On Saturday August 26th, Cleveland will host the Aero Skills Tournament. Aviation maintenance apprentices, students, and technicians will compete on the basis of best aircraft part fabrication skills. The event is open to MROs, aviation maintenance education representatives, and students. The goal of the tournament is to bolster interest in aviation maintenance education and careers. Cleveland Tournament info: http://www.myatg.aero/schools/tournaments
The Aero Skills Tournament is held throughout North America. Contestants compete using their own tooling. Differing from the MRO Americas Aerospace Maintenance Competition, participants are judged individually. The contest winner advances to finals, which are held in Las Vegas. The final consists of winners from eight previous competitions. The winner receives a $15,000 prize.
AMP Awareness for Students
One of the greatest struggles in aviation is creating awareness of the aviation maintenance profession. The majority of regional high schools aren’t accommodating to providing resources or speakers that explain AMP options. These institutions put great emphasis on four year degree programs at traditional universities. This leaves little room for exploration of technical or two year degree programs.
Few trade or vocational schools offer aviation programs. Vocational students typically attend the county trade school and choose from existing programs. Luckily, these institutions are recognizing the demand for AMPs. Schools like Great Oaks Career Campus in Cincinnati, Ohio are offering FAA-certified airframe mechanic and airline mechanic training. Hopefully more vocational institutions will soon follow suit.
Many students aren’t aware of the support and potential earnings that a career in aviation maintenance can provide. Monster.com projects an annual salary between $35,960 to $87,880 for US aircraft mechanics and service technicians. The barrier to entry for this field is much lower than other career paths. Multiple two year degrees and certifications are available throughout the country at schools like Columbus State Community College. The importance of educating future students is paramount. To encourage more interest in aviation maintenance, support events like the Aero Skills Tournament, Ohio Aviation Maintenance Symposium, and MRO Americas Aerospace Maintenance Competition.