Avionics maintenance technicians usually get their training experience through on-the-job training or through a specific technical program. These professionals work on the repair and maintenance of electrical systems used in various types of aircraft.
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Avionics maintenance technicians repair and service a variety of electronics systems on modern aircraft, including the radar, radio and control systems in planes and helicopters. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these trained individuals can find positions with airports, aerospace parts manufacturing businesses and regulatory commissions like the FAA. Avionics maintenance technicians may be trained on-the-job or attend an aviation vocational school. They are also required to be certified by the FAA.
|Required Education||On-the-job training, aviation maintenance technician school|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||0%*|
|Median Wage (2015)||$58,540*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Avionics technicians must be trained and certified by the FAA. To qualify for an FAA certification, an individual must be at least 18 years of age, have either 18 months of experience in power plant or airframe maintenance, 30 months of experience in both, or graduate from an aviation maintenance technician school. Qualified individuals must the pass written, oral and practical exams to demonstrate knowledge of avionics concepts.
Aspiring avionics maintenance technicians who choose to attend postsecondary training programs study safety, tools and techniques, as well as work in simulated professional situations requiring the application of the skills learned in the classroom. They may also take courses on the physics behind flight, types of modern aircraft and their differences, professional safety techniques and other aspects of airplane maintenance. Additional topics of discussion may include aircraft electrical systems and power plant operation.
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The BLS notes that in the period of 2014-2024, employment of avionics technicians is expected to show little or no change as older airplanes are replaced with new ones that require less maintenance. According to the BLS, as of May 2015 the median salary of avionics technicians was $58,540. An avionics technician's salary may depend on the industry they work in; for example, the BLS reports that avionics technicians working in scheduled air transportation earned a median salary of $76,420 in May 2015, while those working in employment services earned $47,210 the same year.
To be certified, avionics technicians must have extensive experience in aviation and/or power plant maintenance, or complete a specific training program. Salaries range widely depending on the chosen industry, and opportunities are expected to be highly competitive.