By Beth 22 Sep 2022 8 min read

What is the difference between a B1 and B2 aircraft engineer?

Licensing in the aviation industry reflects operational safety and the nature of the business. A license is a certification which permits the holder to carry out his job since employment in the aviation sector demands technicality and great responsibility. 

Aircraft engineers, like pilots, are responsible for safety and comfort of the passengers. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) or an aircraft engineer is a license holder permitted to carry out maintenance and repairs. They are also responsible for troubleshooting problems, overhauls, and conducting inspections. 

The engineering program is collaborated with the Part 66 license, a legal framework in Europe that certifies aircraft engineers in EASA member countries, including the UK. This licensing system includes three categories: A, B, and C. Category B is a standard license certification which further has two disciplines: B1 and B2. 

B1 EASA license is related to mechanics, such as engines and airframes of an aircraft. EASA b2 license is related to avionics, which includes instrumentation and electronic equipment. Category B license holders have the authority to issue a statement of release of an aircraft for service. Both B1 and B2 licenses require in-depth maintenance knowledge of an aircraft. 


B1 licensed engineers – Roles and responsibilities 

A B1 aircraft engineer is a specialist aircraft mechanic employed to plan and organise maintenance checks in an aircraft. These checks are done when a problem is identified in an aircraft or during an airline's routine maintenance schedule. B1 licensed aircraft engineer holds a certification based on EASA requirements. 

Different countries have their own regulatory bodies awarding licenses to aircraft engineers. In the UK, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) bestows the licenses and approves the training of aircraft engineers. Some responsibilities of EASA B1 engineers are; 

  • Undertaking projects and tasks related to maintenance of aircrafts

  • Exercise approval related to everyday processes and inspection

  • Ensure completion of high quality work related to aircraft, its components, and documentation

  • Ensure that facilities, premises, and equipment are maintained to a certain standard

  • Ensure that crew can suitably debrief about any defects which can be accurately defined 

  • Analyse and interpret any technical information related to the aircraft

  • Work with other departments in the aviation sector to ensure smooth workflow 


B2 licensed engineers – Roles and responsibilities 

A b2 licensed engineer works on the necessary repair and maintenance check related to the equipment and electrical systems of an aircraft. Duties performed by these aircraft engineers include;

  • Sign off inspection and repair tasks

  • Approve the quality of completed tasks

  • Analyse and interpret any technical information that assists the pilots

  • Understand manuals and engineering diagrams

  • Determine the condition and quality of aircraft and its equipment

  • Ensure that aircraft crew and other related departments are well informed about any issues in the aircraft and the measures takes to solve them


Differences between B1 and B2 aircraft engineers 

B1 permit allows certain authentications to the permit holder. There are further classifications of B1 license;

  • B1.1 for turbine engines airplanes

  • B1.2 for piston engine airplanes

  • B1.3 for turbine engine helicopters

  • B1.4 for piston engine helicopters


B2 licensed aircraft engineer comprehensively covers the following regions;

  • Instrument systems

  • Auto-land systems and Programmed pilot systems

  • Radio communication, radar systems, and navigation

  • Electric power generation to avionic system 

In current times B1 engineers are more in demand than B2 aircraft engineers. B1 aircraft engineers ensure the certification of an aircraft but after clearing certain modules, they can also fulfill the responsibilities of B2 engineers. 

A B1 engineer has to move to and from different stations to certify an aircraft. They may also travel with the airplane to a specific destination if no B1 engineer is posted at that place. They also have to attend to the airplane on its arrival and remain there till its departure. B2 engineers are only called when snags develop or for major maintenance checks of an aircraft. B2 license holders enjoy a more stable lifestyle. 

Currently, many tasks covered under B2 are now included in the domain of B1 engineers. Therefore as more tasks are included in B1, many people reconsider taking the B2 certificate. The average salary of a B1 engineer is around £64,000 per annum while that of a B2 engineer is £35,496 per year. Your salary may increase with improvement in your qualification and experience. 


Frequently asked questions 

What is B1 and B2 engineers?

Category B is a standard license for all practitioners. It includes two disciplines: B1 and B2. A B1 license focuses on airframes and engines while b2 license is related to instrumentation and electronic equipment. Holders of category B licenses are involved in all the necessary repair and maintenance tasks of an aircraft. 

Is aircraft engineer and aircraft mechanic the same?

Whether you are an Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) or Aviation Maintenance Engineer (AME), there’s literally no difference between them. The words are used interchangeably yet both perform the same functions. Those who claim the roles to be different from each other, it’s generally because of the variation in their job description in different countries which have different aviation authorities. 

How do you become a B1 aircraft engineer?

A b1 licensed engineer job requires the individual to attain several years of experience in his field, especially servicing inspection and aircraft maintenance. The potential candidates must be excellent at troubleshooting and have strong interpersonal and communication skills. To qualify for the role, the aircraft engineer must possess a degree in aerospace engineering or some related field including science and technology. 

What are aircraft engineers called?

They are typically called Aeronautical engineers. Working with the aircraft, they are primarily involved in the designing and manufacturing of aircrafts and propulsion systems. They are involved in the aerodynamic performance of the airplanes and their construction. They also have a degree in aerospace engineering and are also involved in the research and analysis of aircraft. 

How do you become a licensed aircraft engineer?

To become a licensed engineer, you need to earn a degree in the related field and finish your training. Once you are done with your education and training, you have to give assessments to achieve the certification. When you qualify for those assessments, you can easily become a license holder. Becoming a licensed engineer is tough as it involves a lot of responsibility and is a highly technical job.