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What is an A&P license?

If you are considering becoming an aircraft mechanic you may be wondering what route you will need to take and what certifications you need.  With so much information out there and routes into the industry you may find yourself burnt out just figuring out a way into the industry!   To put it simply, the only qualification you should be dedicating yourself to is an Airframe and powerplant license.  An Airframe and powerplant license (or A&P) are the two FAA certifications you need to become an aviation mechanic and allows you to perform maintenance, repairs, and tests on aircraft. 

If you decide to pursue a career without one, you can only work on aircraft under supervision from someone who does possess an A&P license. It would also prevent you further progressing in your field, and you will lack the ability and authorisation to certify aircraft and aircraft components for a return to service.

Airframe and powerplant licenses are the certifications the FAA requires, and each have their own set of examinations.  You do not need to obtain both licenses, but it would mean you can only work on that part of the aircraft – for example, working on engines with the correct authorization if you obtain a powerplant license.  This is the reason why it is more desirable and common for a mechanic to obtain both – it allows you to perform more duties on the job and further your career.  

So, what does it include?

The Airframe license will be split into written, oral, and practical exams.  Airframe (hyperlink to article about airframe) will cover modules such as Airframe structures and airframe system and components, General Airframe (hyperlink to article about general) will cover a range or modules like physics, mathematics and electricity and finally powerplant (hyperlink to article about powerplant) which will cover powerplant theory and maintenance as well as powerplant systems and components.   As a whole after completion, you obtain knowledge and understanding to become a fully qualified aircraft mechanic and finally see your career in aviation take off!

AMTs hold highly-transferable skills that can be used in a huge range of industries.  Opportunities that you can move into within the aviation sector range from manufacturers, repair stations, Major airlines, military, aviation maintenance schools and in business or general aviation. Specialty fields include avionics, balloons and airships, rotorcraft, and unmanned aircraft systems.

If you are willing to dedicate some time into furthering your qualifications and becoming an A&P mechanic and already have some aircraft engineering experience, WE (company name) can help.


* At least 18 years old.
* Able to read, write, speak, and understand English.
*You must have 18 months of practical experience with either power plants or airframes, or 30 months of practical experience working on both at the same time. As an alternative to this experience requirement, you can graduate from an FAA-Approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School.

These requirements must be met before proceeding.  You will not pass the initial FAA interview and you will not be accepted into enrolling with any FAA AMT schools, or exams.

Airframe license

The mechanical structureis known as the airframe.  The airframe module will pretty much include everything on the aircraft except for anything engine related.  Some of the subject matterincluded but not limited to:

  • inspection
  • structures (wood, sheet metal, composite),
  • airframe electrical
  • fluid lines and fitting
  • navigation and communication
  • landing gear systems
  • hydraulic and pneumatic systems
  • cabin atmosphere
  • airframe fuel systems


In essence powerplant is seen as whatever Is used to produce thrust to propel an aircraft. This will also include all components and systems part of the powerplant.  Some of the subject matter included but not limited to:

  • reciprocating engines
  • turbine engine theory and repair
  • induction
  • ignition and starting
  • engine electrical systems
  • engine troubleshooting

Guidelines to the Curriculum can be seen here for airframe, general, and powerplant.

Earning your Airframe and Powerplant Licenses

Depending on the criteria you meet with your eligibility this will then determine which route you take into the qualification.  Remember, there is no other way around it but to follow the official FAA steps.  Without experience you can attend a school to earn your A&P in as little as 14 months, or, with previous military or commercial experience, you can attend an AMT intensive program.

Here at Aero-Mech zone we advise students (with the relevant experience) to dedicate some time into self-studying the entire syllabus.  We can set a student up with everything they need from how and what to study to even guiding you to examiners and FAA interviews.  No other program online offers you the same free advice and guidance on obtaining your license as quickly and cost effectively as possible. 

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