Aircraft Maintenance Engineer FAQ

Who are Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs)?

Aircraft Maintenance Engineers are aircraft mechanics licenced by Transport Canada to certify aircraft maintenance. AMEs certify all work carried out on an aircraft by signing a maintenance release. In Canada, only an AME can sign a maintenance release for work performed on an aircraft. The AME licence is a federal qualification, and as such, is honoured across Canada with no provincial restrictions. The AME licence applies to fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

Who should become an AME?

People with an interest in aviation, a mechanical background, and a strong sense of responsibility make the best AMEs. Any mechanical work a person has done on machinery, including heavy equipment, automotive, recreational vehicles, and marine is an asset.

What is an AME job like?

Combined with an extensive knowledge of aircraft fundamentals, an AME uses hand tools, inspection aids, and troubleshooting tools to maintain aircraft in a safe condition. It’s a hands-on job carried out in hangars, shops, and outdoors on the flight-line. There are a great many different jobs available to AMEs, ranging from flight-line maintenance to heavy overhaul of large and small aircraft. Employers range from small specialty shops and air taxi operators to larger regional and national air carriers.

What is an AME “M” licence?

The AME licence is broken down into major categories, M, E and S. The AME “M” licence is an aircraft category licence that enables the holder to sign maintenance releases all types of maintenance carried out on an aircraft. AME “M” is the licence category that Red River College currently offers training in. It is the most flexible and wide ranging AME licence category. AME “E’ category is a specialty licence rated for avionics, and AME “S” is a specialty licence rated for aircraft structures.

Which RRC Stevenson Campus programs lead to an AME Licence?
What other studies or careers might AME training lead to?

The primary purpose of our AME training is to enable graduates to become licenced AMEs. The AME qualification leads to positions such as Director of Maintenance, Person Responsible for Maintenance (PRM), Quality Assurance Manager, Maintenance Planner, Maintenance Supervisor, or Base Engineer. Many RRC AME grads hold these aircraft maintenance management positions – their starting point was basic training leading to an AME licence.

How do I earn an AME Licence?

The requirements are:

Approved Basic Training – RRC Stevenson Campus delivers Transport Canada Approved Basic Training in all of the AME programs. Upon graduation with approved status, you have fulfilled the Transport Canada approved basic training requirement for an AME licence.

Work Experience – 48 months aircraft maintenance experience are required to obtain an AME “M” licence. Graduates of our AME Diploma Program receive a 19 month experience credit, leaving a remainder of 29 months required. Graduates of Aircraft Maintenance Journeyperson have met the experience requirement at the end of their four year program.

Skill – Transport Canada measures skill by reviewing tasks that you’ve carried out on the job and documented in an AME logbook.

Regulatory Exam – Potential AMEs must successfully complete a Canadian Aviation Regulations exam delivered by Transport Canada.