Aircraft Mechanic Licenses and Requirements

Aircraft MechanicFor anyone considering a career as an aircraft mechanic, it is important to know what licenses are available and what the requirements are for becoming an aircraft mechanic. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has strict regulations for obtaining such licenses.

Basic Aircraft Mechanic Requirements

There are several basic requirements that must be met to become an aircraft mechanic.  Candidates must be 18 years old and able to read, write and speak English. Before applying for an aircraft mechanic license, candidates must have 18 months of practical experience with power plants or airframes, or 30 months of practical experience working on both at the same time. Graduation from an FAA approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School meets the experience requirement as well. Non-U.S. citizens must demonstrate a need for the license, have a valid passport, and provide a detailed statement from their employer specifying the type of maintenance the candidate will provide. In addition, the candidate must provide a letter from a foreign airworthiness authority in the country where the experience was obtained, or from an adviser of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) validating that the candidate meets the experience requirement. The English language requirement can be waived if the candidate lives outside the United States, but the license would be stamped as “Valid only outside the U.S.”

Test Requirements

To become an aircraft mechanic, candidates must pass three tests—oral, written and practical—and there is a fee for each exam.  A Designated Mechanic Examiner administers the oral and practical tests, and a list of examiners is available from the local FAA office. Those tests cover 43 technical subjects, and the tests for one certificate (either airframe or power plant) take as long as eight hours to complete.  In order to qualify for the written test, proof of experience must be provided to an FAA inspector at the local office. Once the FAA inspector qualifies an individual to take the airframe, power plant or the general test covering both, the candidate makes an appointment at the nearest computer testing facility.  Candidates must pass all tests within a 24-month period before a certificate is issued, and they must wait 30 days to retake a failed test—unless they provide proof of additional training in the areas they failed.

Supervised Work

For those who do not have an aircraft mechanic certificate, all aviation-related work must be performed under the supervision of someone who does hold a valid certificate.  Without a certificate, mechanics cannot approve aircraft, airframes, aircraft engines, propellers, appliances, or component parts for return to service.  There is also little chance for advancement in the aircraft mechanic field.

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4 thoughts on “Aircraft Mechanic Licenses and Requirements

  1. Really like the web site and the facebook entries. My comment is i have noticed over the years that little attention has been payed by schools and even some of the “old school” guys ( which I am one of) to emphasize the importance of proper log entries. I see all to often as i am sure you guys have too of the most scarce and vague entries giving little to no information as to what was really accomplished. I grew up in the Army and although it may have seemed like overkill to me back then, the experience has served me well over all these years. Lets pass that skill down to the new guys so they don’t show their inexperience when they sign off their first 100/or Annual.

    1. If You served in Aviation in The Armed Forces, You can take bypass test on Youre specialty. Other than that I recomend going to a Two year Technical School , so You can grasp as much Knowledge on Aviation as You can, to prepare You for the Tst’s You must take, after You Graduate from the School.

  2. Suggested that the practical experience gained by the applicant must confirm specific to all kind of line maintenance activities viz, inspection, removal/fitment, minor repair/rectification of defects, tests etc. related to either airframe or power plant as the case may be and the same certified by the supervisory staff. A certificate of experience in general is not considered adequate for this purpose.

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