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Degree Overview: Associate’s (A.A.) Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT)

Majors Overview November 19, 2013

A.A. Programs in AMT can help train students on how to repair and maintain aircraft. Students will learn about various aircraft types from the combination of practical experience with classroom teaching, offered in AMT programs. Most importantly, these programs will help students earn a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A.A. Programs in Aviation Maintenance Technology

Coursework in these programs often combine practical instruction in labs and theoretical lectures in classrooms. Mechanical systems, electrical circuitry, and fluid theory are among the concepts dealt with in classroom lectures. In labs, students gain practical experience in applying classroom knowledge, relating to the use of test equipment and specialized tools. Many programs are devised, in keeping with FAA requirements, to help graduates acquire FAA airframe and powerplant (A&P) certification. Programs generally take two years to complete.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma; in some programs, passage of placement exams is mandatory for admission. In keeping with FAA certification requirements, students enrolled in the program are expected to be proficient in writing, reading and speaking of English. Students are typically required to buy specified tools before they can attend classes.


Coursework in AMT associate degree programs is devised to make students adept in testing, inspecting and repairing of aircraft engines, as well as systems related to them that are collectively referred to as the powerplant. They can also expect to become adept in working with components and systems, including the warning systems, electrical circuits, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, fuel system, wings and fuselage – these are collectively referred to as the airframe. Coursework may typically include subject areas such as:

•Hydraulics and pneumatics
•Aircraft welding
•Assembly and rigging
•Engine overhaul
•Electrical systems
•Propulsion theory

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete the program can expect to learn the skills and knowledge that job givers expect candidates to have. These hirers include aircraft manufacturers, helicopter operators, aircraft repair services, and airlines. Graduates can choose from various career titles such as:

•Helicopter mechanic
•Aircraft technical writer
•Aircraft restorer
•Aircraft maintenance technician
•A&P technician

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Graduates can pursue aviation-related bachelor’s degree programs in aerospace engineering, aircraft operations and aviation maintenance management that would train them to seek entry-level jobs as engineers, pilots or managers.
The law allows only individuals performing supervised work, on the watch of FAA-certified professionals, or FAA-certified workers to work on aircraft. Aspiring candidates can prepare for professional certification in aviation maintenance via maintenance programs approved by FAA or by gaining adequate work experience. However, these professionals usually prefer the educational route to certification. They can earn FAA certification as an A&P, powerplant or airframe mechanic; employers usually prefer to hire A&P mechanics.

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