United Airlines announced on November 2nd that it would launch Calibrate, an Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) program. This program will incorporate an in-house AMT apprenticeship. It plans to use this resource to create a fluid pipeline for AMTs to work for United. It hopes to train more than 1,000 qualified AMTs by 2026. The airline plans to have 50% of these students be women or people of color. The first program will be opened next week in Houston.

AMT apprenticeship

Calibrate will include a 36-month program that will take students with zero experience and prepare them to be AMTs on United’s fleet of Boeing and Airbus Aircraft. The airline’s 36-month program is referred to as an “earn and learn” program. This program will allow students to get paid while completing the full-time training curriculum. The tuition will be covered by United as well. The airline claims this will save students upwards of $50,000.

United Airlines aircraft on taxiway

Photo: Denver International Airport

The program will focus on helping students meet the minimum requirements to obtain the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) A&P certificate. The training will include both classroom lectures and hands-on experience. All participants will be mentored by currently employed United aircraft technicians. United Airlines’ Vice President of Line Maintenance, Rodney Luetzen, shared how the Calibrate program will benefit the airline and the program’s participants. Luetzen stated,

“Calibrate is a great opportunity for people who are interested in pursuing a rewarding career as an aircraft technician but don’t have the resources or support they need to attend traditional technical schools or colleges,”This program will provide life-changing opportunities, help to diversify our workforce and give us access to an even bigger pool of talented, qualified, motivated people.”

Joint effort

The United Calibrate program is a part of a three-party partnership. The joint effort, spearheaded by United, was made in association with the FAA and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The three parties anticipate that the program will accelerate the path for many to become United AMTs while growing the ranks of Facility Technicians and Ground Service Equipment Mechanics. The partnership plans to open over a dozen additional locations in the coming years. The first of which will be in San Francisco in early 2023.

United Airlines Boeing 757 in snow at airport

Photo: Denver International Airport

The President of the IBT, Sean O’Brien, has shared the organization’s approval and enthusiasm for the program. O’Brien stated,

“The Airline Division has done an excellent job of promoting the Aviation Maintenance Technician craft,”This program creates the diversity that the Teamsters are known for and will provide great jobs for not only our current Teamster members, but also the next generation.”

Growing demand

The decision to start the program comes as the aviation industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified aircraft mechanics. United Airlines currently has over 9,000 mechanics spread across the globe at over 50 locations. These 9,000 are not enough to entirely meet the airlines’ demand. It is actively recruiting new AMTs in hopes that with the 1,000 it plans to train through Calibrate, it will manage to fill all needed roles. This is good news for those looking to become aircraft mechanics. The high demand has driven wages up significantly, with the highest-paid mechanics at United making over $140,000 per year with benefits included.

What do you think of this new AMT apprenticeship? Let us know in the comments below.

  • United-Airlines-Boeing-777-300(ER)--1

    United Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Scott Kirby

    United States

Source: simpleflying.com

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