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CAU program seeks to curb looming AMT shortage

Companies incentivize job offerings

Pilots aren’t the only talent shortage the aviation industry is seeing these days as an estimated 610,000 new maintenance technicians will need to be hired globally to meet industry demand over the next 20 years.

California Aeronautical University students practice their skills in the hands-on aviation maintenance technology lab. Photo courtesy of CAU.

To fill this deficit, California Aeronautical University’s aviation maintenance technology program is training students to maintain and repair aircraft engines, propellers, hydraulic systems, avionics, and more during the 17-month program—22 months if students opt for their associate degree. The program is offered at CAU’s main campus in Bakersfield, California., a free online resource for aviation employers and job seekers, has seen a 27-percent increase in maintenance related-jobs on its website over the last year, the largest spike company officials have noticed. In 2022 there were over 35,000 new maintenance jobs listed; currently there are 10,000 active jobs listed.

“I’ve heard the median salary for aircraft mechanics and technicians has risen 11 percent in just two years. However, we see that number being surpassed with companies like Vertex and Airline Regionals offering mid to high $40 per-hour for basic experience,” said Sam Scanlon, managing partner. “Companies are bringing it.”

CAU’s AMT program launched in 2020 and boasts an accelerated program, test prep, and résumé and job placement assistance. Graduates of the program will also receive a 263-piece tool set from Sonic Tools, easing a pricey burden for many AMT students and recent graduates.

Students of the program will receive their hands-on, in-person training at CAU’s 32,000-square-foot aircraft maintenance lab that features individual workstations and electrical boxes that allow students to practice on equipment they may encounter in the workplace. CAU also offers on-campus housing and dining and has been approved to accept veteran education benefits.

California Aeronautical University students pass the airframe portion of the school’s aviation maintenance technology program. Photo courtesy of CAU.

Niki Britton

eMedia Content Producer
eMedia Content Producer Niki Britton joined AOPA in 2021. She is a private pilot who enjoys flying her 1969 Cessna 182 and taking aerial photographs.
Topics: Aviation Education Programs, Career

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