A good aviation mechanic has always been hard to find in Alaska. And with a nationwide shortage, the problem will only get worse.

While that doesn’t bode well for the overall health of the industry, it’s good news for students at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s aviation technology school. Many of the students at UAA are being recruited even before they finish school and some have gone on to jobs all over the world.

“We counsel our students, you don’t have to take the first offer that’s given,” said Paul Herrick, who teaches aircraft maintenance at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s aviation technology school. “You can actually shop around. You can actually negotiate.”

Globalization has fueled the demand for both pilots and mechanics, a trend that aviation experts say could continue for another 20 years. 

Here’s a preview of this Sunday’s show on Frontiers, in which KTVA’s Rhonda McBride and photojournalist Will Mader look at what’s being done to meet the demand. 

Frontiers airs Sundays at 4:30 and 10:30 p.m. on KTVA-Channel 11.