How Much Money Do A&P Mechanics Make Each Year? | SUU (2023)

Posted: January 29, 2021 | Author: Jaidyn Crookston | Read Time: 7 minutes

When thinking about becoming an A&P Mechanic, one of the biggest questions asked is how much money you can expect to make as a mechanic. It’s always important to know as much as you can about a profession before you choose a career. Below we discuss the potential earnings for entry-level A&P mechanics, as well as those that have been in the field.

Job Description

A&P stands for Airframe and Powerplant. This means that those who are qualified as an A&P mechanic are licensed to work on both the external frame (airframe) and engine (powerplant) portions of an aircraft. A&P mechanics are also known as aircraft maintenance technicians, or AMT’s.

A&P mechanics are responsible for keeping an aircraft up to date with FAA safety regulations and standards. This involves regular inspections, maintenance, and repairs of each aircraft. If an aircraft is experiencing problems and needs to be fixed, then it’s the A&P mechanic’s job to repair and sign off the problem.

(Video) Aspiring Aircraft Mechanics! Make More Money in 2023!

How Much Money Do A&P Mechanics Make Each Year? | SUU (1)Without A&P mechanics, aviation would come to a stop. These technicians are essential for keeping all aircraft running safely for pilots and passengers worldwide. It’s up to an A&P mechanic to run tests, make notes, and repair all problems with an aircraft’s exterior and engine. Mechanics also regularly inspect aircraft and do routine safety checks.

In order to work as an A&P mechanic, you’ll need to have an A&P license. You can earn a license by training at a flight school with an AMT program or by going to a trade school with a similar program.

Average A&P Mechanic Salary

According to, as of December 28, 2020, commercial A&P mechanics earn an average of $87,930 per year while working on jets. Typically, a well-established jet A&P mechanic can make anywhere from $76,618 to $99,117 per year.

As a general aviation mechanic (one not working on large jets), you can expect to earn around $50,000 a year, according to General aviation mechanics are those working at flight schools, small aviation companies, local airports, tour companies, and more.

Commercial mechanics may make more money, but general aviation mechanics have many other benefits. One potential benefit is being able to live in a more rural place for a long time rather than living in a big city near a large airport. General aviation mechanics also typically have better hours and personal relationships with coworkers and management. Many mechanics prefer this lifestyle over that of a commercial aviation mechanic.

A few factors that will help determine how much money you’ll make include where you’re working, how long you’ve been there, and whether you’re working on airplanes or helicopters. Helicopters are more complicated to maintain and repair, so some general aviation companies pay mechanics more to work on helicopters. In order to work on helicopters, you’ll need to be trained in helicopter-specific maintenance techniques. However, not all AMT programs include helicopter maintenance as part of the standard curriculum. If you want to work on helicopters, you’ll need to find a program that includes these courses.

Currently, Southern Utah University Aviation is the only AMT school that includes helicopter maintenance training at no additional cost. Most AMT schools charge extra for helicopter maintenance training, but at SUU Aviation, it’s part of the standard curriculum and every student receives this training.

(Video) Aircraft Maintenance Technician : Career Paths , Pay , Pros + Cons

How Much Money Do A&P Mechanics Make Each Year? | SUU (2)

Starting Salary

At the beginning of your career, you won’t be making as much as you will later on. The average starting salary of an A&P mechanic is $40,000-$60,000 a year, depending on where you work. You’ll start to make more money as you get more experience and eventually could be making around $99,000 a year. Wherever you work, you’ll start as an entry-level A&P mechanic and as you get more experience you can move up in rank until you’re a lead A&P mechanic.

Types of A&P Mechanic Jobs

There are many types of for new and established mechanics. As a mechanic, you’ll most likely work for an airline, flight school, or general aviation operation, although there are many other aviation options as well. Some mechanics don’t end up working in the aviation industry at all and instead transfer to another industry: the amusement park industry. An A&P mechanic’s skillset transfers easily to working on rides and infrastructure, so amusement parks love to recruit A&P mechanics. How Much Money Do A&P Mechanics Make Each Year? | SUU (3)

To give you an idea of where you may end up working as a mechanic, here are some of the places that hire AMTs:

  • Commercial airlines
  • Flight schools
  • Freight carriers
  • Military/government
  • Private companies
  • Aircraft manufacturers
  • Local airports
  • Private aircraft owners
  • Air Force bases
  • Tour companies
  • Air medical
  • Amusement parks

Difference Between Airplane and Helicopter Maintenance

As mentioned before, you may be able to earn more money working on helicopters than on airplanes. Why is this? Helicopters are more complicated machines and tend to need more maintenance than airplanes. They also require a much higher attention to detail and afford less room for mistakes.

Most AMT schools offer training primarily in airplane maintenance and may have a few extra courses dedicated to rotor. If your goal is to become a helicopter maintenance technician, then finding an AMT school that focuses on rotor maintenance is important. The more practice you have working on helicopters, the more prepared you’ll be for the industry.

How Much Money Do A&P Mechanics Make Each Year? | SUU (4)

(Video) Aircraft Mechanic Salary - Aircraft Mechanic Shows His Paycheck

Other Compensation Benefits

On top of your A&P mechanic’s salary, there may be many benefits. These benefits may include health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, retirement, travel insurance, and more.

Requirements to Become an A&P Mechanic

To work as an A&P mechanic, you’ll have to get an A&P license. If you attend a university with an AMT program, like SUU Aviation, you’ll graduate in five semesters with an A&P license and an associate’s degree. Having a degree will put you above the competition when looking for a job, but isn’t required to be a mechanic.

All you really need to is an A&P license. To get an A&P license you’ll have to pass a test issued by the FAA. Once you have your license you’ll be qualified to work in most countries as an A&P Mechanic. Even though an A&P license is only issued in the United States, most countries recognize the license and like to hire candidates who have one.

How Much Money Do A&P Mechanics Make Each Year? | SUU (5)Is it a good time to become an A&P Mechanic?

Because of COVID-19, many people think that now is a bad time to become an A&P Mechanic. This likely isn’t true. Even though the aviation industry has struggled just like many others in the last year, things are starting to look up. The aviation industry as a whole is becoming strong again, and so are A&P Mechanics. As demand for aircraft goes up in the coming months, so will demand for mechanics.

Keep in mind that even if you begin your AMT training now, you won’t be ready to enter the industry as a licensed mechanic for about two years. This will give the industry another two years to recover from the effects of the pandemic and find ways to better deal with any future health crises.

So yes, now is still a great time to become an A&P mechanic. According to a recent study done by Boeing, by 2038 there will be a shortage of 769,000 A&P mechanics worldwide. A&P mechanics are the ones who keep all aircraft safe to fly. This means that as long as the aviation industry is in demand, A&P mechanics will be too. When you decide to become an A&P mechanic, you’re choosing a career that will likely stay strong and in demand. As an A&P mechanic, you’re almost guaranteed to have a job for the rest of your life.


(Video) Making $55K A Year As An Aircraft Mechanic in Charlotte, NC | On The Job

If you’re interested in becoming an A&P mechanic, Southern Utah University Aviation has one of the only AMT programs in the nation that offers helicopter maintenance training at no additional cost. In fact, it’s part of the standard curriculum. Whether you want to work on airplanes, helicopters, or you aren’t yet sure, SUU Aviation is the AMT school for you. If you have any questions about the program, or want more information about how much money an A&P mechanic makes, contact SUU Aviation or come visit the hangar. You can talk to the amazing mechanics who maintain SUU’s own fleet and see if this career is right for you.

Produced by SUU Aviation
The university's fleet includes 16 airplanes, 23 helicopters by the end of 2020, and state-of-the-art maintenance training facilities. SUU Aviation offers advanced and relevant flight training in the safest and most efficient way possible. The program continues to be on the cutting edge of the industry, training tomorrow's aviation leaders.WithSUU Aviation, you’ll get a high-quality education and have the experience needed to get a job as a mechanic when you graduate.

Tags: Aviation

Related Posts

Advantages of Training at a University Flight School
(Video) How Much Do Aircraft Mechanics Make


How do A&P mechanics make the most money? ›

Mechanics that are willing to work hard, put in overtime, or travel can typically earn even more. The best way to make more money as an aircraft mechanic is to have a four-year degree and take on a management or supervisor role. The stakes are high running and supervising a maintenance operation.

How much do American Airlines A&P mechanics make? ›

How much does an Aircraft Maintenance Technician make at American Airlines in the United States? Average American Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Technician hourly pay in the United States is approximately $39.07, which is 33% above the national average.

How much money do you make to be an aircraft mechanics? ›

Most importantly, the annual salary for aircraft mechanics ranges from $35,000 to $110,000. Also, hourly rates range from $20 to $50 per hour. For example, GE Aviation offers $31 per hour to start. As a result, the average annual median salary for aircraft mechanics is $73,050.

Do aircraft mechanics make 6 figures? ›

Yes, a career as an aircraft mechanic is in high demand and can be lucrative if the right training and certifications are achieved. The average salary for an aircraft mechanic is over $67,000 per year with an earning potential exceeding six figures and the training can be as little as 18 months.

Is A&P exam hard? ›

Be prepared, the test are not easy, (they should not be, holding a A & P certificate is a big responsibility). The oral and practical tests cover 43 technical subjects. The examiner will want you to demonstrate that you understand basic principles, practices and procedures in aircraft maintenance and repair.

Who Is Highest Paid mechanic? ›

Mobile Equipment Mechanic is the highest-paid type of mechanic with an average salary of $72,190 and an average hourly rate of $34.71. The second highest-paying type of mechanic is industrial mechanic, with an average salary of $53,333.

Is airplane mechanic school hard? ›

It is not hard to be an aircraft mechanic when you are willing to learn, move past mistakes made during training, and absorb the knowledge from experiences and other materials. Training and learning truly help to shape aircraft mechanics into being at their jobs.

Is aircraft mechanic a fun job? ›

#1: It's Fun and Exciting

However, there's another way to work in aviation, and it's both more accessible and more engaging. As an aircraft mechanic, you'll be getting your hands on some of the most fascinating machines ever built, and you'll know them inside and out.

Is aircraft mechanic a stable job? ›

This is a job with a low stress level, good work-life balance, and solid prospects to improve, get promoted, and earn a higher salary. Additionally, with more and more people relying on flights in travel, the aircraft industry is in a period of high growth. It is a better time than ever to become an aircraft mechanic.

Is being an A&P mechanic worth it? ›

Because A&P Mechanics are in such high demand and have such an important role in the aviation industry, they actually make really good money. According to, the average salary of an A&P Mechanic working on jets is $87,000 a year.

Where do auto mechanics make the most money? ›

The metropolitan areas that pay the highest salary in the auto mechanic profession are San Jose, Fairbanks, San Francisco, Anchorage, and Washington.

How valuable is an A&P license? ›

As an A&P-Licensed Technician you: Are more likely to be hired in a better position because some aviation companies make A&P certification a prerequisite for hiring. Offer more value to any aviation company since you are qualified to work on both the airframe components and the engine.


1. Watch this Before Becoming an Aircraft Mechanic | Make $10K Extra per Year!
(Alex Bengoechea)
2. #Transizion How To Become An Airplane Mechanics
3. What is the Return on Investment for A&P Mechanics?
(SUU Aviation)
4. How To Become an Aircraft Mechanic (A&P Mechanic)
(SUU Aviation)
5. Ask the Experts: ASCENT program
(Ohio University)
6. Become an Aircraft Mechanic in 2021? Salary, Jobs Education
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated: 01/15/2023

Views: 6488

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.