What Education Do I Need to Become an Avionics Technician?
In addition to formal education and other requirements, avionics technicians must also have valid licenses or certificates. This article discusses the educational and related requirements to becoming an avionics technician. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
The majority of avionics technicians learn their trade through FAA-approved mechanic schools. At these schools, students typically complete an associate's degree in avionics before entering the field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Instruction covers the practices, materials, procedures, tools, machinery, and equipment generally used to maintain, construct, or alter airframes.
Important Facts about this Occupation
|Average Salary (2014)||$58,460|
|Job Outlook (2012-2022)||3% job growth (much slower than average)|
|Work Environment||Majority work in aerospace product manufacturing; May be required to work outside; Higher than average rates of injury and illness because of heavy lifting, dangerous tools, and hazardous chemicals|
|Similar Occupations||Aerospace Engineering Technicians, Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians, Electro-Mechanical Technicians|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
In addition to education, avionics technicians need to be certified as a mechanic by the FAA. Even then, the individual must be qualified, trained, and have the appropriate experience to work on avionics components and equipment. The exception to the certification requirement, according to the FAA, is if the individual has sufficient avionic repair experience from the military avionics manufacturing or a related industry. To obtain a mechanics license, candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be able to speak, read, write, and understand English
- Have 18 months of work experience
- Pass a written, oral, and practical certification exam
The 18-month work experience listed above is often supplemented by completing an appropriate program at an FAA-certified mechanic school. Also at such a school, the oral and practical tests listed above are sometimes added into the curriculum.
With experience, avionics technicians earn more money and have better positions. They may become shop supervisors, lead mechanics, inspectors, or lead inspectors. With additional education in business, avionics technicians could open their own maintenance facility.
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