An A and P licensed mechanic has been proven to make more money in the long run over a non licensed one. This was proven with a 2000 report from the bureau of labor statistics. It is possible to work under a repairman’s certificate but most mechanics end up get the A and P license instead. It is much more difficult to find an aircraft mechanic job without an A and P license also. How do you get an A and P license? Well there are 3 basic ways to obtain the two ratings.
- Traditional training from a FAA approved Part 147 Maintenance Technician School. This method usually takes about 2 years. After graduating, one can take the tests to become an A & P. This is generally fastest way of obtaining the certificates.
- Military Training.Depending on the military occupational specialty code, one may be eligible to test for either the airframe or powerplant and sometimes both. Visit the local FAA FSDO office to get cleared for the test. Complete MOS list is here.
- Work Experience. Working under a FAA approved repair station or FBO under the supervision of a certified mechanic. This takes 18 months per certificate or 30 months for both. All experience must be thoroughly documented with pay stubs, log book entries signed off by the supervising mechanic, a notarized letter from the employer or other proof that the work was actually performed. Visit the local FAA FSDO office for an interview.
One one of these 3 requirements has been met, it is possible to take the written, oral and practical tests. The written test is a computer based test taken first. The test is actually 3 parts, General, Airframe and Powerplant. The General part of the test is taken along with which ever test is taken first. So if the airframe is the first test to be taken, the general must be taken at the same time.
Making the decision to get the A and P license is a smart move if aircraft maintenance is your career choice. Aircraft mechanics earn a decent salary and the job market is strong for qualified personal.