Pat Napolitano Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Aviation Technicians

The Pat Napolitano Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Technicians is designed to help graduating high school seniors and current college students get the education they need to become successful aircraft maintenance technicians.

The scholarship is in memory of Pat Napolitano, Fleet Support Representative and Staggerwing Pilot for Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics.

With more than 4,500 hours of flight time and 30 years of aviation experience, Pat was both an exceptional pilot and skilled aircraft technician. His passion for aviation is the inspiration behind the Pat Napolitano Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Technicians. Through this scholarship, Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics hopes to inspire the next generation of aviators.

Pat Napolitano Memorial Scholarship Details

Award Amount

Award Frequency


  • Current college students and graduating high school seniors pursuing or planning to pursue their aviation technician certification may apply for this scholarship.
  • There is no residency requirement for this scholarship, but preference will be given to U.S. citizens.
  • There is no minimum GPA requirement for this scholarship.

Application Requirements
Applicants must include the following with their scholarship application:

  • High school or college transcripts
  • A 300-word essay discussing aviation technologies (details below)

Application Deadline
Applications for the 2023-24 school year can be submitted until midnight April 1, 2023.

Why Study Aviation Maintenance Technology?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), their Air Traffic Organization (ATO) serves more than 43,000 flights and 2.6 million passengers across more than 29 million square miles of airspace. The safety of those passengers depends on skilled aviation technicians who are responsible for the maintenance and care of these extraordinary aircraft.

Aviation technicians are in high demand and must be passionate, driven and capable of handling new challenges with confidence and dedication. Beyond these qualities, aspiring aircraft mechanics must also have specialized training to pursue a career in this field.

Job Growth in the Aviation Maintenance Industry

In their 2018 Pipeline Report, the Aviation Technician Education Council projects that the mechanic population will decrease 5% over the next 15 years. As aviation technicians retire, new entrants make up only 2% of the population annually, despite nearly 30% of the aviation workforce being at or near retirement age.

The report also highlights the U.S. government expects a need for thousands of additional aircraft mechanics over the next two decades. If current retirement rates continue, there will be a significant increase in demand for graduates from accredited aircraft maintenance programs.

Where Do Aviation Technicians Work?

Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMT) or aircraft mechanics work in airports, airfields, hangars, aircraft repair stations or for aircraft manufacturers.

Top Locations for Aircraft Mechanics
Aircraft technicians are in high demand across the country. According to 2017 estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top five U.S. states for aircraft mechanic and service technician employment are:

How to Become an Aircraft Mechanic or Maintenance Technician

To be an aircraft mechanic, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be proficient in English (i.e. read, write, speak and understand the language)
  • Possess 30 months of experience to qualify for certification with the FAA. If you complete a program at a Part 147 FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school, you can substitute this experience requirement.

After reaching the minimum experience requirements or successfully completing an aircraft maintenance program, aspiring aircraft mechanics are eligible to take the written examination. They then have 24 calendar months to complete the FAA oral and practical examinations. Aircraft mechanics can complete tests for their airframe (A) certification, power-plant (P) certification, or both A&P.

Do I Need an FAA Certificate to Become an Aircraft Mechanic?

You do not need a certificate to become an aircraft mechanic and can meet the experience requirement through civilian or military on-the-job training. Without a certificate, however, you must work under the supervision of a certified aircraft mechanic and cannot approve equipment for return to service. In order to move up the ranks in this industry, a certificate may translate to quicker promotion and higher pay.

How Much Does Aircraft Mechanic School Cost?

The tuition cost for an aviation maintenance program depends on whether you complete a 2-year or 4-year program.

According to CollegeCalc, the average tuition for Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Technology programs are:

Submit Your Application for the 2023-2024 School Year

Through the Pat Napolitano Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Technicians, students can offset this educational cost and jumpstart their career in this exciting field.