Different Types of Aircraft Mechanics?

Maintenance, repair, or overhaul procedures should only be carried out by certified aircraft mechanics. If you love airplanes and enjoy fixing things, this may be an ideal career choice for you. As this field plays a vital role in the aviation industry, this blog will provide a breakdown of different types of mechanics and what their specialities are. 

Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics (A&P)

The A&P licensure serves as the most common, allowing mechanics to work on the airframe and the engine of an aircraft. However, it actually consists of two different licenses. First, the aircraft mechanic license permits a mechanic to work on the body of an airplane. This may include repairing the fuselage, but does not include the engine, propeller, or avionics. Second, the powerplant mechanic license allows a mechanic to work on the engine of an aircraft. 

While the FAA does not require that both licenses are obtained, most mechanics opt for both since most employers prefer a mechanic that is trained to carry out an array of tasks. If the goal is to be a well-rounded aircraft mechanic that can diagnose and repair a wide range of issues, getting both of these designations is beneficial. 

Inspection Authorization Mechanic (IA)

An Inspection Authorization mechanic (IA) is an additional endorsement that is issued by the FAA and can be earned by an A&P mechanic. This authorization enables mechanics to inspect an aircraft or aircraft engine before it goes back into active service after a major repair. Clearly, having the expertise to inspect an airplane before it is considered safe for passengers is a major responsibility. To become eligible for this endorsement, a mechanic is required to meet some core requirements. 

The first requirement is that the aspiring mechanic must have an A&P certificate for a minimum of 3 years and must be actively involved in aircraft maintenance for at least 2 years. The second requirement is having a fixed base of operations. The third requirement is that they have access to all the tools necessary to conduct inspections. Once all of these requirements have been met, prospective IA mechanics must pass an exam and complete ongoing training. 

Avionics Technicians

Avionics technicians are professionals that maintain and repair the electronic instruments within an aircraft. This includes the radio communications devices/instruments, radar systems, and navigation guides. As these electronic systems are critical to the safety of passengers, avionics technicians play an integral role in the aviation industry. The failure of one of these systems during flight can result in dangerous situations.

To become an avionics technician, one must earn an avionics certificate by attending an FAA approved school that teaches avionics technician courses. Additionally, the certificate can only be issued by the FAA and necessitates the completion of an 18 month long course. 


Now that we have covered all the ins-and-outs of the aforementioned careers, you can narrow down which specialty is a good fit for you. Regardless of the certifications, each position requires that you acquire all the necessary tools to perform your job with ease. Aviation Orbit is a leading distributor of aircraft components and tools that have been vetted for fit and function prior to being shipped to our customers. To begin the procurement process, fill out and submit a Request for Quote (RFQ) form for any desired item(s) and within 15 minutes of submission, a dedicated representative will reach out with a competitive quote that keeps your part requirements in mind. For additional questions, call or email us at any time; we are available 24/7x365!


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