Aircraft mechanics are responsible for ensuring aeroplanes and their parts are safe, a job that requires a great deal of preventive maintenance. Some mechanics specialise in other types of aircraft, such as helicopters, or in a specific system of aircraft, such as hydraulics or the electrical system. The amount of money an aircraft mechanic gets paid depends on a variety of factors that include speciality areas of expertise and years of experience.
The average annual income of an aircraft mechanic in the United States was £34,430 as of May 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary was £34,326. Mechanics with salaries in the lowest 10th percentile earned up to £21,684 a year, and those in the 90th percentile earned £46,540 a year or more.
Aircraft mechanics working in the industry of scheduled air transportation earned an average of £37,297 as of 2009 according to the bureau, while those working in support activities for air transportation earned less, at an average of £29,594. In the industry of aerospace product and parts manufacturing the average salary of an aircraft mechanic was £33,774, and in nonscheduled air transportation the average was £34,554. The federal executive branch also employed aircraft mechanics, for the average salary of £35,249 a year.
The two states with the highest concentration of employed aircraft mechanics were Alaska and Oklahoma, where mechanics earned average annual salaries of £38,018 and £34,456, respectively. The top-paying state was Tennessee, with a salary average of £45,487, followed by Kentucky at £44,518 and New Jersey at £40,488.
Depending on their employer, aircraft mechanics may advance to positions such as crew chief or lead mechanic, lead inspector, or shop supervisor. Another option for aircraft mechanics is to seek higher wages in other more competitive industries. For example, the average income of an aircraft mechanic working in the industry of couriers and express delivery services was £55,198 as of 2009, according to the bureau, well above the national average across all industries.