PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Aviation mechanics is a growing field with a shortage of trained technicians. So, a local technical college is trying to answer that need.

Haney Technical College administrators said they’re getting more requests for people trained in aircraft mechanics. To meet the demand, they’re offering 10 $1,000 scholarships to attend the school’s aviation academy.

“The aviation industry right now is going through a huge shortage of aircraft mechanics,” Haney Technical College aviation instructor, David Deaton said. “Well, technicians in general. As a matter of fact, Boeing and Airbus both have predicted that over the next two decades, we’ll need more than half a million new aircraft maintenance technicians to enter the workforce. To go along with the ones that are currently there.”

Students who register for the aviation program for the January 2023 semester are eligible for the scholarship. The funds will cover close to half of the cost for the first semester.

“The idea behind these scholarships is to try to remove any obstacles for folks needing to come in and go to school,” Deaton said. “The scholarships are these scholarships are up to $1,000 and they can be stacked on any other financial aid that you may have.”

Students do not have to have any prior aviation knowledge.

“We teach engine overhaul and repair, both turbine engines, jet engines, and reciprocating engines,” Deaton said. “We teach advanced composites. We teach electrical and electronics, and we also teach hydraulics, pneumatics, and essentially any system that might be on any aircraft. We teach it here.”

Students who complete the two-year program receive certification in a career field that pays up to $90,000 a year.