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There are many different avenues of study for those looking to work in aviation mechanics. While some want to focus more on airplane mechanics, others are more interested in aviation safety or engineering. With so many different A&P mechanic schools and universities to choose from, it is important to find the right one for you.
What are A&P Mechanic (Aircraft Maintenance Technician) Schools?
Before someone gets to be an A&P mechanic or technician, they need to go to an A&P mechanic schools first. Then they’ll learn the kinds of things that make all kinds of aircraft fly safely.
If you’re interested in aviation safety, then you should take a course that teaches aircraft maintenance, learn the right ropes, and make sure that every aircraft you get your hands on flies as safely as possible. Curriculum for aviation mechanics and maintenance schools will vary depending on the school, but typically includes courses in:
- Computer technology
- General sciences
There are two main knowledge sets that A&P mechanics and technicians must learn before they can do aircraft maintenance:
- Airframe or Maintenance
- Aircraft Powerplant Maintenance
Airframe refers to the aircraft’s frame and build. This includes the wings, propellers, tail, interiors, and all the other things that build their structure. The aircraft powerplant, on the other hand, refers to the engine and electronics. The least anyone would want to happen is an engine failure in mid-air.
Students will also be required to have a high school diploma or equivalency. If you’ve been considering a career in the aviation mechanics industry, be sure to check out our list of the best aviation mechanics schools, colleges, and universities in the US below.
How Much Do A&P Mechanic Schools Cost in the US?
The prices for A&P mechanic schools, colleges, and universities largely depend on the programs they offer. Generally, certifications are cheaper than associate degrees, and both are cheaper than bachelor’s degrees.
The following is an estimate for average tuition fees in each kind of program:
- Certifications: $30,000
- A.A.S.: $50,000
- B.S.: $60,000
As said, these are averages, so the real prices can vary. Schools can charge for books, lab fees, and pilot training, among others.
Some aircraft maintenance schools and universities also offer discounts for residents of their states. And almost all of the best aviation mechanics schools in the US offer some form of financial aid.
Best A&P Mechanic Schools in the US
To help you pick a good aircraft maintenance school, here is a list of the 15 best aviation mechanics schools in the United States.
As a rather large mechanic school offering different degrees for different fields, Lewis University has a short program for those taking an Aviation Maintenance Technology Certificate.
The program for the Aviation Maintenance Technology Certificate lasts for 4 semesters. Students can finish it within 15 months with summer sessions or 21 months without them.
One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446, United States
Lewis University’s certification program costs $35,262 per year. That is about $70,500 for the whole program.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona offers comprehensive training for both associate and bachelor’s degrees in Aviation Maintenance Science. All students of Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Science get to choose an area of concentration or a subject area of study to focus on.
- Maintenance Management
- Safety Science
- Avionics Cyber Technology and Security
Those who focus on flight pay extra for their flight facilities. They will also be taught how to fly aircraft and be eligible for a pilot license.
Those who take associate degrees are required to finish 66 credit units of coursework. They can finish the program in over 5 semesters.
Meanwhile, those who take the bachelor’s degree program will need to finish 126-127 credit units of coursework. This can be completed in over four years.
1 Aerospace Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, United States
Tuition and fees in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona clock in at $40,714 per year. The school offers financial assistance for students who need them.
Students may also pay extra for flight training if they plan to become commercial pilots while doing A&P work. However, the price differs for every student, depending on their individual needs.
Among all the best aviation mechanic schools in the US, Hallmark University allows students to graduate the fastest. Their associate of applied science in Airframe and Powerplant Technology can be done in 16 months!
Students are taught in the school’s hangars, giving them the sense of what working in a hangar is supposed to feel like.
Hallmark University’s A.A.S. in Airframe and Powerplant Technology program requires 96 credit units of coursework.
10401 Frontage Rd, San Antonio, TX 78230, USA
The tuition fee in Hallmark University costs $415 per credit unit. This totals to $39,840 for the whole program.
Chaffey College offers a multitude of A&P certification and degree programs for students with different kinds of academic needs. They have six programs:
- Aviation Maintenance Airframe AS Program Map
- Aviation Maintenance Powerplant AS Program Map
- Aircraft Electrical and Avionics Technician Certificate Program Map
- Aviation Maintenance Certificate Program Map
- Aviation Maintenance Technology: Airframe Certificate Program Map
- Aviation Maintenance Technology: Powerplant Certificate Program Map
Students can choose whether they plan to only take airframe certifications, powerplant certifications, or even an associate degree in either field. However, their programs for airframe and powerplant certifications are separate.
All programs last for four years. Associate degrees in both airframe and powerplant take 60 credit hours. On the other hand, students can become certificated for aircraft maintenance after finishing 62 credit units of coursework.
5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737, United States
Chaffey College’s enrollment fee typically costs $46 per unit for residents of California. But for non-residents, there is a $307 tuition fee and a $17 capital overlay added to that cost. In total, non-residents will need to pay $370 per unit.
That brings their associate degrees to a total of $2,760 for California residents and $22,200 for non-residents.
Florida State College
Florida State College offers an associate of science degree in Aviation Maintenance Management. Students who only want the certification and not the full AS degree can opt for the Aviation Mechanic Technical Certificate instead.
For the AS degree in Aviation Maintenance Management, students will need to take 83 credit hours. Those who have previously completed the airframe mechanic and powerplant mechanic at Florida Coast Career Tech can transfer 60 units into the program. This allows them to finish their degrees faster without having to go over previously finished requirements again.
Meanwhile, the technical certificate only needs 12 credit hours. The whole program lasts for about 5 months.
The college has four campuses:
- Downtown Campus: 101 West State Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202
- Kent Campus: 3939 Roosevelt Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32205
- North Campus: 4501 Capper Road, Jacksonville, FL 32218
- South Campus: 11901 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32246
Both programs are offered on all campuses.
Florida State College’s career certificates are cheaper compared to college credit courses. Florida residents pay less than non-Florida residents. They also offer discounts for eligible Georgia residents.
Here is a breakdown of their prices:
Career Certificate Tuition and Fees:
- Florida residents: $87.60 per credit hour
- Non-residents: $350.64 per credit hour
- Eligible Georgia residents: $175.32 per credit hour
College Credit Courses:
- Florida residents: $104.88 to 116.52 per credit hour
- Non-residents: $401.27 per credit hour
- Eligible Georgia residents: $218.55 to $227.09 per credit hour
In total, Florida residents would pay a total of $1,051.2 for the whole Aviation Mechanic Technical Certificate program while non-residents will need to pay $4,207.68. The associate degree totals at $8,705.04 for Florida residents and $33,305.41 for non-residents.
Mt. San Antonio College
Mt. San Antonio College is not just your regular tertiary school. This place has facilities for both day and evening classes. So students can work through the day and study at night.
Students can take a whole degree in airframe and aircraft powerplant maintenance technology. Or they could get certifications in either airframe maintenance technology or aircraft powerplant maintenance technology. Getting both certifications also qualifies them for a full associate degree.
The associate degree can be had after 67 credit units. On the other hand, both certifications take 45 credit units each.
1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, California 91789, United States
Here is a breakdown of their tuition prices (in total):
Airframe and Aircraft Powerplant Maintenance Technology (Both Day and Evening)
- California Residents: $2,760
- Non-residents: $20,040
Aircraft Powerplant or Airframe Maintenance Technology Certificate (Day)
- California Residents: $1,886
- Non-residents: $13,694
Aircraft Powerplant or Airframe Maintenance Technology Certificate (Night)
- California Residents: $1,794
- Non-residents: $13,026
For the full associate degree, the price for either day or evening sessions is the same. The same goes for the prices for either aircraft powerplant or airframe maintenance technology certificates.
Unlike most mechanic schools and universities, LeTourneau University does not offer an associate degree. Instead, they offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Maintenance Science. This comprehensive program opens up students to more career opportunities, particularly in academe.
LeTourneau University’s B.S. degree requires 76 credit hours of schoolwork. That is quite more than most schools offer for their associate degrees, but a student can still finish it all in about two or three years.
2100 S Mobberly Ave, Longview, TX 75602, USA
LeTourneau University has an estimated $32,690 total tuition per year for a full 12-18 credit unit load. The total tuition fee for a student may reach $65,380 for the whole program.
Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute is another mechanic school that does not offer an associate degree. Instead, they offer a Bachelor of Science in Missionary Aviation Technology–Maintenance. And as a religious school, they also require students to take some credit hours for Bible studies and spiritual studies.
The B.S. in Missionary Aviation Technology–Maintenance is a full bachelor’s degree with 188 credit units. Students can finish the program in 10 semesters, ending in around 4 to 5 years.
820 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60610, United States
Moody Bible Institute has a flat rate of $450 per credit hour. That totals to around $84,600 for the whole program.
Aviation Institute of Maintenance
The Aviation Institute of Maintenance offers an Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program. This functions a lot like an associate degree. The school also teaches students to service both airplanes and helicopters and trains them to service both airframe and aircraft powerplants.
The AMT program lasts for about 21 months. Students will have to do 78 credit units of coursework to get their certifications.
The AMT program is available on multiple campuses:
- Atlanta, GA – Metro
- Charlotte, NC
- Chicago, IL
- Dallas, TX – Metro
- Fremont, CA
- Houston, TX
- Indianapolis, IN
- Kansas City, MO
- Las Vegas, NV
- Norfolk, VA
- Northern Virginia, VA
- Orlando, FL – Metro
- Philadelphia, PA
- Teterboro, NJ
In all, they offer the program on 14 campuses spread across 12 states.
The tuition fee in the Aviation Institute of Maintenance is $16,757 for all students each year.
Broward College offers an associate of science degree in Aviation Maintenance Management. They offer classes for both online and on-campus studies, giving students more flexibility in their schedules.
Their South Campus is linked to North Perry Airport. This gives students access to a bustling airport that is very similar to the facilities they would work at in real life. They also do job placements for their graduates.
The associate degree takes 83 credit units. They have a full-time and part-time curriculum. Full-time students can finish the degree in 7 terms while part-time students could do it in 14 terms.
4205 Bonaventure Blvd, Weston, FL 33332, United States
Broward College offers discounts for residents of Florida:
- Florida residents: $3,975.00
- Non-residents: $12,007.63
University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks lets students upgrade from an airframe and powerplant certification to an associate of applied science degree. They also have professional piloting training for students who want to fly while knowing how to inspect what they are flying.
They offer the following certifications:
- Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance
- Airframe and Powerplant Certification
- Airframe Certification
- Powerplant Certification
The following is the rundown for the credit units required in each certification:
- A.A.S. Aviation Maintenance: 64 credit units
- Airframe and Powerplant Certification: 49 credit units
- Airframe Certification: 31 credits
- Powerplant Certification: 31 credits
A typical non-degree certification can take one year to finish while the associate degree needs at least two years.
505 S Chandalar, Fairbanks, AK 99775, United States
The following is the rundown for total tuition cost per certification:
- A.A.S. Aviation Maintenance: $14,976
- Airframe and Powerplant Certification: $11,466
- Airframe Certification: $7,254
- Powerplant Certification: $7,254
- A.A.S. Aviation Maintenance: $51,200
- Airframe and Powerplant Certification: $39,200
- Airframe Certification: $24,800
- Powerplant Certification: $24,800
University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a discount on tuition fees for residents of Alaska. Residents pay $234 per credit unit while non-residents pay $800 per credit unit.
University of Alaska Anchorage
Like most other mechanic schools, University of Alaska Anchorage offers an associate in applied science degree for Aviation Maintenance Technology and separate certifications for airframe and powerplant maintenance.
Besides the usual training they give, however, they also have a program to help mechanics students learn better among the professionals. Called the Mechanic Helper Education Program, this is designed as a series of online courses that students taking on-the-job training can use as study support.
University of Alaska Anchorage offers three programs:
- A.A.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology Program: 2.5 years, 72 credit units
- Airframe Certification Program: 2 years, 50 credit units
- Powerplant Certification Program: 2 years, 50 credit units
Students can also transfer their credits from previous courses to speed up the process.
3211 Providence Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508, United States
Similar to most other mechanic schools, University of Alaska Anchorage offers a discount on residents within their state. Residents of Alaska pay $234 to $282 per credit unit while non-residents pay $800 to $848 per credit unit.
The following are the estimated totals for each program:
- A.A.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology Program: $16,848
- Airframe Certification Program: $11,700
- Powerplant Certification Program: $11,700
- A.A.S. in Aviation Maintenance Technology Program: $57,600
- Airframe Certification Program: $40,000
- Powerplant Certification Program: $40,000
Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics
At Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, students have access to both an airfield and hangars to do their things. The school offers Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program that earns them an associate degree in Specialized Technology.
Unlike other schools, they do not host a dormitory for students. But this aeronautics school does have a list of third-party housing facilities used by their previous students.
The AMT program lasts for 21 months. Students are required to finish 79 credit units of coursework to get their aeronautics certification.
5 Allegheny County Airport, West Mifflin, PA 15122
All of their students pay a total tuition fee of $38,500 for the whole program.
Vaughn College is among the few mechanic schools that offer a bachelor’s degree in A&P mechanics. They also offer an A.A.S. degree for Aviation Maintenance.
They have the following programs:
- Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance
- Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance
- Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management
Students also have the choice to do aviation and aircraft maintenance training under the school’s Aviation Training Institute and learn from industry professionals.
The following are the credit units for each program:
- A.A.S. in Aviation Maintenance: 70 credit units
- B.S. in Aviation Maintenance: 125 credit units
- B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Management: 124 credit units
Their B.S. degrees are typically finished in 4 years while their A.A.S. degrees come in 2 years.
86-01 23rd Ave, East Elmhurst, New York 11369, United States
All full-time students pay $12,850 in tuition fees per semester. Part-time students pay by credit unit. The price is $860 per credit unit.
South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University is another school that offers a comprehensive bachelor of science degree for AP mechanics. They have a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management Specialization program.
They also have pilot training for students who want to get their licenses to fly the planes they fix.
The B.S. Aviation Maintenance Management Specialization degree takes 120 credit hours to complete. This should take about 4 years to finish as a full-time student.
1451 Stadium Rd, Brookings, SD 57007, United States
The school has different tuition pricing for South Dakota residents, Minnesota residents, and non-residents of either state.
- South Dakota residents: $4,650
- Minnesota residents: $5,189
- Non-residents: $6,405
That is the estimated yearly tuition cost for each resident type. It is based on students having 15 credit units in a semester.
Non-residents can also take advantage of the discount for South Dakota residents if they are children of alumni.
How to Choose the Right Aircraft Technician Mechanic School For You
Now that you know all about the best aviation mechanics schools in the US that are available out there, you might find that a rather less-known school fits better for your needs. There is more to aircraft technician mechanic schools than just their name and tuition fees.
But you do need to take note of the following factors when choosing a school:
- Location and lodging
- Tuition and other fees
- Program length
Not all schools are made the same way. Facilities differ. Sometimes, schools have their own airport. Others have a small hangar for training. And then there are others that have partnerships with local airports.
However, just because a school has better facilities doesn’t mean they’re the best for your needs. If the closest school next to an airport is miles away and the nearest school that teaches aircraft maintenance has just a hangar for training, then you may want to choose the nearer one. That is, unless you are willing to pay more for lodging.
Plus, some schools give huge discounts to residents of their states.
As for payments, tuition is one part of it all. You will also need to pay miscellaneous fees and application fees. Books, lab fees, and administration fees too, if they ask you to pay for them. However, tuition always comes as a huge part of the payment. And some financial aid only counts for the tuition fees.
Lastly, you should take note of the program’s length. Longer programs tend to give higher degrees. But you don’t need an associate (or even a bachelor’s!) degree to become an A&P mechanic. Getting both airframe and powerplant mechanic certifications should be enough to let you do the things that A&P mechanics and technicians do, both legally and practically.
Conclusion: Choosing the Right A&P Mechanics School For You
All of these are great schools. Each serves different things for students of different needs. Some focus on facilities that simulate the hustle and bustle of a proper airfield or hangar, while others train students on the best training for aircraft maintenance schools could ever give.
For instance, there is Hallmark University’s program that lets students finish their degree in 16 months. And then there is Mt. San Antonio College, which offers evening classes for students who can’t come to class during the day.
There are also these schools that offer discounts for residents of their states:
- South Dakota State University
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Broward College
- Mt. San Antonio College
- Florida State College
- Chaffey College
Hopefully, you found this guide helpful. The best aviation and mechanics schools always fill their students’ needs and open them up for a better and brighter career, whether you decide to pursue a career as an A&P mechanic, one in aviation engineering, or a different path altogether.
Whether you’re the pilot in the cockpit, the A&P mechanic servicing the plane, or you’re a passenger in the cabin, any flight can be made better with an updated and modern interior and state-of-the-art equipment. To learn more about how we here at Southern Air can help elevate your aircraft and take it to new heights, contact us today!