Navy Aviation Machinist Mate (AD)

Navy Aviation Machinist Mate (AD)

Navy Aviation Machinist Mates (AD) are mechanics that service aircraft aboard carriers or on land.

An Aviation Machinist Mate is responsible for inspecting, testing, and making repairs on aircraft engines and propellers.

Navy rating AD also assists with pre-flight operations like conducting routine checks and maintenance.

Learn more about what it takes to become a Navy Aviation Machinist Mate (AD).

Related ArticleHow To Get Into The US Naval Academy: 5 Challenging Steps

Education, Qualifications, and Training

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Aviation Machinist Mates (AD) get to learn how to maintain and repair highly sophisticated aircraft. Image: Flickr

The Navy classifies its military jobs a little differently compared to other branches of the military.

Instead of referring to jobs as “Military Occupational Specialties (MOS)”, Navy jobs are defined as “Ratings”.

Every Navy rating has educational and training requirements, including an Aviation Machinist Mate (AD):


The U.S. Navy has similar admission standards to other military branches.

The branch only admits new recruits with a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Secondly, new recruits are required to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The series of tests determine what Navy ratings are applicable based on your previous education and experience.

Navy Aviation Machinist Mates (AD) must qualify by scoring at least 152 on the ASVAB.

The ASVAB score is attainable by performing well enough on the two series of tests:

  • Verbal Expression (VE), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Electronics Information (EI), OR;
  • Verbal Expression (VE), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), and Auto and Shop (AS)


There are a few additional requirements for becoming a Navy Aviation Machinist Mate (AD), unlike other Navy ratings.

The Navy requires that all AD are citizens of the United States.

Secondly, you need to demonstrate normal hearing and color perception (no color blindness).

You should enjoy working outdoors, performing dirty work, or doing maintenance in noisy areas.

There is also a fair amount of physical work related to an Aviation Machinist Mate (AD), so excellent fitness is important.

The Department of Defense does not require a security clearance for an Aviation Machinist Mate, eliminating the need to receive a background investigation.

The exception is if you are volunteering for aircrew duty in addition to assignments of an Aviation Machinist Mate.


There is a fair amount of training related to Navy rating AD – Aviation Machinist Mate.

All recruits begin their journey in the U.S. Navy at boot camp (which lasts 10 weeks).

After finishing boot camp you progress to A School training related to your Navy rating.

Aspiring Navy Aviation Machinist Mates must attend and complete the AD Core class in Pensacola, Florida.

The AD Core class takes approximately a month to complete.

Next, recruits will need to complete additional A-School training.

  • AD Helicopter Class
  • Navy AD Turbojet Class
  • AD Turboprop Class

The secondary A-School classes are much shorter and usually completed in two weeks.

Finally, technicians will receive advanced training en route to their first duty station.

Navy Aviation Machinist Mates (AD) receive new training any time they are assigned different aircraft or equipment.

What does a Navy Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) Do?

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Aviation Machinist Mates (AD) work individually or in teams fixing important components of Navy aircraft. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Navy rating Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) is a fancy way of describing aircraft mechanics.

Navy Aviation Machinist Mates operate on various aircraft and equipment related to the U.S. Navy.

The general duties of any mechanic include inspecting, adjusting, testing, and repairing components.

An Aviation Machinist Mate focuses on aircraft engines and propellers for service.

The aircraft may range from propeller aircraft to helicopters and turbojets.

An Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) performs routine maintenance to ensure the safety of all flight crew.

AD Mates can also assist with pre-flight preparations, including handling aircraft on the ground.

Aviation Machinist Mates can volunteer to fly as part of the aircrew, though it is not mandatory for the Navy rating.

Volunteering for the opportunity includes better pay and more travel, which is enough incentive for some sailors.

Job Duties of Navy AD

The official job description of Navy rating AD – Aviation Machinist Mate includes:

  • Servicing and maintaining aircraft engines, fuel and lubrication systems, and accessories and gearboxes.
  • Servicing and handling aircraft aboard an aircraft carrier or on shore.
  • Performing aircraft turboshaft/turboprop engine repairs.
  • Discovering issues with engine degradation with spectrometric oil analysis tests.
  • Inspecting jet engine performance using testing equipment.
  • Installing and maintaining helicopter engines, drive accessories, and gearboxes.
  • Performing propeller repairs or complete overhauls.

Navy rating AD may receive four different credentials shortly after completing Navy A School Training.

The credentials are used by sailors to earn promotions in pay and/or responsibilities.

Related ArticleNavy Boatswain’s Mate (BM): Career Details

What does a Navy Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) make?

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You can earn a stable income and receive outstanding benefits serving the U.S. Navy. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Navy compensates sailors based on military rank and years of service, like other military branches.

Therefore, your Navy rating has very little to do with the amount of pay you will receive.

The table explains how much you can expect to receive each month based on Navy rank:

InsigniaPay Grade RankAbbreviation2023 Minimum Monthly Pay
N/AE-1 +4 monthsSeaman RecruitSR$1,917.60
E-2Seaman ApprenticeSA$2,149.20
e-3 navy seamanE-3SeamanSN$2,259.90
petty officer third classE-4Petty Officer Third ClassPO3$2,503.50
petty officer second classE-5Petty Officer Second ClassPO2$2,730.30
petty officer first classE-6Petty Officer First ClassPO1$2,980.50
chief petty officerE-7Chief Petty OfficerCPO$3,445.80
senior chief petty officerE-8Senior Chief Petty OfficerSCPO$4,957.20
master chief petty officerE-9Master Chief Petty OfficerMCPO$6,055.50
command master chief petty officerE-9Command Master Chief Petty OfficerCMDCM$6,055.50
master chief petty officer of the navyE-9Master Chief Petty Officer Of The NavyMCPON$6,055.50


The U.S. Navy has a great benefits package that is available as long as you are active duty:

  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay (for Volunteer Opportunities)
  • Medical Insurance
  • Affordable Life Insurance
  • Retirement
  • Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores.
  • Education: Sailors can earn full tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses.

Job Reviews

There are many reviews on about serving in the Navy as an Aviation Machinist Mate (AD).

Most reviews on are positive regarding the experience working Navy AD:

If you have more questions about becoming an Aviation Machinist Mate (AD), we recommend contacting a local Navy recruiting office.

A recruiter can help answer any questions or concerns.

He or she can also make sure you are meeting all the qualifications for enlistment.

Related ArticleNavy Hull Technician (HT): Career Details 

Civilian Job Opportunities

The work performed by an Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) is largely specific to the military since you are dealing with Navy aircraft and equipment.

Regardless, mechanics have the ability to pick up other types of aircraft or equipment with a little time and training.

Former Navy Aviation Machinist Mates make great employees for private companies because of the discipline and leadership skills attained in the military.

Most former Aviation Machinist Mates continue working as mechanics for major airliners or at airports.


A Navy Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) is highly important to the daily operations and well-being of the rest of the airbase.

Aviation Machinist Mates keep things working in full order and prevent equipment from malfunctioning in the air.

Pilots and other flight crew are grateful for the outstanding work and skills of Aviation Machinist Mates.


Nicholas A.

Originally posted on 01/05/20

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