How Much Do Aircraft Mechanics Make? All About Their Salary

Ken Hyde

By Ken Hyde

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An aircraft maintenance technician (AMT – simply known as an aircraft mechanic) is a certified professional responsible for the airplane’s working order and safety.

Jobs in the aviation industry, including entry-level roles, often pay well. So, if you’re considering a career as a mechanic, you can always expect a competitive salary range. Keep reading to learn more about the aircraft mechanic wage! 

How Much Do Airplane Mechanics Make?

On average, aircraft mechanics in the United States earn around $33.49 an hour, based on 16,600 reported salaries. The number was last updated on 25 March 2024.

Now, let’s examine the cities, companies, and job positions that offer the highest average salary for aircraft mechanics. We’ve compiled all the information in a chart to make it easier to track and compare.

1. Top Companies

At AECOM, workers earn the highest hourly rate of $34.68, totaling an annual income of $72,137. PACCAR follows closely behind ($32.18 per hour), while Structure Group and Erickson offer comparable hourly rates of $31.89 and $31.77, respectively.

CompanyHourly RateYearly Salary
Structure Group$31.89$66,323
Elbit Systems of America$31.24$64,985
Pacific Architects and Engineers$30.44$63,325
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings$29.71$61,806
Ishpi Information Technologies, Inc. (dba Ishpi)$29.66$61,701
TAD PGS$29.59$61,537
Hawthorne Global Aviation Services$29.54$61,444
M.I.T. International, Inc.$29.22$60,769
Techtronic Industries TTI$29.18$60,701

2. Top States

Aircraft mechanic salaries vary slightly across states. In New Jersey, these professionals earn the highest average hourly wage, $34.31.

Wyoming follows closely behind with an hourly rate of $34.06, and Wisconsin and Washington offer slightly lower airplane mechanic wages ($33.61 and $33.53 per hour, respectively).

StateHourly WageWeekly PayMonthly PayAnnual Salary
New Jersey$34.31$1,372$5,947$71,365
North Dakota$33.02$1,320$5,723$68,676

3. Top City

Those working in San Jose, California, earn the highest hourly wage among the listed cities, at $41.37. In Oakland, CA, the hourly wage for aircraft mechanic jobs is slightly lower than in San Jose at $40.46. Hayward, CA is closely behind at $40.39.

CityHourly WageWeekly PayMonthly PayAnnual Salary
San Jose, CA$41.37$1,654$7,170$86,050
Oakland, CA$40.46$1,618$7,012$84,155
Hayward, CA$40.39$1,615$7,001$84,013
Ashland, CA$40.39$1,615$7,000$84,003
Antioch, CA$40.36$1,614$6,996$83,956
Seattle, WA$40.17$1,606$6,962$83,552
Santa Cruz, CA$39.08$1,563$6,773$81,280
Kenmore, WA$39.07$1,562$6,772$81,264
Seaside, CA$39.00$1,560$6,760$81,128

4. Top Job Titles

Aviation Maintenance Technicians earn $24.90 per hour, while Light Wheel Mechanics receive $20.17 hourly. Systems Mechanics stand out with the highest wage (commanding $32.54). 

These discrepancies in airplane mechanic salaries likely stem from differences in skill levels, job responsibilities, and specialized knowledge required for each position.

Job TitleJob OpeningsHourly RateMonthly SalaryAnnual Salary
Aviation Maintenance Technician102,259$24.90$4,316$51,794
Systems Mechanic92,087$32.54$5,640$67,679
Light Wheel Mechanic90,297$20.17$3,496$41,948
Equipment Mechanic50,409$21.84$3,786$45,435
Airframe  & Powerplant Mechanic34,350$26.17$4,536$54,430
Helicopter Mechanic33,954$29.75$5,156$61,876

5. Top Paying Industries

Within the government sector, aircraft mechanics command an hourly rate of $30.97 (the highest). Manufacturing industries offer a slightly lower wage, averaging $29.82 per hour, while those working in the professional sector have their hourly rate at $29.53.

IndustryHourly RateAnnual Salary

6. Trends Over The Year

The aviation mechanic salary has shown an impressive upward trend over recent years. Starting at $26.34 per hour in 2020, the hourly rate climbed to $28.06 by 2023 with a notable 1.8% increase and is predicted to reach a new height in 2024. This steady progression suggests a favorable outlook for the job likely influenced by demand dynamics.

YearHourly RateAnnual SalaryChange

Pros and Cons Of Being An Aircraft Mechanic

Specialist mechanic repairs the maintenance
Specialist mechanic repairs the maintenance

The plane mechanic salary is already quite rewarding, but there are other advantages to the job as well. 


One of those perks is the evolving nature of the aviation industry, which means you can learn something new every day. This will keep you inspired and motivated in the long run! Trust us, there’s no better feeling than truly enjoying every moment of what you do (and earning lots of money from it). 

Better yet, depending on your company’s policies, you might also have plenty of opportunities to travel for work and service aircraft in various places worldwide.


Unfortunately, some maintenance tasks are physically demanding, and you will find yourself working in awkward positions more often than not. Worst of all, the work environment can be noisy and dirty, sometimes even exposing you to harsh chemicals. 

If all of these don’t sound promising to you (or you have a medical history), think twice before settling for this career path.

How To Train To Become An Airframe Mechanic

Choose either of these two main paths:

  • FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School (AMTS): This formal program provides classroom learning and hands-on training for 18 to 24 months to prepare you for the FAA certification exams.
  • On-the-Job Training: Some companies offer training programs alongside work experience. It might take at least 30 months to qualify for the FAA exams.

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The jet mechanic’s salary is definitely one of the main reasons people are drawn to this job. 

However, some physical challenges cannot and should not be underestimated. Consider the pros and cons, and feel free to contact us if you need advice.

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Ken W Hyde

Ken W Hyde

Ken W Hyde is the founder of The Wright Experience™. He is passionate about antique airplanes and has restored many of the Wright brothers' planes, including the 1918 Curtiss Jenny and the 1903 Wright Flyer. He is also a pilot and mechanic who has worked for Capital Airlines, Bendix Corporation, and American Airlines.

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