Education

Best Aviation Maintenance Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Aviation Maintenance programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Aviation maintenance is the process of inspecting, repairing, and maintaining aircraft. Aviation maintenance technicians work on a variety of aircraft, from small private planes to large commercial jets.

Aviation maintenance is a growing field, as the demand for qualified technicians is increasing. Aviation maintenance technicians are in demand in a variety of settings, including airports, airlines, and private companies.

Aviation maintenance degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in aviation maintenance, including aircraft mechanic, avionics technician, and airframe and powerplant technician. Students in aviation maintenance degree programs learn about the different systems of aircraft, and how to maintain and repair those systems.

How to Choose the Right Aviation Maintenance Program

When it comes to choosing an aviation maintenance program, there are a few key factors that students need to consider. The first is cost. Aviation programs can be expensive, so students need to make sure they can afford the tuition and associated costs. The second is location. Many aviation programs are located in rural areas, so students need to make sure they are comfortable with the location. The third is time to degree. Aviation programs typically take four years to complete, but some programs offer accelerated tracks. Finally, students need to make sure the program they choose is accredited.

Best Bachelor’s in Aviation Maintenance Programs

The best programs for Aviation Maintenance ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Prescott, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is designed to prepare students for a successful career in aviation maintenance. The curriculum focuses on various aspects of aviation maintenance, including aircraft electrical systems theory, airframe systems applications, organizational behavior, and social responsibility and ethics. With an innovative curriculum and a combination of general education and aviation maintenance core courses, students in the program gain a solid foundation for their career.

Rank 2
Lewis University
Romeoville, IL

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology from Lewis University is designed to prepare students for management positions in the aviation maintenance field. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work on aircraft engines and systems, as well as the business skills needed to manage a aviation maintenance operation. The program is FAA-approved and 100% of students who have graduated from the program have received job offers.

Rank 3
LeTourneau University
Longview, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Science degree from LeTourneau University is a Christ-centered program that prepares students for leadership in the aviation industry. The program is built on the basics of the A&P (Airframe & Powerplant) curriculum and provides students with hands-on experience on high-tech aviation equipment. Students in the program will take classes such as Powerplant Electrical Systems, Airframe Electrical, Aircraft Composites, and Advanced Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines.

Rank 4
Charleston Southern University
Charleston, SC

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management degree from Charleston Southern University is designed for students who have already earned an Associate of Arts degree in an Aviation Maintenance Technician-related field. The program allows students to earn their Bachelor’s degree in approximately two years of full-time study. The curriculum includes courses in principled leadership, airport management, global navigation, aviation regulation and law, and aerodynamics.

Rank 5
Kent State University at Kent
Burton, OH

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management at Kent State University at Kent can be completed in four years and includes coursework in aircraft maintenance, inspection, repair, and return to service. Students also have the opportunity to minor in business. Admission to the program is selective and requires students to have an Airframe and Powerplant certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or an equivalent certification from an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member state.

Rank 6
Utah State University
Logan, UT

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology – Maintenance Management degree from Utah State University prepares students for entry-level positions in management and maintenance programs within the airline industry, corporate aviation, and general aviation. Students in the program complete all of the courses required for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) licenses.

Rank 7
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Williamsport, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology degree from Pennsylvania College of Technology is designed to prepare students for careers in aircraft maintenance. The program provides students with the technical skills and knowledge necessary to repair and maintain both current and future aircraft. The hands-on approach to learning at Penn College means that students will spend lots of time in the lab, testing and troubleshooting theories and learning how to fix integrated mechanical and electronic systems.

Rank 8
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN

The Bachelor of Science in Aerospace – Maintenance Management degree from Middle Tennessee State University focuses on teaching students the fundamental skills needed for aircraft repair and maintenance, as well as management skills for careers in aircraft manufacturing, maintenance, or modification. Students in the program have the opportunity to train on a turbofan engine, which is used in most commercial aircraft. The program also provides students with real-world experience through an internship with Southwest Airlines.

Rank 9
Middle Georgia State University
Macon, GA

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Management degree from Middle Georgia State University is designed for those with aircraft maintenance experience who want to add aviation management studies to their skill set. Candidates with aircraft maintenance experience may be eligible to receive up to 27 credit hours toward the degree.

Rank 10
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
Flushing, NY

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management degree from Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in aviation maintenance. The program will expose students to maintenance, avionics and the operation of aircraft systems, blending both theoretical and practical approaches.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Aviation Maintenance Program

Students in a bachelor’s in aviation maintenance program can expect to learn about aircraft systems, maintenance, and repair. The curriculum typically includes both classroom and laboratory instruction. Students might take courses such as aircraft materials and processes, aircraft propulsion, and aircraft electrical systems.

In addition to coursework, students in a bachelor’s in aviation maintenance program might be required to complete an internship. Internships provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with aircraft.

Prospective students should be aware that some schools offer a bachelor of science in aviation maintenance, while others offer a bachelor of applied science in aviation maintenance. The difference between the two degrees is that the bachelor of science degree is more focused on academic coursework, while the bachelor of applied science degree is more focused on practical, hands-on training.

Overall, students in a bachelor’s in aviation maintenance program should expect to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to work as an aircraft mechanic or technician.

Common Aviation Maintenance Courses

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates the certification process for aviation maintenance technicians. In order to become a certified aviation maintenance technician, one must complete an FAA-approved program and pass both a written and practical exam. The courses below are typically required in order to obtain an aviation maintenance technician certificate.

Aircraft Systems

This course covers the operation and function of aircraft systems, including powerplants, electrical, hydraulic, environmental, pressurization, ice and rain protection, fuel, and flight controls. Emphasis is placed on the integration of systems and their relationship to aircraft performance. Upon completion, students should be able to identify, describe, and explain the operation of aircraft systems.

Airframe Maintenance

This course covers the inspection, repair, and alteration of aircraft structures and systems. Emphasis is placed on riveted and bonded structures, control surfaces, flight surfaces, landing gear, and systems unique to each airframe. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and properly maintain, repair, and alter aircraft airframes and systems.

Aviation Safety

This course covers the study of aviation safety, including an overview of the history of aviation accidents and incidents, the human factors associated with aviation safety, and the development of a safety culture within the aviation industry. Topics include the role of the Federal Aviation Administration in aviation safety, the National Transportation Safety Board accident investigation process, human factors in aviation, and the development and implementation of an aviation safety program. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of aviation safety to real-world scenarios and develop and implement an aviation safety program.

Federal Aviation Regulations

This course covers the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) that apply to persons who perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, and alterations on aircraft, aircraft engines, and propellers. Emphasis is placed on understanding the regulatory process, the relationship of the FARs to other publications, and the use of the FARs in making maintenance decisions. Upon completion, students should be able to interpret and apply the FARs to aircraft maintenance.

Aircraft Electrical Systems

This course covers the theory, operation, and maintenance of aircraft electrical systems and their components. Topics include aircraft generators and alternators, batteries, wiring, lighting, and electrical instruments. Emphasis is placed on the use of electrical test equipment, troubleshooting, and repair procedures. Upon completion, students should be able to identify aircraft electrical system components, explain the theory of operation, and perform maintenance and repair procedures.

Career Options for Aviation Maintenance Graduates

Aviation maintenance is a growing field, as the demand for qualified aviation maintenance technicians has increased in recent years. There is a need for professionals who are trained in aviation maintenance to work in a variety of settings, including airports, aircraft maintenance facilities, and airlines.

Avionics Technician

Avionics technicians install, maintain, and repair the electronic systems on aircraft. That includes the communications, navigation, and flight control systems. They also work on radar, autopilot, and GPS systems. Many avionics technicians specialize in a particular area, such as communications, navigation, or flight control systems.

Aircraft Maintenance Technician

Aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs) are responsible for the safety and upkeep of aircraft. AMTs inspect, service, and repair aircraft and aircraft components to keep them safe and in good working order. Many AMTs work for commercial airlines, but there are also opportunities to work for the military, private companies, or government agencies. AMTs typically have an Associate’s degree or certification from an FAA-approved aviation maintenance program, and must pass an FAA-administered exam.

Quality Control Inspector

Quality control inspectors are responsible for making sure that products meet certain standards of quality before they are shipped to customers. Inspectors may work in factories, warehouses, or other production facilities and use a variety of tools to test products for defects. In some cases, inspectors may also be responsible for testing products that have already been shipped to customers and ensuring that they meet the required standards. Quality control inspectors typically work regular business hours, but they may be required to work overtime or on weekends to meet deadlines.

Aircraft Painter

Aircraft painters are responsible for painting aircrafts according to customer specifications or company standards. They use a variety of painting equipment and techniques to get the job done, and they must pay close attention to detail to ensure a high-quality finish. Aircraft painters typically work in hangars or other controlled environments.

Mechanic

Mechanics are responsible for the maintenance, repair, and upkeep of vehicles. This can include cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and other types of motorized vehicles. Mechanics inspect vehicles to diagnose problems, and then they use their knowledge of mechanical systems to fix the issues. In some cases, they may need to replace parts or components. Mechanics typically work in repair shops, but they may also travel to customers’ homes or businesses to perform repairs on-site.

Insights From an Aviation Maintenance Graduate

Nathanial Velez is an Aircraft Maintenance Technician at Delta Air Lines. He has a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Nathanial has over 20 years of experience in aircraft maintenance.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Aviation Maintenance degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Nathanial Velez: I made the most of my Aviation Maintenance degree program by taking advantage of the internship and co-op opportunities that were available to me. I was able to get a head start on my career by working in the field while I was still in school. I also took advantage of the networking opportunities that were available through my degree program. I met a lot of people in the industry who were able to help me get my foot in the door at Delta Air Lines.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in an Aviation Maintenance career?

Nathanial Velez: A person who is successful and thrives in an Aviation Maintenance career is someone who is detail-oriented and takes pride in their work. They are also someone who is able to work well under pressure and can troubleshoot problems quickly.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Aviation Maintenance program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Nathanial Velez: I didn’t expect the program to be as challenging as it was. I thought that since I had worked in the aviation field for a while, the program would be a breeze. I was wrong. The program was very challenging, and I had to study a lot.

I would advise anyone who is thinking about getting an aviation maintenance degree to make sure they are prepared for a lot of hard work.

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