United Airlines is launching an in-house airframe and power plant (A&P) apprenticeship program that will train more than 1,000 people by 2026, the airline announced today. The inaugural class under the Calibrate program will start training next week in Houston.
In a 36-month-long training program, Calibrate apprentices will be paid while working toward gaining their A&P certificate through hands-on and classroom training. Calibrate is a joint effort between United, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the FAA, with the goal of not only improving the technician pipeline but also helping to diversify its technician ranks to include women and people of color.
“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,” said United v-p of line maintenance Rodney Luetzen. “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.”
The airline expects to start a second class in early 2023 in Houston, with plans to expand it to more than a dozen locations including in San Francisco and Orlando, Florida. About 9,000 aircraft technicians work for United globally with combined wages and benefits totaling more than $140,000 at the top of the pay scale.