The 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the aviation workforce of the future, including the current and future supply of aircraft mechanics. In a report published on May 17, 2023 (GAO-23-105571), GAO found that while the number of newly certificated mechanics grew in recent years, it could not make any concrete conclusions about the suspected shortage of aircraft mechanics.
"The supply of individuals with new mechanic certificates grew from 2017 through 2022. The total pool of mechanic certificates also increased; however, these data provide limited information about the supply of aircraft mechanics, as the number of certificate holders who have left the industry since 2017 is unknown," said the report. "Additionally, available data provide limited information on the extent of demand for aircraft mechanics."
The report went on to say that despite the lack of information, aviation stakeholders interviewed reported challenges maintaining sufficient numbers of mechanics. Those same interviewees reported increased wages--a vital metric evidencing a talent shortage--an indicator that is not yet replicated in Bureau of Labor Statistics' labor market data.
Find the full report and links to previous GAO reports on aviation maintenance workforce on ATEC's Workforce Data landing page.
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