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Aircraft Maintenance Technician

Aircraft maintenance technicians install, modify, service, and repair components of jets, helicopters, propeller-driven airplanes, and other aircraft.

Also Known As

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Airplane Mechanic, Mechanic, Service Technician

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Aircraft Mechanics (7315.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Inspectors (H415) 
  • 2011 NOC: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors (7315) 
  • 2016 NOC: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors (7315) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Aircraft Mechanics

2006 NOC: 7315.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to reassemble, adjust and test engine operations to conform with specifications

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to troubleshoot aircraft structural, mechanical and hydraulic systems to identify problems, and to adjust and repair systems according to specifications, technical drawings, manuals and established procedures

METHODICAL

Interest in installing and modifying aircraft engines, mechanical, hydraulic, flight control, fuel and pneumatic systems; in performing and documenting routine maintenance; and in ordering and maintaining inventory of parts and supplies

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 05, 2022

Aircraft maintenance technicians work on aircraft and aircraft systems. They make sure the aircraft and its components are in airworthy condition. They maintain:

  • Electrical systems
  • Engines
  • Environmental control systems
  • Flight controls
  • Fuel systems
  • Ignition systems
  • Landing gear
  • Pneumatic or hydraulic systems
  • Propellers

Maintenance can be categorized into line work or heavy work. In line or ramp work, the aircraft undergoes lighter maintenance tasks. It can stay in operation. These tasks have a quick turnaround time, up to overnight. In heavy work, the aircraft undergoes more thorough maintenance checks. It goes out of operation and can remain in the hangar for days or weeks.

Duties vary depending on the employer. In general, aircraft maintenance technicians:

  • Repair, replace, assemble, and install aircraft parts
  • Test aircraft systems
  • Find the source of malfunctions
  • Troubleshoot airframe, engine, and electrical problems
  • Ensure parts work properly
  • Perform routine tasks (such as changing oil, repairing or recovering fabric surfaces, and cleaning filters)
  • Conduct and record routine and special inspections as required by regulations
  • Understand and interpret regulatory requirements
  • Complete entries in logbooks (technical records) as required by regulations

Aircraft maintenance technicians must be able to work to the highest safety standards.

Working Conditions
Updated Apr 05, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Aircraft maintenance technicians work indoors in hangars or shops when doing heavy maintenance. They work on outdoor airport ramps when performing light maintenance.

They need to use safety equipment and wear safety clothing. They may be exposed to harsh weather, fumes, or other hazards. Their work area may be noisy. Ear protection is required when systems are running. At times, they work in awkward positions or on scaffolds. They use hoists to move large, heavy objects. Working quickly while observing safety standards can be stressful.

Aircraft maintenance technicians work shifts that may include evenings or nights. At these times, aircraft are less likely to be in use. Shift work, overtime, and on-call work are common. Some technicians work in remote locations for long periods.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 05, 2022

Aircraft maintenance technicians need:

  • Confidence
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Good eyesight and hearing
  • Hand-eye and muscle coordination
  • Fitness and agility for reaching and climbing
  • Comfort with heights
  • Organization and time-management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork skills
  • Decision-making skills, often under pressure
  • Spatial and form awareness

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors

2011 NOC: 7315

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 25 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 03, 2021 and Sep 27, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Initiative
Troubleshoot aircraft structural, mechanical or hydraulic systems to identify problems and adjust and repair systems according to specifications, technical drawings, manuals and established procedures
Repair and overhaul aircraft structural, mechanical or hydraulic systems
Perform and document routine maintenance
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 05, 2022
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Aircraft maintenance technicians must be high school graduates. They must also have related post-secondary education approved by the Government of Canada. Students can choose either:

  • Full-time education followed by full-time apprenticeship
  • A 4-year apprenticeship that includes 2 months of education per year

Many companies provide training to help employees upgrade and update their qualifications. For example, technicians can train to become licensed aircraft maintenance engineers (AME). Engineers certify that the work done on aircraft meets all standards.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 05, 2022
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating aircraft maintenance technicians in Alberta.

However, a technician can become a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (AME). AMEs are federally regulated. To qualify, applicants must:

  • Complete a training course approved or accepted by the Government of Canada
  • Write an air regulations exam (passing grade is 70%)
  • Have 4 years of satisfactory maintenance experience, 6 months of which must be on the aircraft for which they are endorsed
  • Show they have completed at least 70% of the tasks relevant to the category.

For detailed information, visit the Government of Canada website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 05, 2022

Aircraft maintenance technicians may work for:

  • Aeronautical product makers
  • Air carriers
  • Aircraft repair and overhaul companies
  • Aviation departments in large businesses
  • Component shops
  • Flight training schools

Aircraft maintenance technicians must supply their own hand tools. The employer usually provides special tools and equipment.

Employers may favour employees who are willing to move.

Some technicians advance to become supervisors or managers in approved maintenance organizations. Others work as quality control inspectors or sales reps for aeronautical products.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 7315: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors occupational group, 78.2% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 7315: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 05, 2022

Salaries for aircraft maintenance technicians depend on factors such as location, business size, and the type and quality of equipment and aircraft.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors

2016 NOC: 7315
Average Wage
$34.95
Per Hour
Average Salary
$75,784.00
Per Year
Average Hours
42.5
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7315 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.50 $38.46 $28.75 $28.85
Overall $23.25 $42.67 $34.95 $35.00
Top $29.00 $60.00 $42.28 $39.23

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Transportation and Warehousing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
55%
55%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
40%
40%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
10%
10%
Vacancy Rate
4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Aviation
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 05, 2022

Aviation, Government of Canada website: tc.canada.ca/en/aviation

Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace (CCAA) website: www.avaerocouncil.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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