Waco Aviation Maintenance

(WACO, Texas) – Heather Scoggins, of Nevada, Texas, is an associate degree student in the Aircraft Powerplant Technology program at Texas State Technical College in Waco. She has already completed requirements for an associate degree in Aircraft Airframe Technology and is scheduled to graduate later this year.

Scoggins recently talked about her experiences in the two aviation maintenance programs.

How did you become interested in TSTC?

I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life and how to achieve the goals I set out for myself. I did a Google search and found TSTC.

How did you become interested in aviation maintenance?

I fell in love with planes when I took my first trip on an airplane to California. Originally I wanted to fly (as a pilot), but when I thought about it, I was not sure if that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to figure out how the planes work. I thought it would be fulfilling for me.

What have you found challenging in the programs?

I had zero mechanical skill or aptitude before coming here. I had to learn which tools are what, how they work and when to use them. It seemed like a lot of other students had some other mechanical experience by working on their cars or growing up around that. 

What have you enjoyed about learning aviation maintenance?

I like getting dirty and greasy. I have enjoyed learning this semester about the engines and how they work. The instructors have patience, and they will work with you. You get from the program what you put in.

What surprised you in the aviation maintenance programs?

Learning basic electricity was a surprise to me. I was not expecting the many formulas that you are going to be using all the time. I thought you could turn the wrenches and change the oil, but I was not expecting the mathematics involved.

Why should more women pursue aviation maintenance?

I think they should go for it if it is what they are interested in. I say do not be intimidated by who is already there. I think if that is your passion, then go for it.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am still trying to decide. The airlines and general aviation have some pros and cons. For airlines, it would be nice to have a larger team around you so you have a lot of oversight in what you are doing. In general aviation, you have a great chance working on more engine systems. The instructors have told us there is a very good chance we will have a job when we graduate if we put in the effort.


Aircraft mechanics and service technicians in Texas make a yearly median salary of more than $67,000, according to the onetonline.org. There will be a need for more than 18,000 workers in the state in 2030, according to the website.

Texas State Technical College offers certificates of completion in Aircraft Airframe Technician, Aircraft Line Technician and Aircraft Powerplant Technician, along with associate degrees in Aircraft Airframe Technology and Aircraft Powerplant Technology.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu

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