How Much Does an Airplane Mechanic Make a Year?

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When it comes to ensuring the safety and reliability of aircraft, airplane mechanics play a crucial role in the aviation industry. These skilled professionals are responsible for inspecting, repairing, and maintaining aircraft, ensuring that they are in optimal condition for flight. However, one question that often arises for those considering a career in this field is, “How much does an airplane mechanic make a year?” In this article, we will delve into the factors that influence an airplane mechanic’s salary, explore the average salary range, and address some frequently asked questions surrounding this topic.

How to Become an Airplane Mechanic

Becoming an airplane mechanic requires a certain level of education, training, and expertise. To kickstart your journey in this field, you will typically need to complete an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician program or pursue an associate degree in aviation maintenance. These programs provide essential knowledge and hands-on experience in aircraft systems, maintenance procedures, and safety protocols. Additionally, obtaining the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is essential for aspiring airplane mechanics.

Apart from formal education, gaining practical experience through apprenticeships or on-the-job training is highly beneficial. Many aviation maintenance facilities provide apprenticeship programs where individuals can learn under the guidance of experienced mechanics. This hands-on experience helps develop the necessary skills and expertise required to excel in the field.

Factors Affecting Airplane Mechanics’ Salary

The salary of an airplane mechanic can vary based on several factors. Experience and seniority play a significant role in determining earning potential. As mechanics gain more experience and expertise, their salaries tend to increase. Additionally, the location and demand for aviation services can impact salary levels. High-demand areas with a shortage of skilled mechanics often offer higher salaries to attract and retain talent. Industry specialization and the type of aircraft worked on can also influence salary variations. Mechanics specializing in complex and advanced aircraft systems may command higher salaries compared to those working on smaller, less sophisticated aircraft.

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Average Salary Range for Airplane Mechanics

When considering the average salary range for airplane mechanics, it is important to note that actual figures can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and industry demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for aircraft mechanics and service technicians was $64,090 as of May 2020. However, salaries can range from around $41,000 for entry-level positions to over $100,000 for highly experienced mechanics or those working in specialized fields. It is worth mentioning that mechanics working for major airlines or in metropolitan areas generally earn higher salaries compared to those working for smaller regional carriers or in rural regions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the starting salary for an airplane mechanic?

The starting salary for an airplane mechanic can vary depending on various factors such as location, employer, and experience. On average, entry-level mechanics can expect to earn around $41,000 per year. However, it is important to note that with experience and further certifications, the earning potential of an airplane mechanic increases significantly.

Are there opportunities for career growth and salary advancement?

Yes, the field of aviation maintenance offers ample opportunities for career growth and salary advancement. As mechanics gain experience, they can move up the ladder to positions with more responsibility and higher pay. Additionally, obtaining specialized certifications or licenses, such as becoming an inspector or obtaining additional ratings, can open doors to higher-paying roles within the industry.

How does the salary of an airplane mechanic compare to other aviation-related professions?

The salary of an airplane mechanic can vary compared to other aviation-related professions. While pilots and air traffic controllers tend to earn higher salaries, airplane mechanics still enjoy competitive compensation. It is worth noting that airplane mechanics play a critical role in ensuring the safety of flights, making their expertise invaluable in the aviation industry.

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Do airplane mechanics receive additional benefits or perks?

Yes, airplane mechanics often receive additional benefits and perks as part of their compensation packages. These can include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and various allowances. The specific benefits may vary depending on the employer and the collective bargaining agreements in place.


In conclusion, the salary of an airplane mechanic can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and industry specialization. While the national average salary for airplane mechanics stands at $64,090, it is essential to consider various factors that influence earning potential. By obtaining the necessary education, certifications, and gaining practical experience, aspiring airplane mechanics can embark on a rewarding career with opportunities for growth and salary advancement. So, if you have a passion for aviation and thrive in a hands-on, detail-oriented environment, becoming an airplane mechanic may offer both financial stability and job satisfaction.

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