ATEC News: Nov/Dec 2018
The Pipeline Report: Industry Making Progress Filling Technician Gap, Pace Of Success Must Accelerate
The community continues to face internal and external challenges as it strives to recruit enough technicians to keep aircraft flying in the coming years, including excess capacity at technical schools and the perceived attraction of other industries over aviation. But efforts to reverse these trends are gaining traction, a new report on the aviation maintenance technician career pipeline concludes.
The 2018 Pipeline Report, found that mechanics continue to retire faster than they are being replaced. ATEC’s model projects that, absent a shift in pipeline development and retirement trends, the mechanic population will decrease 5% in the next 15 years.
New entrants make up 2% of the population annually, while 30% of the workforce is at or near retirement age—figures that are similar to findings in the 2017 ATEC Pipeline Report. Meanwhile, forecasts by the U.S. government and Boeing continue to forecast a need for thousands of additional mechanics in the next 10-20 years.
Among the most obvious solutions: increase enrollment at AMT schools. Today, only 1 in 2 seats in technical schools are taken, meaning that an additional 17,000 students can be accommodated immediately without any school expansion. Compounding the issue: a high rate of graduates go on to use their skills in non-aviation jobs, meaning leakage from within the pipeline is also an issue.
The 2018 report offered evidence that efforts to reverse these trends are paying off, however. In 2017, the number of students choosing non-aviation jobs over their aviation counterpart dropped by nearly half over the previous year, to 13%. More good news: seventy percent of A&P students are taking the FAA mechanic exam upon graduation, a 10-point increase over the previous two years.
While the data suggests progress on several fronts, industry must do more to both replace retiring workers and accommodate anticipate demand. The study shows that 30% of the mechanic population is age 60 or above, a 3% increase from last year. Combined with Boeing’s projection of 189,000 additional technicians needed by 2037 to support North America’s commercial and business aviation needs, AMTS—which produce most of new-entrant mechanics—will have to increase their combined output by 30% to meet demand.
Attracting more female candidates continues to be a major opportunity. The FAA airman database includes 293,000 certificated mechanics. Females make up 2.4% of the certificate mechanic workforce—a figure that has been constant for 15 years.
Successful efforts to fill the pipeline will create other challenges. Hiring and maintaining qualified instructors is the number one threat to increased enrollments, the report found. Negative perceptions and a lack of career awareness is also adversely impacting student recruitment efforts, lending further credence to the idea that the time is ripe for development of a national campaign to increase knowledge and understanding of aviation technical careers.
ATEC is involved in several grassroots efforts that connect aspiring technicians with employers and to spread the word of aviation’s value as a career path. Its latest is the Choose Aerospace effort ( ), a coalition of industry stakeholders dedicated to a broad outreach campaign to quantify staffing needs and promote aerospace technical careers. ATEC also hold a series of briefings and networking events at its annual conference, scheduled for March 17-20 in Wichita. More information at .

Download the full report at

See the full press release at
Annual Conference
See the Agenda
Aviation technician education’s premier event is scheduled for March 17-20 at WSU Tech in Wichita. This year’s agenda is jam-packed with something for everyone. Breakout topics and descriptions just released!  Read more.
Instructors, administrators, career services personnel, designated mechanic examiners, company recruiters and workforce development professionals are encouraged to attend aviation maintenance education's premier event.  Read more.
Stay and Play
Get more information about our host city, and take advantage of your stay to see all Wichita has to offer.  Read more.
Introduce your company to more than 200 representatives of the aviation maintenance education community. Exhibitors have dedicated space in the exhibit hall, are recognized in conference materials, and receive passes to attend the entire event. Read more.
For the third-straight year, ATEC will facilitate a networking event that connects educators and industry recruiters. New for 2019, the Employer Link will also incorporate a career fair for area students.  Read more.
Get Hired
ATEC's first ever student career fair promises on-site interviews and job offers. All prospective employees are invited, and schools are encouraged to communicate the opportunity to students. Register Now.
Just a few sponsorship opportunities remain. Provide refreshment or lunch for conference attendees, the education community thanks you in advance! Read more.
Book Accommodation
Reduced rates are available at two hotels convenient to the host location. Book online to secure group rates at the Aloft Wichita or Courtyard Wichita East . Read More.
Choose Aerospace
A new campaign seeks to unite companies, associations, labor unions and educational institutions, to spur interest in aerospace technical careers, and identify and implement solutions to the technical workforce shortage.

For more information:

Commit your company or school's support and secure a seat on the steering committee.
Resources and Opportunities
AAR Wings Webinar: Tomorrow at 1 PM CT
AAR is sharing its airworthiness program with aviation technician educators through a webinar, free for ATEC members. Get a briefing on basic airworthiness standards that all maintenance technicians need to know. Attendees passing the in-session quiz will receive an AAR Wings Pin and AAR Airworthy Eagle toolbox sticker. Register Now.
ATEC Releases Member Outreach Toolkit
Our members are our best recruiters. Materials downloads are available for use at industry events, professional advisory committee meetings, or internal gatherings to educate industry colleagues on ATEC initiatives and activities. Read More.
Distance Learning: Get Approved
A new template assists part 147 schools wanting FAA authorization to provide online content. A free webinar introduces the resource and provides an overview of applicable guidance material.  Read More.
Career Fair Calendar
Introducing a one-stop shop for employers to plan career fair attendance. Schools are encouraged to submit upcoming event dates as they are finalized.  Read More.
Membership Renewal
Membership renewals are due Jan. 1. Dues invoices were sent to the primary and billing contacts for all members. If you did not receive a notice, let us know .
ATEC President Gary Hoyle Receives Master Mechanic Award
Gary Hoyle, Director of Campus Operations at Pittsburg Institute of Aeronautics and long-time ATEC board director, was recently bestowed the FAA's highest honor for maintenance professionals. The award is a testament to Gary's service to the craft, and his 50+ year aviation career.   Read more.
ATEC Members Represent at FAA Meeting re DME ODA
An ATEC contingency joined FAA officials in Irving to discuss solutions to mechanic certification examination bottlenecks. Agency representatives will report on opportunities for organization designation authorization (ODA) at the upcoming annual conference.    Read more.
Lockheed Challenges Students to Create the Future of Flight
Lockheed Martin launched a new digital curriculum for high-school students, parents and educators as part of Generation Beyond, its free, online STEM education program used in thousands of U.S. classrooms.   Read more.
ATEC Student, Educator of the Year, Nominations Due Jan. 31
Awardees receive travel reimbursement to accept their award at the ATEC annual conference, being held March 17-20 in Wichita. Read more.
AEA Accepting Scholarship Applicants, Due April 1
The Aircraft Electronics Association will award more than 20 scholarships totaling more than $125,000 for the 2019-20 school year to students pursuing a career in avionics or aircraft maintenance, as well as students from AEA member companies. Read more.
AMC Phoebe Omlie Award, Due March 15
This scholarship is presented in recognition of Phoebe Jane Fairgrave Omlie, the first female to receive an FAA aircraft mechanic’s license in 1927. The award is available to students participating in the annual Aviation Maintenance Competition. Read more.
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