Maintenance Techs Will Be in Short Supply

The recently released “Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook – 2019-2038” warns of a shortage of aviation maintenance technicians.

“As several hundred thousand technicians reach retirement age over the next decade, educational outreach and career pathway programs will be essential to inspiring and recruiting the next generation of personnel,” said the outlook.

According to a 2018 Aviation Technician Education Council report, the median age of aviation mechanics in the U.S. is 51, which is nine years older than the median age for the broader U.S. workforce. It added, “Using the 10-year average rate of change for new mechanics and assuming a retirement age of 65, departing mechanics are expected to outpace entering mechanics four-to-three through 2037.

So it is that maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities are hard at work to maintain and even increase their skilled workforce of maintenance technicians.

Duncan Aviation, said its enterprise human resource manager, Leon Holloway, has so far not had trouble filling vital positions with well-qualified technician candidates. He attributes it in great part “to programs to educate young adults and potential candidates about the opportunities we provide.”

Duncan also actively recruits from the military veteran pool through partnerships with military readiness centers to provide information regarding open positions. The company’s recruiters also attend military veteran-specific career events and advertise open positions in various veteran sites.

MRO specialist StandardAero is no less active in its search for new-hire maintenance technicians.

“Our efforts to develop technicians range from apprenticeship programs with local colleges, to mentoring students at various trade schools, to internships in our repair shops,” said Chris Bodine, vice president and general manager of StandardAero’s Augusta, Georgia, business aviation MRO facility.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company is also actively recruiting military veterans. “In fact,” said Bodine, “21.5% of our U.S. workforce today is either retired or active/reserve military veterans [and] we are expanding operations in places where there is an embedded pool of military and government-trained people who are qualified and available.”

“In addition, we are bringing in people from ancillary industry sectors, like automotive and industrial manufacturing, and encouraging people to cross over, learn quickly and get trained as A&Ps.”

Kirby Harrison

Kirby Harrison is a freelance writer for The Weekly of Business Aviation, Business & Commercial Aviation and others in the Informa publishing chain.


 

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