Airframe and Powerplant Program

Airframe and powerplant mechanics are responsible for maintaining, and inspecting aircraft to ensure the planes structural and mechanical integrity. These mechanics make sure that passengers and cargo are transported safely. Airframe and Powerplant Development and Maintenance students will work on many parts of an aircraft. Students will become highly skilled and trained mechanics that are certified to work on engines and do some work on propellers.

Airframe and Powerplant Success Factors

A student of airframe and powerplant should be good with his or her hands and like to repair things. Students should be able to pay attention to detail and be proficient in written and oral communication. Students must be able to work in loud conditions and even in inclement weather. The ability to work under pressure is valued as well. This can be a high stress environment especially when working with airline deadlines and schedules.

Airframe and Powerplant Program Majors

This area of study consists of two areas of specialty. A powerplant mechanic works on engines and some specific maintenance on propellers. Airframe mechanics are authorized to work on all parts of the plane excluding the instruments and the propeller. Some airframe and powerplant mechanics decide pursue a major in aviation management and aviation technology.

Airframe and Powerplant Curriculum

This curriculum is developed by representatives from major airlines, aircraft manufactures and aircraft and powerplant maintenance companies. A core curriculum of mathematics, physics and chemistry is to be expected. Other classes include mechanical drawing, electronics and computer science. The FAA requires 18 months of work experience before an airframe and powerplant mechanic's certificate can be awarded. Applicants applying for certification must demonstrate their competency by passing a series of written and oral tests.

Airframe and Powerplant Program Degrees

There is a Diploma of Airframe and Powerplant Development and Maintenance as well as an Associate Degree in Airframe and Powerplant. Bachelor's degrees are available in aviation management, aviation technology and aviation science. These degrees will qualify you for entry-level positions in the industry and prepare you for the FAA certification exam in approximately 18 months.

Airframe and Powerplant Jobs

Because airframe and powerplant degree programs are not as popular as avionics, this field holds many employment opportunities. A career in the field is lucrative and fascinating. Jobs can be found at large companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, as well as smaller aviation firms. There is an expected shortage of jobs in this field over the next few years.