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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Huntsville 290 $59,800
Mobile 80 $42,200
Hoover N/A $57,740
Birmingham N/A $57,740
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 70 N/A
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 450 $52,260
Mesa 450 $52,260
Phoenix 450 $52,260
Tucson 180 $57,440
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 90 $52,550
North Little Rock 90 $52,550
Little Rock 90 $52,550
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 840 $65,490
Long Beach 840 $65,490
Los Angeles 840 $65,490
Oakland 520 $83,990
Hayward 520 $83,990
San Francisco 520 $83,990
Carlsbad 210 $63,650
San Diego 210 $63,650
Bakersfield 110 $71,380
Arcade 60 $69,190
Arden 60 $69,190
Sacramento 60 $69,190
Roseville 60 $69,190
Fresno 40 $52,550
Riverside 40 $68,310
Ontario 40 $68,310
San Bernardino 40 $68,310
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood N/A $71,840
Aurora N/A $71,840
Denver N/A $71,840
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 50 $65,400
West Hartford 50 $65,400
Hartford 50 $65,400
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 660 $53,870
West Palm Beach 660 $53,870
Miami 660 $53,870
Sanford 290 $69,540
Orlando 290 $69,540
Kissimmee 290 $69,540
Jacksonville 210 $55,560
Palm Bay 60 $57,970
Melbourne 60 $57,970
Titusville 60 $57,970
Pensacola 60 $59,760
Brent 60 $59,760
Ferry Pass 60 $59,760
Clearwater N/A $50,440
Tampa N/A $50,440
St. Petersburg N/A $50,440
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 840 $61,810
Sandy Springs 840 $61,810
Atlanta 840 $61,810
Savannah 400 $59,540
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 130 $74,780
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 120 $47,250
Carmel 120 $47,250
Indianapolis 120 $47,250
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 40 $41,820
Des Moines 40 $41,820
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 650 $58,860
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lafayette 70 N/A
Metairie 70 $71,650
New Orleans 70 $71,650
Bossier City 40 N/A
Shreveport 40 N/A
Lake Charles 40 $61,740
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 170 $56,590
Towson 170 $56,590
Columbia 170 $56,590
Lexington Park 50 $63,650
California 50 $63,650
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn N/A $63,100
Warren N/A $63,100
Detroit N/A $63,100
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson N/A $48,710
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 180 $56,710
Henderson 180 $56,710
Las Vegas 180 $56,710
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dayton 30 $59,660
Elyria N/A $58,340
Cleveland N/A $58,340
Columbus N/A $61,050
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 370 $53,860
Tulsa 50 $50,350
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Medford N/A $45,350
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas N/A $84,600
Carolina N/A $84,600
San Juan N/A $84,600
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Greenville 70 $54,070
Mauldin 70 $54,070
Anderson 70 $54,070
North Charleston 40 $52,040
Charleston 40 $52,040
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 30 $41,410
Murfreesboro 30 $41,410
Davidson 30 $41,410
Nashville 30 $41,410
Knoxville N/A $53,390
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 910 $55,750
Fort Worth 910 $55,750
Dallas 910 $55,750
The Woodlands 250 $69,570
Sugar Land 250 $69,570
Houston 250 $69,570
New Braunfels 200 $43,150
San Antonio 200 $43,150
Corpus Christi 100 $60,010
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Clearfield 160 $56,540
Ogden 160 $56,540
Salt Lake City N/A $54,280
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 1240 N/A
Tacoma 1240 N/A
Seattle 1240 N/A

Most Popular Industries for :
Avionics Technicians

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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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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