Training a Skilled, Technical Workforce
Data and industry economic reports
ATEC Pipeline Report
2023 Pipeline Report: Increased Awareness, Testing Protocol Improvements Will Bolster Mechanic Pipeline, New Report Finds
2022 Pipeline Report: New Mechanic Figures Trending in Right Direction, But Major Workforce Shortage Still Looms
2021 Pipeline Report: Downturn Hampered Mechanic-pipeline Growth Trajectory, But Doesn’t Shift Long-term Needs
2019-2020 Pipeline Report: Industry is making measurable progress developing a sufficient, sustainable pipeline of aviation maintenance technicians, but clear opportunities remain that can increase momentum.
2018 Pipeline Report: Industry Making Progress Filling Aviation Maintenance Technician Gap,
But Pace Of Success Must Accelerate To Avoid Shortages, Report Finds
2017 Pipeline Report: A Look at the Path to an AMT, and Workforce Development Challenges and Opportunities
2016 Survey: Underscores Aviation’s Opportunity To Create Pipeline Of Technicians
2015 Survey: Illustrates the AMTS Community
Other Workforce Data
The following is a library of resources for aviation maintenance workforce data and reports. ATEC aims to keep the information up-to-date, but please check the source to ensure what's linked is the most recent version. Have something to add? Email us.
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 from 2017 through 2022, it could not make any concrete conclusions about the suspected shortage of aircraft mechanics given the absence of verifiable data on the number of mechanics entering or exiting the aviation industry each year, or the full extent of demand.
GAO made similar findings in two previous reports:
- GAO, Aviation Maintenance: Additional Coordination and Data Could Advance FAA Efforts to Promote a Robust, Diverse Workforce, GAO-20-206 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 6, 2020).
- Current and Future Availability of Aviation Engineering and Maintenance Professionals, GAO-14-237 (Washington D.C.: Feb. 28, 2014).
A January 2023 report, Not Enough Aviation Mechanics, published by Oliver Wyman found that the mechanic shortage is finally upon us. The forecast is based on responses to an Oliver Wyman survey from companies in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) segment of aviation and government data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States and Transport Canada. The data was then leveraged to create multiple forecast scenarios of how the industry might look over the next decade.
Airbus expects the services market to recover to pre pandemic levels in 2023 and to double in value over the next 20 years – from $95 billion today to over $230 billion in 2041, according to its 2022-2041 Global Services Forecast. The plane manufacturer reports higher than ever demand for skilled labour, including 585,000 new pilots, 875,000 new cabin crew and 640,000 new technicians over the next two decades.
The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas; national occupational estimates for specific industries are also available. Aviation maintenance-specific occupations include Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians (49-3011) and Avionics Technicians (49-2091). (Read about ATEC's efforts to streamline the way these occupations are classified to better reflect aviation maintenance occupations here.) BLS revised the data semiannually; the May 2022 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics data will be released on March 31, 2023.
My Next Move is an interactive tool for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options. My Next Move has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers, including "Aircraft Mechanics & Service Technicians" (which combines data from the BLS occupations 49-3011 and 49-2091, linked above). ATEC has taken issue with how the data is portrayed to job seekers, read more here.
Boeing’s 2023-2042 Pilot Technician Outlook comes as no surprise: the demand for qualified maintenance personnel is not easing anytime soon. Boeing projects a need for 690,000 maintenance technicians to support commercial carriers over the next two decades. That figure is a 12% increase over last year's forecast. See ATEC's full analysis at /news/the-2023-boeing-technician-outlook-a-closer-look.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association's Annual Global Fleet and MRO Market Forecast, prepared by Oliver Wyman, asserts that the current labor force is potentially too small to support aviation’s anticipated growth and that technician shortage concerns are expected to reappear in 2022 and beyond as industry market rebounds to pre-COVID levels.
The 2021 Aerospace and defense workforce study examined five key focus areas: A&D workforce demographic trends; diversity, equity and inclusiveness; reframing the future of work in the wake of COVID-19; winning the war for talent: how A&D companies are building a differentiated employee value proposition; and the employee and talent outlook. The study shows that 46% of the global A&D workforce is 46 or older, and engineering skills being the most valued in the sector.
A 2018 study commissioned by HAI projects a shortage of 7,469 helicopter pilots in the U.S. between 2018 and 2036. The deficit is even more concerning for maintenance technicians; the industry is projected to be short 40,613 certificated aviation mechanics by 2036
Oliver Wyman forecasts that by 2027 U.S. demand for maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 9%.