Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician Salary
Job Description for Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician
Aircraft mechanics/service technicians are responsible for all aspects of the care and maintenance of aircraft. They provide both urgent maintenance to address specific issues and continued general care to ensure aircraft remain in good condition.Read More...
Aircraft mechanics inspect planes for proper function, including checking hydraulics, electronics, exhaust systems, and landing gear. They ensure proper de-icing before flight, as well as install ancillary equipment such as extra fuel tanks or towing gear. When a plane experiences difficulties, they troubleshoot problems and use standard mechanic tools to determine the issue and make necessary repairs, if possible. In some cases, specialists may be needed to repair more delicate or specialized aircraft components. For general maintenance, aircraft mechanics ensure periodic standard maintenance and corrosion prevention occurs. They monitor fluid levels, as well as test fuel for contamination and proper mix proportions. Aircraft mechanics must maintain proper records of all maintenance activities to ensure all procedures occur as scheduled.
Aircraft mechanics work in a repair shop environment, generally at an airport. They use hand tools as well as some heavy equipment, and they may work with a team to troubleshoot aircraft issues in a timely manner. They work with some dangerous equipment and chemicals in a busy environment with moving equipment, people, and aircraft.
Aircraft mechanics typically are required to have some experience in repair work and with using hand tools. There is wide latitude in responsibilities and amount of supervision in the field, with higher level aircraft mechanics requiring years of experience in some cases. Some aircraft mechanics may be required to hold specific Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifications to perform specialized work on airframes or power plant systems.
Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician Tasks
- Perform preventative, regularly scheduled, and unexpected maintenance on aircraft.
- Service aircraft according to all FAA regulations.
- Document inspection and test results and maintain a repair log.
- Inspect aircraft integrity and perform post-maintenance tests.
Common Career Paths for Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician
Aircraft Mechanics may progress into high-paying roles like Aircraft Maintenance Manager, where median compensation is $75K annually. It is not uncommon for an Aircraft Mechanic to continue on to become an Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic or an Aircraft and Powerplant Mechanic.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician
U.S. Air Force (USAF), The Boeing Company, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and Northrop Grumman Corporation are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Aircraft Mechanics. Although Northrop Grumman Corporation heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $54K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $34K to $89K. Other leaders in compensation levels are U.S. Army at $52K, The Boeing Company at $52K, and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, where Aircraft Mechanics annually earn $46K.
Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include U.S. Air Force (USAF) at $43K, and U.S. Navy where $46K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Aircraft Mechanics there earn up to $66K.
Popular Skills for Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician
Aircraft Mechanics seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Electronic Troubleshooting, Systems Troubleshooting, Avionics, and Troubleshooting are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Industrial Hydraulics. Those educated in Maintenance tend to be well versed in Troubleshooting.
Pay by Experience Level for Aircraft Mechanic / Service Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $42K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $49K. On average, Aircraft Mechanics make $57K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $64K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Aircraft Mechanics in Houston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 51 percent above the national average. Aircraft Mechanics can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+30 percent), Denver (+20 percent), New York (+19 percent), and Tucson (+13 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Greensboro Aircraft Mechanics earning much less — 26 percent less — than the national average. Employers pay around 12 percent less in Phoenix and 8 percent less in Tampa, below-median salaries for those in this field.