In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for issuing the mechanic certification called the Aircraft Maintenance Certification. Possession of this certification means that the holder possesses both the skills and the knowledge needed to become an aircraft maintenance technician. These individuals are responsible for tasks such as inspecting aircraft and performing the preventative maintenance needed to keep them functional.
To receive the Aircraft Maintenance Certification, a candidate must meet the conditions laid out in the Federal Aviation Regulations. Applicants must be at least 18, able to communicate in English, possess the requisite education, possess the requisite experience, and pass a set of tests in a time period not exceeding 24 months in length. The tests include both a set of knowledge tests and a practical test with an oral component. Experience means either a certification of completion from a certified school or months of practical experience. The requirement is 18 months with either airframes or power plants, or 30 months with both. Depending on the candidate’s choices, meeting the conditions entitles him or her to receive certification for either an airframe or a power plant rating, or in some cases, certifications for both.
Once the candidate has received the Aircraft Maintenance Certification, he or she can find positions in a number of industries. Common examples range from airlines to defense.