Aerospace Technology

Aerospace technicians install, maintain, repair and overhaul aeronautical products including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and computerized equipment. They must rigorously check and inspect equipment to make sure hazards are identified and corrected, and that they meet Transport Canada standards of safety and performance. Their work typically consists of assembling and disassembling equipment, inspecting it or performing routine maintenance, such as cleaning/lubricating or adjusting components and systems. An aircraft maintenance technician may specialize in specific aircraft systems as part of an AMO (Aircraft Maintenance Organization) shop such as engines, airframes, avionics or hydraulics.  

With experience, aircraft maintenance technicians may progress to becoming a licensed AME. From this base, an AME can career path to many different areas within the Aviation Industry including but not limited to Aircraft Maintenance Supervisors, Inspectors etc. 

Trait and Talents

Aircraft maintenance technicians need manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination. Further, they must be in good physical condition, since heavy lifting and climbing may be required. They must be able to interpret and follow written instructions, technical drawings and computer based information. Good mechanical aptitude, color vision, spatial perception and hearing are required.

As the required skill level has increased due to the aircraft mechanical and control systems becoming more complex and increasingly computerized, an understanding of automated machinery as well as good communication and analysis skills are very important.

Training is an integral part of upgrading and staying abreast of technological improvements. Therefore, AME’s are always increasing their knowledge base and financial gains.

Education and Training

  • Completion of secondary school is required. 
  • A college diploma in aircraft maintenance or completion of a four-year apprenticeship program is usually required. 
  • Several years of on-the-job training are required for aircraft mechanics. 
  • Aircraft mechanics and inspectors who sign maintenance releases and certify airworthiness require an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer’s (AME) licence issued by Transport Canada. 
  • Trade certification for aircraft maintenance engineers is available, but voluntary, in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. 
  • Trade certification for aircraft structural technicians is available, but voluntary, in British Columbia. 
  • Industry certification from the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace for some occupations in this unit group is available, but voluntary. 
  • Aircraft inspectors require several years of experience as an aircraft mechanic. 

The Workplace

Aircraft mechanics perform some or all of the following duties: 

  • 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 
  • Install or modify aircraft engines and mechanical, hydraulic, flight control, fuel and pneumatic systems 
  • Dismantle airframes, aircraft engines or other aircraft systems for repair, overhaul and cleaning, and reassemble 
  • Perform and document routine maintenance 
  • Order and maintain inventory of parts and supplies 

Skills for Success

The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

  • Reading 
  • Numeracy 
  • Problem Solving

Sample Job Titles

  • Aircraft structures engineer 
  • Aircraft avionics engineer 
  • Aircraft systems inspector 
  • Aircraft mechanic

Companies and Sectors

  • Aircraft manufacturers 
  • Airlines 
  • Aircraft operators