Avionics Technician Certification and Certificate Program Info
Certificate programs in avionics teach students how to install, remove and repair aircraft equipment. Technology coursework covers global positioning systems, communication systems, flight computers, weather radars and radios; it also teaches system integration and troubleshooting.
Aircraft electronics, also known as avionics, is a rapidly changing industry that requires training in advanced technology and maintenance. Successful completion of an FAA-approved avionics technician certificate program qualifies graduates to work as aircraft mechanics and service technicians. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, avionics technicians typically need to earn an associate's degree. There are two primary certifications in this field - power-plant mechanics and airframe mechanics. While these certifications aren't necessarily required, most aspiring mechanics and technicians obtain one or both of them.
- Program Levels in Aircraft Electronics: Certificate, associate's degree
- Aircraft Electronics Fields of Study: Power-plant mechanics, airframe mechanics
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
Certificates in Aircraft Electronics
Math is a major component of avionics studies. Course structure involves electronic and avionic theory, general core requirements and practical applications. Previous field or class experience is not required to enroll in an avionics technician program, but applicants must submit high school transcripts and have a diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED). Within the program, coursework includes:
- Aircraft electrical systems
- Bench and line maintenance
- Test equipment calibration
- Avionics installation
- Electronics basics
- Autopilot and navigation systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Avionics technicians are in demand, and the national need for their skills is expected to increase by two percent from 2012 through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median hourly wage for avionics technicians was $27.36 in 2014, which translated into $56,910 per year, the BLS stated.
Continuing Education Information
It is necessary to take a certification exam to work as an avionics technician. Candidates may choose from airframe mechanic, powerplant mechanic or A&P mechanic certification. A minimum of 16 training hours every two years is required to stay current with emerging technologies and keep an avionics technician certification valid. Specific areas, such as radiotelephone, require additional licensing or certification issued by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).