The results for the 2004 AMT Salary survey are in. These results provide information on average pay by several demographics including region, job title, age, and education, and provide a reference to some of the compensation trends in recent years.
Last year, avionics technicians came in as the top-paid in the industry. This year, it was the mechanics in corporate aviation that topped the chart, albeit by a small margin over air carrier mechanics. Unfortunately, it seems that average pay by industry is generally down this year compared to last. But although average pay by industry is generally down, it fluctuates from region to region as well as by age and job title.
An interesting note is the average age of respondents. Last year, the total respondents age 35 and under made up just over 25 percent of the respondents while those 36 and over made up the rest. This year, those 35 and younger comprised just under 20 percent of the responses. Although those age 35-45 decreased slightly, the respondents in both the 46-55 and 56-65 age groups showed significant increases, with the 56-65 group increasing four-fold. This could be an indication of what many have been speaking for years, the aging of the A&P workforce. The fact that only .4 percent of the respondents were 19-21 (compared to 1.25 percent in 2003) could show the decrease in the number of mechanics joining our ranks.
Directors of maintenance were the top paid job titles with maintenance managers closely following. On the bottom of the chart were repairmen followed by powerplant mechanics and airframe mechanics.
Education also has a play in how much you get paid. The average hourly pay for a noncertificated mechanic was $20.79. Average pay increased with each successive step up in education. Those with a master?s degree averaged $29.77/hour.
As far as the highest-paid regions in the United States, it depends on what industry segment you work in. The Southwest region had the top wages for general aviation and helicopter mechanics. If you work in corporate aviation, New England was the top-paying region for your segment. The Western Pacific region was tops for regional/commuter airlines while the Southern region took the lead for air carrier pay. Finishing off the list were the Great Lakes region for military and the Eastern region for avionics technicians.
And although we did not have a big enough response rate from international subscribers to break out pay averages by country, we did have enough (about 18 percent of respondents) to be able to group them as ?outside the US.? The top pay for GA mechanics, air carrier mechanics, and helicopter mechanics were higher for those outside the United States.
This year, we posed the question to you: ?Would you recommend aircraft maintenance as a career to a friend or relative? Why or why not?? The last time we asked this question in a salary survey was in August 2001. Back then, the majority of respondents, 58 percent, said they would NOT recommend aircraft maintenance as a career. Once again, the majority of you, 55 percent, said no. It is interesting to see that of those that said no, many said that although they would not recommend aircraft maintenance as a career to a friend or relative, they are happy in their job and would do it over again if they had the choice. Be sure to turn to page 40 to read some of the responses we received from this question.
Thanks to all who participated in the survey.
The AMT editorial team.