If you love working with your hands, are great at troubleshooting and have good analytical skills, a successful career in Aeronautics Maintenance could be in your future!
About the Program
Our Aeronautics Maintenance Technology (AERO) program is one of our more popular programs. It is designed to prepare you for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airframe and Power Plant Maintenance certification and for employment in aviation maintenance careers. You’ll obtain knowledge and practical experience in such areas as hydraulics, sheet metal, electrical installation and troubleshooting, welding, the use of hand-held power tools, engine theory, troubleshooting and repair.
This is the only Aeronautics Maintenance Technology program of its kind in the Pacific Basin. Our Aeronautics Maintenance Department is also an approved aviation maintenance technician training facility operating under Federal Aviation Administration Air Agency Certificate No. DI9T087R with Airframe, Powerplant and combined Airframe and Powerplant ratings.
In addition, apprenticeships are available with Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Air Cargo if you have been in the AERO program for a minimum of 6 months or have military experience.
Program Learning Outcomes
Program Learning Outcomes are program goals that describe what you will gain from this learning experience. They are located in the program descriptions in the College Catalog.
Technical Standards describe some of the essential mental, physical, and behavioral skills that are necessary for successful participation in and completion of courses in this curriculum.
Function safely in a typical aircraft hangar.
Work for prolonged periods amidst: Extreme noise, Extreme heat, Sharp tools and materials, Electrical equipment, Chemicals and toxins, Dust and fumes, Machinery with moving parts, Moving objects and vehicles, Ladders and scaffolding, Slippery or uneven surfaces, Variations in lighting
In addition to the Tuition, other costs include:
- Textbooks, uniforms and a required tool kit: Approximately $2,500
- Apply to Honolulu Community College.
- Prerequisite: Placement in ENG 100 *, “C” or higher in MATH 25, OR Placement in MATH 103
- Recommended preparation before enrolling in the AERO 130-137 series: ICS 100
* If the MATH program prerequisite is met by Placement Test scores, students will need to complete MATH 103 or appropriate substitute in order to meet the requirements for the AS degree.
1. Will the AERO program prepare you for a career?
Yes! Our graduates begin working on aircraft immediately out of school. Students who complete their Certificate of Achievement are also ready to take the exam for their A & P or Airframe and Powerplant Certificate. Those students who elect to receive their Associates Degree will often move in to management positions.
2. Where have graduates been able to get jobs in the past?
Many of our graduates have picked up jobs as Aviation Mechanics or Technicians at the Boeing Flight Test Division, Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Cargo, United Airlines, FAA, military contract maintenance, local general aviation and cargo companies, and Gulfstream. Also, because of their experience with turbine engines our graduates often pick up employment with companies such as Hawaiian Electric.
3. Is the AERO program easy?
No. In fact, it is one of the most difficult programs offered at Honolulu Community College. As a result, it is strongly suggested that students do not take any other general education while taking major courses.
4. When and where are the AERO classes offered?
Our AERO courses are offered Monday through Friday from 7:00am until 2:15pm at the Airport Training Center at 140 Iako Place off of Lagoon Drive near the airport.
5. What are the program prerequisites?
Placement into ENG 100, or ENG 100 with ENG 100S or ESL 23 and placement in MATH 103.
6. What courses should you take if you do not meet the program prerequisites or if the first semester AERO courses (AERO 130 & 131) are not available?
You should definitely take the courses that lead up to English 100 and at a minimum Math 103. But to keep up a full time schedule you can also take Speech 151 and any of the Natural Sciences or Social Sciences listed as options on the AERO Graduation Checklist.
7. How often are the first semester AERO courses (AERO 130 & 131) offered?
These courses are currently offered every fall.
8. What can a student do to succeed in the program?
It is strongly suggested that each student become involved in a study group. The FAA requires that all students learn such a large amount of material within a relatively short period of time that joining a study group really becomes a must do to do well in each of the major courses. Students should also get to know how to read each individual aircraft’s maintenance manuals.
9. What is the best way for a new student to prepare for their 1st semester?
New students can pick up their textbooks from the bookstore and become familiar with them. They can also attend the AERO Orientation. This orientation will take place shortly after AERO 130 & 131 fills. You will be contacted with the exact date and time but in the meantime be sure that Honolulu Community College has your correct contact information.
10. Should new students come to the 1st class prepared with their tools?
No, further instruction concerning tools and other supplies will be given on the first day. However, you should come dressed wearing long pants and close toed shoes.
11. What are the AERO courses like?
The courses are challenging. In fact, all of the classes have exams at least once a week. But the great thing about them is that the classes are hands on and they provide you the opportunity to work on both engines and the fuselage of more than half a dozen different airplanes and helicopters.
12. If you take a break from college, can you follow the old program requirements or do you have to follow the current requirements?
If your break from Honolulu community college has been less than one year, you can follow the old requirements. If your break has been one year or more, see an academic counselor.
13. Are there any apprenticeships available?
Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with Honolulu Community College and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union to create an apprenticeship program designed to train local candidates interested in the aeronautic maintenance career. Students interested in this apprenticeship must have been in the AERO program for a minimum of six months or have military experience. To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hawaiianairlines.com/careers.
14. Are there any scholarships that AERO students can apply for?
There are a number of scholarships that students, who are involved in the trades, such as the AERO program, can apply for. Some of these scholarships include:
The Ngo Wong Loo & Man Kwong Loo Memorial Scholarship
Loui “Tools of the Trade” Scholarship
Feng Yi Fong Scholarship Fund for Career & Technical Education
Hawaii Veterans Memorial Fund
Charles Hemenway Scholarship
There is also the Non-Traditional scholarship which is available for students who are admitted into a program (such as AERO) that is customarily dominated by members of the opposite sex.
15. After earning the Associate’s degree in AERO, can you continue on for a bachelor’s degree in the aeronautics maintenance field at a four-year university?
The usual path for someone with a desire to get a four year degree would be to complete as much as they can in the UH system, such as an AS degree in maintenance, then see where they would like to go for the four year maintenance management degree.
According to the catalog, the following 4-year degree programs accept AERO 130-137 for advanced standing credit towards a BS in Aeronautics Maintenance Management or other related degrees:
- University of Central Missouri
- San Jose State University
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- University of North Dakota
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Parks College of St. Louis University
- Purdue University
- Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
- Central Washington University
- Kent State University
- Lewis University
- Metropolitan State College of Denver
- Utah State University.
A complete listing can be obtained through the University Aviation Association or the FAA. A student can then check which courses would articulate with the four year degree program that they might take here in the UH system to save some money, then transfer to finish out at the four year institution once they have completed what they can, or at whatever point they want to make the switch.
Many of our Aeronautics Maintenance Technology graduates have gone on to careers in the occupations listed below:
Visit the Hawaii Career Explorer website for more information.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
First, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if you are eligible for financial assistance which may help to cover your tuition and any additional costs. For more information about Financial Aid and FAFSA, visit Financial Aid Overview.
Next, see if you may qualify for Scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of merit, academic performance, and/or financial need. View the Scholarships page for available scholarships.