Aircraft maintenance technician fixing aircraft in hangar

How to Become an Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) in the U.S.A. (Part 1)

How to Become an Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) in the U.S.A. (Part 1)

If you are reading this, let me start by saying welcome to the FixFlyTravel website! I'm sure you have seen my social pages or pages of people similar to me and wondered, "What do they do for a living?" Then you thought, "How do I get a job like that?"

My name is Elena, and I am an Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT). Pretty much what that means is that I fix airplanes for a living. Pretty neat, right?

When thinking about your career, it is essential to consider your interests. Suppose you are someone like me, who enjoys playing with technology, taking things apart and seeing how they work, and have an undeniable love for aviation (or honestly just an interest). In that case, this career choice might just be right for you!

But where do you begin?

According to, there are some basic requirements you must meet before entering a field. These requirements are laid out in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 65. It states that the applicant must:

    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.
    • Able to pass all the prescribed tests within 24 months
    • Meet the experience, knowledge, and skill requirements for at least one rating. 

If you meet these requirements, then it's on to the next step. The FAA allows you to achieve the certificate of an AMT, as a civilian, in two ways. For this blog's sake, we will discuss one of these ways, and that is by going to school.

Let me start by saying it's ok if aviation is new to you. Many of those who first show interest in the field do not know much about aviation and how an aircraft works. This is where schooling comes into play.

Becoming an AMT through school, where do you begin?

To begin with, you must first search for a school. The type of school you will be looking for is an authorized FAA school dedicated and designed with courses to teach you how to become an aircraft maintenance technician. They are known as FAA Part 147 schools, and you can find them all over the United States.

You can head to to find a list of these schools. Click on the "Resources" tab, and click "FAA Part 147 Certificated Aviation Maintenance Technician School."  

These courses offered by FAA Part 147 schools range from 18 months to 24 months. Something interesting to note is that within the U.S., these courses are completed and tracked by hours. Meaning that by the time you complete your courses, you will have accomplished a total of 1,900 hours in training. It is broken down accordingly:

            400 hours of General Training

            750 hours of Airframe Training

            750 hours of Powerplant Training

Sometimes you will find that a school may put extra hours into their program. This is meant to benefit you. Because the classes are calculated hourly, adding additional time allows a student to miss hours without fearing they will fail.


There are two options you have when choosing which school to attend. You can choose to achieve your AMT certificates by going to a school dedicated entirely to providing you only with your required training for your certifications, or you can choose to attend a college. If you decide to attend a college, you will be requested to complete all the training required for the AMT certificate. However, you will be given the advantage of continuing on to receive your Associates in Science (AS) degree for Aircraft Maintenance Management.


What does one study in Aircraft Maintenance Technician courses?

It's nice to know what you will be getting yourself into when choosing to attend this school type. Therefore, a person should understand what aviation mechanic courses they have to go through.

Below is the list of subjects students have to study to become an Aircraft Maintenance Technician.




  • Math
  • Weight and Balance
  • Materials and Processes
  • Aircraft Drawing
  • Ground Handling
  • Basic Electricity
  • Physics
  • Maintenance Forms and Records
  • Maintenance Publications
  • Mechanics, Privileges, and Limitations
  • Nondestructive Testing
  • Hand Tools
  • Fluid Lines and Fittings
  • Employability Skills Corrosion Control


  • Flight Theory
  • Assembly and Rigging
  • Wood Structures
  • Aircraft Covering
  • Aircraft Finishes
  • Aircraft Inspection
  • Sheetmetal
  • Composites
  • Welding
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics
  • Landing Gear
  • Communication and Navigation
  • Fire Protection
  • Fuel Systems
  • Instrument Systems
  • Airframe Electrical
  • Position and Warning
  • Cabin Atmosphere
  • Ice and Rain Removal
  • Reciprocating Engine Theory
  • Reciprocating Engine Overhaul
  • Turbine Engine Theory
  • Turbine Engine Overhaul
  • Engine Removal and Installation
  • Engine Operation, Troubleshooting, and Repair
  • Engine Inspection
  • Ignition Systems
  • Fuel and Fuel Metering Systems
  • Lubrication Systems
  • Engine Electrical and Starting Systems
  • Engine Instrument Systems
  • Propellers
  • Engine Induction Systems
  • Engine Exhaust and Reverser Systems
  • Fire Protection



It is a great aviation maintenance course that opens up a plethora of opportunities for aspirants. One just needs a quick eye for detail and a high level of awareness to complete this course and ace it.

A little bit of advice, you're never too old to begin!

Also, many companies hire AMT students right out of school ranging from hangar maintenance to line maintenance to shop work. To help you find an entry-level position within aviation maintenance, head to and search the jobs board. Make sure to type entry-level in the Search Category.


Remember, the aviation industry is almost always on the rise because for various reasons – personal or professional-because traveling is inevitable. Airplanes make everything easy, and aviation maintenance technicians have a big helping hand behind this.

Congratulations on your endeavor to becoming an AMT, and good luck on your journey!


  • It’s good that you mentioned that to be an aircraft technician, one must have an AMT certificate they got from going to an authorized school dedicated to teaching courses related to aircraft maintenance. Speaking of aircraft technicians, it seems like my uncle needs to find an expert soon who can provide the ground support equipment and maintenance tooling his helicopter needs since he’ll be using it more often for his new business. I’ll take note of this while I help him look for trusted tooling services for his helicopter’s maintenance needs soon.

    Clare Martin on

  • can international students apply?

    Talha on

  • Helena comment on the step by step of how to take the FAA exam, how to register, fees to pay, how to take the exam for foreigners and things like that.


    Jefferson on

  • Great post Elena. I have been in aviation for more than 40 years in this industry doing everything from engine changes on the ramp for a Boeing 737, troubleshooting an autopilot system on an Airbus to even getting my type rating for a 737. It has been and will always be for me the most interesting, challenging and just plain cool job anywhere in the world.

    The shortage of technicians are coming from a lack of cheerleaders telling people how great this career really is.

    Thanks for posting.

    Bruce on

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