Education in aviation electronics technology provides knowledge and training in electronics and technology as it relates to aviation. Graduates of programs approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can apply to take certification exams in several areas.
Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in a certificate program. A certificate may be earned in 1-2 years, and some schools may recommend prerequisite courses in electronics, computer science and mathematics. Associate's degrees can usually be earned in two years, and applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Certificate in Aviation Electronics
Certificate programs in aviation electronics technology provide an introduction to basic electronics and support systems used in aircraft. Students learn the fundamentals behind aviation electrical systems, including how to maintain and repair them.
The curriculum for aviation electronics certificate programs typically comprises 5-10 courses focused on preparing graduates for entry-level careers in aviation electronics. Some examples of course topics include:
- Electronics fundamentals
- Air communications systems
- Air navigation systems
- Weather radar
- Test equipment
Associate's Degree in Aviation Electronics Technology
Associate's degree programs in aviation electronics teach students to install, adjust and troubleshoot flight computers and controls, navigation systems, radar systems and other cockpit instruments.
Courses in college writing, behavioral sciences, social sciences and humanities often make up the general education component of an associate's degree program. Courses in an aviation electronics major might include:
- Aircraft electronics
- Advanced electrical systems
- Infrared radar
- Aviation computing systems
- Communications and navigation system installation
Popular Career Options
Employment opportunities for those with a certificate in aviation electronics technology exist in several areas within the aviation industry, including maintenance, diagnostics or inspection services. Possible employers include the following:
- Commuter airlines
- Regional airlines
- National carriers
- FAA repair stations
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Earning an associate's degree in aviation electronics technology qualifies graduates to become aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected little to no growth in employment for these workers for the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS reported that aircraft mechanics and service technicians earned $58,370 as a median annual wage.
Continuing Education Information
In most cases, aviation electronics technicians can apply certificate credits toward an associate's degree. Aircraft mechanics are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Those who enter the field are required to acquire a specified number of hours working under a certified maintenance worker before becoming eligible for certification through the FAA.
According to the FAA, graduation from an approved aviation maintenance program meets the academic qualifications to sit for testing to earn an airframe or power plant certificate (www.faa.gov). Additionally, those in the profession may seek sponsorship by their employer to obtain certification for aviation repair work.
Training in aviation electronics technology prepares graduates for employment with airports, commercial airlines and FAA repair stations. After graduating from a certificate or associate's degree program, and before working professionally, aviation technicians must become certified by the FAA.