Can You Be an Aircraft Mechanic with a Felony?

For individuals with a felony conviction, pursuing a career in aviation might seem like an impossible dream. However, the reality is more nuanced than a simple yes or no answer. In this article, we will explore the possibilities and challenges of becoming an aircraft mechanic with a felony on your record.

Understanding the Role of an Aircraft Mechanic

Before delving into the implications of a felony conviction, it’s crucial to understand the responsibilities of an aircraft mechanic. These professionals are tasked with inspecting, maintaining, and repairing aircraft to ensure they operate safely and efficiently. They play a critical role in aviation safety, and their work directly impacts the well-being of passengers and crew.

The Impact of a Felony Conviction

While a felony conviction can pose challenges in many professions, including aviation, it does not necessarily disqualify you from becoming an aircraft mechanic. However, it can significantly impact your ability to secure employment in this field.

FAA Regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees the certification and regulation of aircraft mechanics in the United States. According to FAA regulations, individuals with certain felony convictions may be disqualified from obtaining an aircraft mechanic certificate.

Background Checks

Employers in the aviation industry typically conduct thorough background checks on prospective employees, including criminal history screenings. A felony conviction may raise concerns for employers regarding your trustworthiness, reliability, and ability to adhere to safety protocols.

Employer Policies

Each employer has its own hiring policies and procedures, which may vary in terms of their stance on hiring individuals with felony convictions. Some employers may have strict policies against hiring individuals with certain types of felonies, while others may be more lenient.

Navigating the Challenges

While the presence of a felony conviction can present hurdles in pursuing a career as an aircraft mechanic, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of success.


Demonstrating rehabilitation and a commitment to turning your life around can mitigate concerns employers may have about your criminal history. This may involve completing education or vocational training programs, participating in counseling or therapy, and maintaining a positive track record since your conviction.

Full Disclosure

Being transparent about your criminal history during the application process is essential. Attempting to conceal or misrepresent your past can result in immediate disqualification from consideration and damage your reputation in the industry.

Seeking Legal Advice

If you’re uncertain about how your felony conviction may impact your ability to become an aircraft mechanic, seeking guidance from a legal professional experienced in aviation law can provide valuable insights and advice.

While a felony conviction can present challenges in pursuing a career as an aircraft mechanic, it does not necessarily preclude you from achieving your goals. By understanding the potential implications, taking proactive steps to address concerns, and demonstrating your commitment to professionalism and safety, you can enhance your prospects of success in this rewarding field.

Training and Education Requirements

Before becoming an aircraft mechanic, individuals must complete specific training and educational requirements. These typically include obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent and completing a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved aviation maintenance technician school or program.

Hands-On Experience

In addition to formal education, gaining hands-on experience through internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions can greatly enhance your skills and employability as an aircraft mechanic. Employers often value practical experience and may prioritize candidates with a demonstrated ability to perform maintenance tasks effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer
Are there any alternatives to becoming an aircraft mechanic with a felony? While the presence of a felony conviction may pose challenges, there are alternative career paths within the aviation industry that individuals with criminal records may explore. These include roles in aircraft manufacturing, avionics installation and repair, aircraft painting, and aircraft parts fabrication.
Can I expunge my felony conviction to improve my chances? Expungement laws vary by jurisdiction, and not all felony convictions are eligible for expungement. However, if you’re eligible, expunging your felony conviction can demonstrate to employers that you’ve taken steps to rehabilitate and move forward from your past mistakes. It’s advisable to consult with a qualified attorney to explore your options.
How long does it take to become a certified aircraft mechanic? The time it takes to become a certified aircraft mechanic can vary depending on factors such as the type of training program you choose, your prior experience, and your ability to pass the required FAA exams. Generally, completing an FAA-approved training program can take anywhere from 18 months to two years.

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