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.
Prerequisites for certificate and associate's degrees in avionics include a 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. 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
Employment for avionics technicians is anticipated to show little or no change for the decade from 2014 through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median hourly wage for avionics technicians was $28.15 in 2015, which translated to $58,540 per year, the BLS states.
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).
Certificate training for aspiring avionics technicians centers around math instruction and provides in-depth study into the complicated electronic systems used in aircraft. Following graduation, avionics technicians must take a exam in order to become certified and to work professionally in the industry.