Certificated AMTs: What Will Encourage More Women to Become Aviation Maintenance Technicians?

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Gail Y. Rouscher


This paper examines practices that are used in STEM fields to attract women. According to the FAA, the estimated active mechanic certificates held as of December 31, 2020 was 306,301. Of those 306,301, it is estimated that 7,860, or 2.5%, were held by women. In 2009, there were 329,027 active mechanics certificates held, and 6,980 or 2.1% were held by women. There was a steady growth of certificated women mechanics from 2009 through 2015 – growing from 2.1% to 2.5%, respectively. In 2016, there was a drop to 2.3%. The percentage for 2017 and 18 was 2.4%. In 2019, the number increased from 2.4% to 2.5%, with a slight increase to 2.56% in 2020. With the increased need for AMTs, it is imperative to determine best practices for engaging women in Science, Technology Engineering, Aviation, and Math (STEAM) fields. There is limited data available specific to women in the aviation maintenance fields. What is known is that in 2018, women earned more than half of all bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering fields. Women earned 42.3% of bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and statistics and 22.2% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering in 2018. Conversely, in 2018, the number of certificated women aviation mechanics was 2.4%. What is drawing women to the fields of mathematics, statistics, and engineering? Can those methods be successful in attracting women to the field of aviation maintenance? Examining the tactics used in STEM disciplines may lead to successful practices to increase the number of women AMTs.

Article Details

Author Biography

Gail Y. Rouscher, Western Michigan University College of Aviation

Gail Rouscher earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Higher Education at Western Michigan University. Dr. Rouscher is a U. S. Naval Veteran and holds an A & P certificate. Dr. Rouscher has more than 25 years of aviation maintenance training and experience encompassing military, cargo, and corporate aircraft.  Dr. Rouscher has been a member of the faculty for Western Michigan Universities College of Aviation since 2008 and is an Assitant Professor.  Dr. Rouscher teaches in the Part 147 program with a focus on aviation structures and composites in addition to teaching courses for all majors in the college.


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