December 7, 2021

Middle Tennesse State University

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Maintenance management, the portion of the aerospace business that maintains planes flying, is an important facet of the industry. This emphasis prepares students to work as practicing maintenance technicians or as entry-level managers at aircraft repair stations or other types of enterprises involving aircraft production, maintenance, or modification. Learning about related components such as materials, particularly modern composites, and how to repair and inspect those materials is part of the field. The core abilities required in aerospace vehicle repair and maintenance, as well as management skills for such occupations, are emphasized. MTSU is a FAR Part 147 maintenance technician school recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airframe and powerplant mechanics.

Students receive training on the turbofan engine, which is used in the majority of commercial aircraft.

For students in MTSU's Maintenance Management program, learning how to operate on airplane engines is a serious business. When Southwest Airlines donated a turbofan engine similar to the ones "which rule the sky today in terms of commercial transportation," stated Bill Allen, associate professor, when the extraordinary gift was announced. The engines are manufactured by CFM International and weigh around 4,300 pounds with a thrust range of 18,500 to 34,000 pounds of force. More than 30,000 engines have been made since the engines' introduction in 1974. Allen stated that this was a nice addition to the Murfreesboro Airport training center because "we don't have any engines with these types of systems, advanced as they are." He thanks Southwest and alumnus Chad Rhyne, who works for the airline and made the initial contact to see if MTSU was interested. Students in the program are more than interested—they're ecstatic because it will help them get a job. "This is real-world experience right here," Jeremy Lacy, a senior, adds.

Graduate claims that a superior curriculum lead him to a dream job at a dream firm.

"When I was growing up in Brentwood, I knew I had a thing for airplanes." To me, a trip to the airport meant everything. "I started exploring aviation vocations and aviation universities while I was in high school at Brentwood High School," recalls James Blackburn, who graduated from MTSU in 2013. He claims that his investigation led him to the discovery that "I had one of the greatest aviation departments in the country less than an hour away!" He considered the five concentrations available, but "since I liked playing around, I picked aeronautical maintenance management." During his studies, he adds, "it was clear that MTSU's faculty, resources, and reputation were beyond world class." Blackburn claims he was prepared "to work for the company of my dreams, Southwest Airlines," and credits his readiness to the exceptional training he got. I was fortunate enough to get hired as an intern at their corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The internship resulted in a full-time position, and I am now an apprentice aviation maintenance technician. I would not have been prepared for anything they threw at me if it hadn't been for MTSU."


Employers all over the world recognize MTSU's Maintenance Management focus within the Aerospace major as an excellent program that generates top-tier graduates. While graduates' career paths are likely to include managerial level positions in aircraft maintenance, entry-level maintenance technician job opportunities include:

  • Airline maintenance
  • Maintenance of corporate aircraft operators
  • Engineer for an aircraft factory
  • Technicians in airplane repair shops
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Middle Tennesse State University

1301 E Main St, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, United States
(615) 898-2300

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