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What is an aircraft maintenance engineer’s salary?

What is an aircraft maintenance engineer’s salary?

Here we compare engineer salaries across the board, along with some ways you can increase your pay.

Written by Jack Stratten

What is an aircraft maintenance engineer’s salary?

An aircraft maintenance engineer’s salary is tricky to pinpoint for a number of different reasons – but as a rough guide, the average UK salary is somewhere between £33,000 and £40,000 a year.

This average would apply to someone with plenty of experience – the starting salary is far lower in most cases. There are many different employers, and many different levels of seniority in this role.

Here’s a guide to aircraft maintenance engineer salaries, the factors that influence them, and how they vary at different levels.

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Starting salaries

The starting salary for a maintenance engineer is normally between £20,000 and £26,000 a year.

However, this can differ depending on your qualifications. Category A licenced line maintenance certifying mechanics might earn slightly less than Category B licenced base maintenance certifying technicians. That’s reflected in the Category B licence taking longer to achieve, and your duties typically carrying a bit more responsibility.

Employers can pay very different starting salaries too. British Airways, for example, typically offer a starting salary in excess of £30,000. Much like if you’re a pilot, the airline you choose to work or train with can have a big impact on your pay packet.

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Top-end pay

At the other end of the salary scale, the biggest earners in this field can achieve excellent remuneration.

Engineers with 5-10 years of experience can expect to earn around £40,000 or more – but those with even more experience can achieve salaries upwards of £55,000 a year.

Salaries of £65,000 to £70,000 a year for the very best maintenance engineers aren’t unheard of.

At these higher levels, it’s likely that your role will become more supervisory. To reach this level, you’ll not only need many years of experience but some specialist skills and qualifications you’ve picked up along the way.

So, to keep moving up the pay-scale, it’s vital that you take any opportunity to refine your skills with more training and further accreditations.

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Bonuses and benefits

Bonuses are common in this field of work, especially if you have lots of experience. The size of bonuses offered varies greatly, but they’re especially generous among higher-end airlines or companies that own and maintain private aircraft.

As for other benefits, this varies according to the employer. Basic pensions are always provided and more generous ones aren’t uncommon. These tend to match whatever is offered by the employer to other types of staff.

Overtime and other financial benefits are also frequently offered as part of job offers, making it very important to carefully weigh up every role you assess before you apply.

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How else can your career develop?

Although being an aircraft maintenance engineer offers a solid career path and a very reliable salary, it also offers a foundation to build a career that can head off in many other directions.

Along the way, you might choose to specialise in systems, aerodynamics, avionics or materials. Equally, you might choose to become a composite engineer, aerodynamics engineer, airworthiness engineer, stress engineer or communications engineer.

If, for example, you choose to become an airworthiness engineer, you’ll see the average salary increase to around £55,000 a year. That’s because in this role it will be your responsibility to ensure aircraft are fit to fly and comply with all relevant aviation regulations. That’s a great deal of responsibility – and it’s generally rewarded with higher pay.

It’s also common for aircraft maintenance engineers to become teachers, lecturers or supervisors. You’ll find these roles with airlines but also at universities and colleges. And once again, you can expect far higher average salaries.

Finally, evidence suggests that aviation engineers with postgraduate degrees and specialist qualifications tend to earn more than those who don’t. So, studying along the way and enriching your skills at every opportunity really will pay off.

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Boost your pay packet by finding a new role

Anecdotally it’s been suggested that aviation engineering is one of the fastest-growing specialist engineering careers in the UK.

It offers a solid starting salary, consistent pay growth, and lots of opportunities for developing new skills and progressing your career. The starting and average salaries also compare favourably to other engineering specialisms, including civil engineering and electrical engineering.

But ultimately, to keep your career – and your pay packet – moving in the right direction, it’s vital that you keep an eye out for new positions.

And on that note, you can find the very latest roles here

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