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Avionics Technicians picture    Avionics Technicians image

Avionics Technicians

Avionics technicians install, calibrate, test, maintain and repair aviation equipment such as jet engines, missile guidance systems and flight control circuitry. A lot of the job is preventative maintenance. Many aviation technicians have a speciality such as computerized guidance systems or microcircuit television microscopy. Due to the continual changes in technology, a technician's specialty may change over time.

Some sample job titles are avionics electronics technician, aircraft electrical systems specialist, aviation electronics technician, avionics installer, aviation electrical technician and avionics systems integration specialist.

Some technicians specialize in the designing and testing stages of new types of electronic equipment. Some aviation technicians install and maintain aviation electronics. Many in this group specialize in preventive maintenance.

Airframe mechanics are allowed to work on any part of an aircraft except power plants, instruments and propellers. Power plant mechanics are authorized to work on engines and may do limited work on propellers. A&P mechanics have the skills of airframe and power plant mechanics. Most mechanics that work on civilian aircraft are A&P mechanics.

Responsibilities

  • Inspect aviation equipment
  • Perform inspections
  • Test aviation equipment
  • Take engines apart and measure parts for wear
  • Repair sheet metal or composite surfaces
  • Prepare or replace defective or worn parts
  • Keep maintenance records
  • Troubleshoot electrical systems
  • Maintain safety standards

Job Characteristics

They often work unusual hours and under time pressure. Most airline mechanics and service technicians work at major airports. Civilian mechanics that work for the U.S. Armed Forces work at military installations. They work in repair stations, hangars or out in the field. Avionics technicians often work in awkward positions. They usually work 40 hours per week using eight hour shifts around the clock. They frequently work overtime and on the weekends.

Many avionics technicians work as part of a team. Communication skills and being able to write thorough reports are very important for the occupation. They should be well organized and attentive to detail. They should be able to diagnose and solve complex mechanical problems.

Employment Outlook

Employment for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to increase by 7 percent between 2008 and 2018 which is about as fast as average for all occupations. Avionics technicians are expected to have an 11 percent employment growth from 2008 to 2018.

The median hourly wage for avionics technicians in 2008 was $23.71. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $30.87 per hour.

Aviation technicians may continue their education and advance into positions such as aviation engineer, communication engineer or electrical engineer. Some aviation technicians become electronics designers.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most aviation mechanics attend aviation maintenance technician schools which are certified by the FAA. Two and four year degrees are available in avionics, aviation maintenance management and aviation technology. A few mechanics receive on-the-job training. Certified mechanics have to supervise and document the work of these trainees until they have earned FAA certificates. The armed services and large aerospace firms provide on-the-job training specific to their requirements for avionics technicians.

Those involved in aircraft maintenance need a very strong background in electronics and computers in order to acquire and keep a job in this field. Useful courses include physics, mathematics, computer science and mechanical drawing. Classes that enhance writing skills are important since mechanics need to write and submit reports.

Aircraft mechanics can move up to a lead mechanic, shop supervisor, inspector or lead inspector position. Due to continual changes in technology, aviation technicians are involved in continuing education through company sponsored seminars, professional reading, conferences and industry sponsored events.

The FAA requires that all maintenance work performed on aircraft must be done by certified mechanics or performed under the supervision of a certified mechanic. Most airline mechanics working for airlines have earned FAA certification. Most airlines prefer to employ mechanics that have an A&P certificate.

Mechanics are required to have at least 30 months of experience working with airframes and engines before applying for a combined A&P certificate, however completing a program at a FAA certified school may be substituted for theses work experience requirements. In addition to experience or formal training candidates for all certificates need to pass oral, written and practical tests. They need, at a minimum, 18 months of work experience before they can apply for a power plant or airframe certificate.

Some avionics technicians may be required to obtain a radiotelephone license from the Federal Communications Commission. Avionics technicians often need to acquire certifications from associations including International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers and the Electronics Technicians Association International.

Most armed forces mechanics need to complete the entire FAA training program, however some have acquired enough general experience to fulfill the work experience requirements for the FAA certificate.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employment sectors are air transportation, aerospace products and parts manufacturing, and the federal government.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Avionics Technicians

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Avionics Technicians jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 50 $71,330
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 390 $58,740
Mesa 390 $58,740
Phoenix 390 $58,740
Tucson 310 $65,490
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 850 $65,680
Los Angeles 850 $65,680
Anaheim 850 $65,680
Oakland 450 $67,980
San Francisco 450 $67,980
Hayward 450 $67,980
San Diego 190 $59,610
Carlsbad 190 $59,610
Sunnyvale 90 $67,200
San Jose 90 $67,200
Santa Clara 90 $67,200
Bakersfield 90 $71,830
Arcade 80 $70,670
Roseville 80 $70,670
Sacramento 80 $70,670
Arden 80 $70,670
San Bernardino 60 $67,320
Riverside 60 $67,320
Ontario 60 $67,320
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 90 $-2,222
Aurora 90 $-2,222
Denver 90 $-2,222
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 910 $55,910
Miami 910 $55,910
West Palm Beach 910 $55,910
Orlando 270 $68,690
Kissimmee 270 $68,690
Sanford 270 $68,690
Jacksonville 260 $53,710
Destin 110 $-2,222
Fort Walton Beach 110 $-2,222
Crestview 110 $-2,222
Ferry Pass 90 $-1,111
Pensacola 90 $-1,111
Brent 90 $-1,111
Titusville 90 $59,780
Melbourne 90 $59,780
Palm Bay 90 $59,780
Clearwater -2222 $51,390
Tampa -2222 $51,390
St. Petersburg -2222 $51,390
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 900 $65,070
Sandy Springs 900 $65,070
Atlanta 900 $65,070
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 80 $70,660
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 30 $51,540
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 80 $47,710
Carmel 80 $47,710
Indianapolis 80 $47,710
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 650 $59,520
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 70 $72,860
New Orleans 70 $72,860
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson -2222 $60,680
Columbia -2222 $60,680
Baltimore -2222 $60,680
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 80 $63,470
Warren 80 $63,470
Detroit 80 $63,470
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson -2222 $54,010
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 130 $67,490
Henderson 130 $67,490
Las Vegas 130 $67,490
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
High Point 120 $56,980
Greensboro 120 $56,980
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 190 $51,090
Dayton -2222 $59,980
Elyria -2222 $60,370
Cleveland -2222 $60,370
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 400 $52,510
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mauldin 140 $63,190
Anderson 140 $63,190
Greenville 140 $63,190
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin -2222 $24,260
Murfreesboro -2222 $24,260
Davidson -2222 $24,260
Nashville -2222 $24,260
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 1090 $56,120
Arlington 1090 $56,120
Dallas 1090 $56,120
Houston 210 $73,390
Sugar Land 210 $73,390
The Woodlands 210 $73,390
New Braunfels 200 $53,710
San Antonio 200 $53,710
Corpus Christi 100 $62,800
El Paso 30 $54,780
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Clearfield 160 $57,130
Ogden 160 $57,130
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 970 $78,470
Tacoma 970 $78,470
Seattle 970 $78,470

Most Popular Industries for :
Avionics Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Automotive And Vehicle Manufacturing 6,520 36% $49,640
Transportation Support Services 4,140 23% $45,490
Government 2,030 11% $49,490
Air Travel 1,950 11% $57,580
Electronics And Computer 980 5% $49,350
Professional And Technical Services 890 5% $50,680
Maintenance And Repair 500 2% $45,330
Education 320 1% $49,310
Office Services And Staffing 280 1% $43,760
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Results:  5
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Avionics Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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