Georgia@Work: Savvy Students See Bright Future In Aerospace

September 14, 2017
A program instructor said more mechanics are needed (Source: WALB)
A program instructor said more mechanics are needed (Source: WALB)

By PARRISH WALTON, Georgia@Work Blogger

Remember back in May when we told you that the Aerospace industry was vital to Georgia’s economy? If you don’t, here’s the main takeaway of the story:

The Aerospace industry is one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets. According to WSBTV, there are more than 800 aerospace companies in Georgia, and they employ more than 99,000 Georgians. Those Georgia workers helped export more than $8 billion worth of planes and parts around the world, making it the state’s largest export.

Well, we followed up that piece by speaking with one of the experts at the High-Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) to talk about where those jobs are. Harrison Payne, an HDCI program specialist, had this to say.

Believe it or not, we need pilots. The law requires pilots to retire at age 65, and that number is rapidly approaching for a good chunk of the workforce. If you were looking for an exciting career that pays well, I would consider getting your wings. Technicians and mechanics are also in high demand. If you wanted an exciting look behind the scenes I would consider this as a career. With the level of technology going into these aircraft systems today, there will always be exciting jobs in this industry.

Jump ahead a few months and it seems as though some savvy students are taking Payne’s words to heart. South Georgia Technical College, part of the super-awesome Technical College System of Georgia we’re always telling you about, has an aviation program designed to get you into these in-need, dynamic fields.

Currently there are six aviation-centered programs:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician – Airframe
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Avionics Bench Technician
  • Avionics Maintenance Technology

WALB News reported there are currently 20 students taking advantage of SGT’s programs. Students are learning to be the mechanics that keep planes in the sky, and instructor Charles Christmas says the program will bring job stability.

“They’re great jobs. A student graduating with us is looking to earn $40,000 right after school,” said Christmas.

And after more than six years in the industry, Christmas said these future mechanics could possibly make up to six figures.

“That’s what the industry is paying now and it’s not going to let up anytime soon,” Christmas added.

This article was originally published as a part of GPB’s Georgia@Work blog.

To view the GPB article and learn more about the author, visit: