The news that Boeing is closing its Wichita plant and moving to Oklahoma City presents the possibility of job openings in the aviation industry for Oklahoma City residents.
Students interested in getting into the aviation industry can enroll in aviation programs at OCCC.
OCCC has a cooperative alliance program in aviation maintenance with Metro Tech and Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.
Alexa Mashlan, cooperative alliance programs director, said students apply through Metro Tech and finish their associate degree at OCCC. The 18-month program is designed to cover courses required to complete an AMT license and general basic courses, she said.
Mashlan said the classes are full time, last all day and meet four or five times a week.
Students can earn an associate in Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology, designed to prepare a student for the workforce, or an associate in Science in Maintenance Technology, which allows a student to transfer into a 4-year program.
The associate in science program is partnered with Southeastern’s bachelor’s program in Aviation Management.
Melissa Watson, a coordinator through Southeastern Oklahoma State University, said Southeastern also offers aviation maintenance classes on the fourth floor of OCCC’s library, as well as aviation management degrees.
“We encourage students to get their associate degree through OCCC,” Watson said.
Mashlan said some of the students in the program were already in the work force and earning their degree to get ahead. “A lot of them are working at Tinker and they’re finishing up to move into different positions or earning their degree to get a bump in pay,” Mashlan said.
“Some students, right after they finish the program, do get a job at Tinker.”
Watson said a bachelor’s in Aviation Management opens the door to several jobs.
“They don’t have to stick with aviation. But it’s a really big industry, and it’s growing,” Watson said.
Although there’s no word yet on whether Boeing will be hiring for maintenance positions yet, Watson has a positive outlook for those graduating with Aviation Maintenance degrees.
“That’s going to open up a lot of jobs for people who don’t work at Tinker or the FAA,” Watson said. “The degrees our students obtain will fit right into Boeing’s requirements.”
For more information on the program, call 405-682- 7822 or visit www.occc.edu/coop-ed/MT.
For information on Southeastern’s bachelor’s program, call 405-682-1611, ext. 7195, or visit aviation.se.edu.
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