between 125,440 aircraft mechanics is $65,380. The averages spread from $38,270 on the low side and up to $98,590. 

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

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 employment include Florida, California, Tennessee, and Georgia. The Miami, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York, and Seattle metro areas have the most techs surveyed.

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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).

Glassdoor will let you fine-tune your search and provide the most likely salary range for the company of your choice based on your metro area and years of experience. 

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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