Aviation Maintenance Engineer

The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) and SAE Institute Aviation Maintenance Engineer (AME) certification turns one this month.

By my count there are some seventy individuals that have earned the post-nominal letters of AME.

To get you in the line of thought, take a look at this explanation:

Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, often called simply certification or qualification, is a designation earned by a person to assure qualification to perform a job or task. Many certifications are used as post-nominal letters indicating an earned privilege from an oversight professional body acting to safeguard the public interest.

Certifications are earned from a Professional society and, in general, must be renewed periodically, or may be valid for a specific period of time (e.g., the life-time of the product upon which the individual is certified). As a part of a complete renewal of an individual's certification, it is common for the individual to show evidence of continued learning — often termed continuing education — or earning continuing education units (CEU).

It is important to note that certifications are usually earned from a professional society, not the government. If a demonstration of ability or knowledge is required by law before being allowed to perform a task or job, this is referred to as licensure. In the United States, professional licenses are usually issued by state agencies. The assessment process is often similar, even the same; certification and licensure differ only in terms of legal status.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Notice the mention of "earned from a professional society, not the government."  Unlike the European system of certifying journeymen, an FAA certificated mechanic with Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) ratings is the government's statement that you are an official apprentice in the field...you know, a "license to learn!"

Why pursue professional certification? 

  • Demonstrates commitment to our profession
  • Demonstrates knowledge in our profession

The AME Body of Knowledge encompasses the following areas:

Overall view of maintenance operations; General familiarization with aircraft; Inspection; Aircraft materials; Tools and measuring devices; Technical data; Human factors and safety awareness; Regulations and regulatory bodies; Documentation; Common shop practice

Unlike most FAA exams, there is no question pool to memorize, so you actually have to read, comprehend and formulate an answer to the questions.


So what do you think?  Why or why not pursue professional certification?

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With the split of PAMA and SAE the future of the AME certification program is uncertain.

You'll note all of the certification information has been removed from the PAMA and Jet Blast Network sites.

I asked PAMA leadership and was told that discussions are on going and that it may be a month or two before a decision will be made.