The Aviation Technical Operations (Tech Ops) program is a Bachelor of Science program that prepares students to enter aircraft maintenance, repair, manufacturing, and other positions in the aerospace industry. The curriculum focuses on aircraft structures, power plants, avionics, system design, testing and inspection. The skills and knowledge coupled with a solid academic foundation prepares students for employment in a wide range of aircraft maintenance, manufacturing, and aviation support careers. The Bachelor of Science degree prepares graduates for leadership and management roles further in their career. Western Michigan University graduates are among managers, directors, and executives of aerospace companies worldwide.
Students in the Aviation Technical Operations program receive hands-on experience with a variety of aircraft at the College of Aviation. Training will begin on small, single-engine, general aviation aircraft, such as a Cessna 172 and 182. By learning the basic principles on general aviation aircraft, students are then able to apply the skills that are learned to larger aircraft. Western Michigan University has multiple aircraft used for maintenance training, including a Beechcraft Baron and King Air, IAI Westwind, and a Boeing 727.
Western Michigan University is a Federal Aviation Regulation—FAR—Part 147 Aviation Technical Operations school. Upon completing the program, students qualify to take the examinations for the FAA mechanics license with airframe and powerplant ratings, which are considered to be the industry standard of aviation technical knowledge. The examinations consist of written, oral, and practical exams by a designated FAA examiner.
Graduates of the Western Michigan University Tech Ops program are highly regarded and sought after by the aviation industry. After graduation, graduates hold positions with airlines, corporate flight operations, manufacturers, government agencies, third party maintenance organizations, and fixed base operators. Students participate in internships with local aircraft repair organizations, airlines, corporate flight operations, and in WMU’s fleet maintenance facility. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, these are some of the common organizations that alumni work for and graduates are advised to explore all possible career options.