Avionics Technicians are the mechanics of aircraft and are responsible for making sure airplanes are ready for takeoff on time.
Their role is extremely important because it focuses on maintaining and servicing military or commercial airplanes.
The millions of people who travel by plane may not realize that they would not be able to get to their destinations without the specialized work of an Avionics Technician.
These specialists are not visible like pilots and flight attendants, but their work is just as necessary for the travel industry; they make it possible for millions of people to travel safely from point A to point B.
They are skilled in many ways: they work well with their hands, are good in mathematics and can work under pressure fixing aircraft under limited time constraints.
Education Requirements to Become an Avionics Technician
Someone who wants to become an Avionics Technicianneeds to get certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to work independently.
Candidates need to pass three kinds of tests: a written exam, an oral test and a practical test.
Those without certification can only work under the supervision of a certified Technician.
The Federal Aviation Administration has created standards that help protect air travelers.
In order to get certified, the FAA requires Avionics Technician candidates to be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, speak English and have the necessary technical skills to perform airplane maintenance.
Potential Technicians can learn the required technical skills for airplane maintenance at one of the FAA certified Aviation Maintenance Technician schools.
Minimum requirements to graduate from the program include taking 1,900 hours of classes and training.
Completion time for the program at an Aviation Maintenance Technician school may take between one to two years.
The program teaches students to become an Avionics Technician by providing hands on training with similar equipment used by certified Technicians.
Alternative routes in order to become an Avionics Technician include apprenticing under a licensed mechanic or receiving aircraft maintenance training in one of the armed services such as the Air Force.
Because of frequent technological advances, a candidate training to become an Avionics Technician also needs a strong background in electronics and computers in order to remain competitive in the field.
Avionics Technician Job Description
An Avionics Technician spends the majority of their time in airport hangars or repair stations.
Technicians use computerized equipment in order to diagnose possible plane malfunctions.
The complicated structure of planes requires the use of sophisticated equipment in order to provide maintenance and repairs.
Duties Avionics Technicians perform include:
- Use test equipment to troubleshoot, inspect and maintain aircraft electrical systems and electronics
- Analyze and create solutions for any problems with the electronic or electrical systems
- Repair or replace any spotted malfunctioning parts
- Provide maintenance and repairs under strict time constraints so aircraft are ready for scheduled takeoff
The types of aircraft avionics service and repair include:
- Commercial Airplanes
- Military Airplanes
Because maintenance is required 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, an Avionics Technician can expect to work nights and weekends.
Less experienced Technicians are expected to cover the less desired graveyard and weekend shifts.
For unexpected aircraft problems, an Avionics Technician can begin repairs on an airplane in the middle of the night.
Repairs sometimes need to be made within a certain amount of time in case there is a scheduled flight and no other planes are available.
Avionics Technician Salary and Career Path
An Avionics Technician is more likely to move up the career ladder if they are certified by the FAA.
According to BLS.gov, the average salary for an avionics technician is approximately $52,000; the minimum starting salary begins at around $36,000 depending on location.
An experienced Technician with more than five years of experience can expect to earn up to $67,000.
Those who successfully complete their education at one of the Aviation Maintenance Technician schools have more career options and receive better pay than those who gain experience on the job under an apprenticeship.
Completing a degree at an FAA certified school provides candidates with deeper knowledge in aviation maintenance and are therefore more sought after in the job market.
Avionics Technicians are the people behind the scenes making it possible for others to travel around the world; they are experts in aircraft mechanics and use a variety of skills in order to prep airplanes for travel.