A&D Smoothing The Curve On Age

Real median wages for U.S. aircraft mechanics plummeted nearly 8% in 2020, after increasing about 1% annually since 2000.

There was a time when the aerospace and defense industry had a distribution of people by age that was anything but enviable, leading to the “gray tsunami” myth involving about 40% of the workforce retiring in a short time frame.

Instead, the industry has seen very conservative rates of retirement while hiring an increasing number of young people.

The result—a “smoothed” curve that indicates a healthy, manageable workforce with an average age of 45.8 years and a retirement rate of 2.0%, dipping to 1.8% among engineers. 


For over 20 years, Aviation Week Network has conducted a workforce study to help organizations answer some basic questions about the aerospace & defense (A&D) industry's ability to meet ever-changing customer requirements.


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