The shortage of skilled aviation maintenance technicians could cost the industry as much as $1.95 billion in unrealized revenues, according to statistics released by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA). Total economic loss was derived from multiplying the number of open positions—as reported by members via a survey—by $170,000, the average annual revenue generated per employee. Projected across the entire population of FAA-certified repair stations in the U.S., the number of vacant positions could reach 11,000, which equates to nearly $2 billion in lost economic activity, if left unfilled.
“These numbers are just a snapshot of how just one industry is being affected by the technical-worker shortage plaguing the U.S. economy,” said ARSA executive vice president Christian Klein. “Well-paying jobs in the high-tech aviation maintenance sector are going unfilled because workers aren’t available or candidates lack basic skills.”
That shortage has become a deep concern for maintenance providers, who identified difficulty finding and retaining technical talent as one of their “most-pressing risks to company business outlook” in the recent association survey.
“We hope lawmakers working career technical education policy on Capital Hill, including the recently introduced Perkins reauthorization bill, will keep the aviation industry in mind when crafting solutions,” stated Klein. “Expanding the base of eligible job candidates and better aligning school curricula with repair station needs will require greater industry engagement at the local, state and federal levels.”