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Program Details

Program specifics about earning an Aviation Maintenance Technology A.A.S. Degree at Northland.

Aviation Maintenance Technology concentrates on aircraft airframe and powerplant maintenance to prepare the student to test for certification as a Federal Aviation Administration airframe and powerplant mechanic. Students receive hands-on training in modern and well-equipped facilities. More than 20 aircraft, including a Boeing 727s, two DC-9s, a Sabreliner, a twin-engine turboprop Mitsubishi MU-2, a Bell 206 turbine-powered helicopter, as well as Piper, Cessna, and Beechcraft piston-powered aircraft, are used in the student’s training.

After completing this degree, students can transfer to a four-year institution to complete their Bachelor’s Degree requirements. Northland has articulation agreements with a number of area institutions, including the University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State University, Metropolitan State University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, and Winona State University.

Program Accreditation

Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Program Learner Outcomes

  1. Student will successfully pass the required FAA testing required of an Airframe and Power plant Mechanic.
  2. Student will utilize appropriate technology as it pertains to the aviation industry.
  3. Student will interpret various FAA Regulations that apply to maintenance in the aviation industry.
  4. Student will apply appropriate safety work habits and procedures.
  5. Student will apply principles of troubleshooting for various aircraft maintenance tasks.
  6. Student will demonstrate the proper use of hand tools appropriate to the industry.
  7. Student will use technical information provided by various aircraft manufacturers to perform aircraft maintenance.
  8. Student will document various maintenance tasks according to the FAA Regulations.
  9. Student will read and interpret technical information found in the aircraft records.
  10. Student will demonstrate the necessary skills to properly maintain an aircraft in an airworthy condition.

Articulation Agreements

Articulation Agreements are formal agreements between two or more colleges and universities to accept credits in transfer toward a specific academic program. Northland has articulation agreements in place with the following schools:

Mayville State UniversityBusiness AdministrationB.A.S.
Metropolitan State UniversityIndividualized StudiesB.A.
Minnesota State University – MoorheadOperations ManagementB.S.

Take a Virtual Tour

Can’t make it to Northland for a visit? Take a tour of our campus and experience Northland online.

Additional Program Resources


General Section

  • A & P General Section Textbook-Kit Item
  • A & P General Section Workbook-Kit Item
  • A & P General Section Study Guide-Kit Item
  • Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s) –Kit Item
  • AC43.13-1A/3-Kit Item
  • Standard Aviation Maintenance Handbook-Kit Item
  • General Test Guide

Airframe Section

  • A & P Airframe Section Textbook
  • A & P Airframe Section Workbook
  • A & P Airframe Section Test Guide
  • Airframe Test Guide

Powerplant Section

  • A & P Powerplant Section Textbook
  • A & P Powerplant Section Workbook
  • A & P Powerplant Section Study Guide
  • Powerplant Test Guide
  • Aircraft Gas Turbine Powerplant
  • Aircraft Gas Turbine Powerplant Workbook

Note: An individual instructor may require additional text books for their classes.


Northland holds a tool day the first week of the fall semester where tool kits may be purchased from many different vendors (Snap-on, Mac, Fastenal, etc.) at a great cost savings for the students. This is the minimum tool list and can be expanded on if desired.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Aviation Technology program is one of the nation’s outstanding vocational-technical programs.
  • Offering Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved training, Northland’s Aviation Campus is one of the nation’s most modern and complete facilities. Students worldwide gain hands-on experience to learn the skills necessary to keep aircraft in the air.
  • Today’s commercial air fleet is expanding, and the industry is investing huge amounts of money in maintenance! In addition, new federal regulations require even more upgrades in areas such as structural modifications and repair, in addition to aviation electronics. The maintenance field is projected to grow. This, combined with the number of people retiring from the field and the number of new graduates available yearly, means many new positions!

Where do your graduates find jobs?
Our graduates find jobs in all areas of the aviation industry, including:

  1. Fixed-base operations maintaining small general aviation aircraft
  2. Corporate flight departments
  3. Manufacturers such as Cirrus, Cessna, and Boeing
  4. Service centers for small and corporate aircraft
  5. Helicopter operators (oil, logging, medivac etc.)
  6. Regional airlines
  7. Major airlines

What will I spend on tools?
Students select the brand of tools they want to have. These include, but are not limited to, Craftsman, Snap-On, Mac, Proto, NAPA, S-K, Matco. We have a tool day at the beginning of the school year where students can compare the offers from some of these vendors. Some of the vendors have large discount prices for a “student package”. Prices vary widely between vendors, for a list of recommended vendors, please contact Lynn McGlynn at the aviation campus, 218-681-0829

What will housing cost?
Thief River Falls has low housing costs compared to larger cities, for a complete listing of available housing, and current housing rates, please contact Northland College.

How big is Thief River Falls?
The population of Thief River Falls is about 8,400 people.

Can I find part-time work?
Students find work in many different places, including retail stores, grocery stores, gas stations, manufacturers, and even local farms. Thief River Falls is a regional center where people from surrounding smaller communities come to do business, eat, and shop. Thief River Falls is the home of Arctic Cat snowmobiles and we also have a local Electronics Distributing Center-Digi Key.

What do tuition and fees cost?
For current tuition costs, please contact Lynn McGlynn at 800-959-6282.

How much “hands-on” work is there in the aviation maintenance program?
Overall, the program consists of approximately 1/3 classroom and 2/3 shop/hangar time. Some classes have more shop while others have less.

What will I work on in the shop?
Depending on the project, students work on aircraft and engine components, training boards, aircraft, and engines. We have a mixture of operational and static components.

What kind of aircrafts do you have?

Northland’s aviation program has:

  • Aero Commander 560
  • Beechcraft Bonanza
  • Beechcraft Queen Air
  • Boeing B727 (2)
  • Cessna L-19/O1 “Bird Dog”
  • Cessna 150L (2)
  • Cessna 172
  • Cessna 210
  • Cessna 310
  • Cessna 337
  • Cessna 421
  • Douglas DC-9 (2)
  • Mitsubishi MU-2
  • Piper PA-23-250 Aztec
  • Piper PA-25 Pawnee
  • Piper PA-28-151 Warrior
  • T-39 Sabreliner
  • UH-1 “Huey” helicopters (3)

  • 2020-23 Aviation Maintenance Technology–AAS
  • 2014-20 Aviation Maintenance Technology–AAS
  • 2011-14 Aviation Maintenance Technology–AAS
  • 2010-11 Aviation Maintenance Technology–AAS