Demand for aircraft maintenance technicians is on the rise, and companies in the aviation industry are working to match capability with opportunity. The most pressing concerns surround hiring, training, retaining, and compensating the technicians and mechanics who can turn this moment’s aviation dreams into tangible realities.
The industry’s recent growth in demand for aircraft maintenance technicians and engineers with unique skills has been staggering, and this is great news for those who are now beginning their careers in aviation. Executive Vice President of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Ryan Waguespack, offered his insights into the employment outlook for aircraft maintenance roles. He described the general aviation sector’s growth over the past 18 to 22 months as unprecedented. For those seeking work within the sector, “the outlook is incredible—job opportunities galore,” Waguespack said in an interview with Avionics International. “Getting in on the ground floor and becoming a certified technician is a phenomenal career, and I think it’s going to continue to head in that direction. It’s a long-term career.”
Boeing’s most recent Pilot and Technician Outlook breaks down the demand for technicians worldwide; the highest demand will come from Europe and Asia-Pacific, closely followed by North America and China.
Those entering the industry are faced with exciting but daunting work. New hires are not only expected to engage highly complex tasks right after the end of their formal education, but they will also need ongoing training and professional development to ensure their continued success. “We did a poll and got a response from our members that say more than 80% are hiring either now or later in the year, which is overwhelming,” Adamson said. “The problem is finding those people, getting them trained, and not losing them to other industries.” The struggle to recruit, hire, and retain the right employees is also complicated by inflation of pay rates. Adamson observed that wages and shop rates have sharply risen compared to past years. He expects this trend to continue, as the aviation industry fights to remain competitive compared to other technical industries.