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United Airlines Launches Calibrate Apprenticeship Program to Grow Technician Pipeline

United Airlines has launched ‘Calibrate’, an in-house apprenticeship program that will grow the carrier’s pipeline of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs). The first class starts next week in Houston, and the airline plans on training over 1,000 people by 2026.

United Launches 'Calibrate', an in-House Apprenticeship Program for Aircraft Maintenence Technicians - Courtesy United Airlines/PRNewswire

On Wednesday (November 2, 2022), United Airlines announced the launch of their new in-house Calibrate apprenticeship program for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs). The inaugural class will start next week in Houston, and the carrier plans on training over 1,000 people by 2026 at over a dozen locations. The 36-month Calibrate program allows participants to ‘earn and learn’, as they get paid while completing the full-time training and certification program, and since they are getting paid, they are able to forego the expense of attending a technical school, which can cost up to $50,000.

In Wednesday’s announcement, United Airlines’ Vice President of Line Maintenance, Rodney Leutzen, said,

“Calibrate is a great opportunity for people who are interested in pursuing a rewarding career as an aircraft technician but don't have the resources or support they need to attend traditional technical schools or colleges. This program will provide life-changing opportunities, help to diversify our workforce and give us access to an even bigger pool of talented, qualified, motivated people.”

United offers career onramps through entry-level positions, and several executives started off as aircraft mechanics, including the carrier’s current Vice President of Line Maintenance, Rodney Leutzen.

The Calibrate program will focus on helping apprentices gain the knowledge, skills and ability to obtain their airframe and powerplant (A&P) Certificate through both classroom and hands-on training. Participants will also be mentored by United’s world-class technicians. United Airlines currently has approximately 9,000 highly trained technicians worldwide, with top pay scale employees earning over $140,000 annually in combined wages and benefits. Currently, United employs Base Maintenance AMTs, Line Maintenance AMTs, and shop-based AMTs, along with other licensed professionals, at 50 locations worldwide. The carrier also plans on opening new line maintenance stations in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina later this year, and in Fort Myers-Southwest, Florida and in Nashville, Tennessee in early 2023.

United expects the second Calibrate class to start in early 2023 in Houston, and will then expand the program to over a dozen locations including San Francisco and Orlando. The airline will start accepting external applications in early 2023, and interested candidates can sign up to receive more information about Calibrate by clicking here.

Source: United Airlines/PRNewswire


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