Technical College Expands Aircraft Technician Program

An upstate technical college is expanding one of its programs to help address what it calls a global shortage. Greenville Technical College instructors say the demand for aircraft maintenance technicians is higher than they’ve ever seen. 2001,” said Carl Washburn, aircraft maintenance program instructor at Greenville Tech. “We didn’t know if the program was even going to last.” Washburn says they are adding a second cohort to their aircraft maintenance program in January. He says they had to turn people away from the program in the fall because it filled up so quickly. He says the industry is exploding and hiring faster than it can train students. “Companies are starting to complain,” Washburn said. “It’s starting to cut into their profits because they can’t find technicians to fix the planes.” According to a 2022 Boeing report, the company expects a demand for 610,000 new maintenance technicians over the next two decades. business owner with my father,” said Ahmed Obaid, a second-year student in the program. “But I’ve done it all my life and I knew it wasn’t something I could count on. So, that being said, I just needed something that I could have a steady income with and doing what I love the most, and that’s mechanics.” Instructors say the two-year program gives students intense hands-on training. Once students complete the training, required hours and testing, Washburn says they are able to slip right into a job. aviation anyway, so I think that’s more what drove me to it is that I’ve always had a passion for it,” said Kyle Leapard, a sophomore from the program. Washburn says his students were able to start their careers making an average of $26 an hour for a variety of different airlines and positions. “I’m not 100% sure where exactly I want to go,” said freshman Julia Jackson. “If I’m going to work on small planes or go somewhere that runs on engines.” Washburn says they are working with Clemson University to offer online classes for high school students who want to start the two-year program early. “If you can name an airline, someone hires our students,” Washburn said. “I get calls from Wisconsin and Wyoming all over the country, looking to hire techs. Everybody’s running out of techs.” the Greenville Tech campus at 915b Perimeter Road.

An upstate technical college is expanding one of its programs to help address what it calls a global shortage.

Greenville Technical College instructors say the demand for aircraft maintenance technicians is higher than they’ve ever seen.

“I remember when I started in 2001,” said Carl Washburn, an aircraft maintenance program instructor at Greenville Tech. “We didn’t know if the program was even going to last.”

Washburn says they are adding a second cohort to their aircraft maintenance program in January. He says they had to turn people away from the program in the fall because it filled up so quickly.

He says the industry is exploding and hiring faster than it can train students.

“Companies are starting to complain,” Washburn said. “It’s starting to cut into their profits because they can’t find technicians to fix the planes.”

According to a 2022 Boeing report, the company expects a demand for 610,000 new maintenance technicians over the next two decades.

“I was a full-time business owner with my father,” said Ahmed Obaid, a second-year student in the program. “But I’ve done it all my life and I knew it wasn’t something I could count on. So, that being said, I just needed something that I could have a steady income with and doing what I love the most, and that’s mechanics.”

Instructors say the two-year program gives students intense hands-on training. Once students complete the training, required hours and testing, Washburn says they are able to slip right into a job.

“It was something I had in my heart for a long time that I wanted to do and I talked about aviation anyway, so I think that’s more what pushed me towards it, it’s is that I’ve always had a passion for it,” Kyle Leapard, a sophomore in the program said.

Washburn says his students were able to start their careers earning an average of $26 an hour for a variety of different airlines and positions.

“I’m not 100% sure where exactly I want to go,” freshman Julia Jackson said. “If I’m going to work on small planes or go to a place that works on engines.”

Washburn says they are working with Clemson University to offer online classes for high school students who want to start the two-year program early.

“If you can name an airline, someone hires our students,” Washburn said. “I get calls from Wisconsin and Wyoming all over the country, looking to hire techs. Everybody’s running out of techs.”

Washburn says they are hosting an open house for prospective students on Nov. 10 from 5-7 p.m. on the Greenville Tech campus at 915b Perimeter Road.

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