Avionics Maintenance and Repair

As the airline industry grows, more certified maintenance technicians will be needed to keep navigation systems and aircraft instruments in proper working order. Read on to learn more about a career in avionics maintenance and repair.

Is Avionics Maintenance and Repair for Me?

Career Description

Avionics maintenance workers repair the instruments that are used to control primary flight operation systems in aircraft. Avionics repair technicians work with radios, radars and other navigation equipment. These technicians are trained to troubleshoot and replace malfunctioning electrical and mechanical components.

As an avionics maintenance and repair worker, you might find work in the airline industry or the government. After obtaining enough experience, you can be promoted to a supervisor position or become an inspector. With additional education, you might also become an engineer or repair consultant.

Employment Information

Avionics maintenance workers were expected to see slower than average job growth from 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Those who have completed a bachelor's degree and earned an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate are expected to experience the best job opportunities. Avionics repair technicians made a median salary of $55,990 as of 2013. Avionics technicians who work in management of companies and enterprises generally were paid the most out of all avionics workers in that year.

How Can I Work in Avionics Maintenance and Repair?

Education

Although it is possible to prepare for a career in avionic maintenance through on-the-job training, you will likely need to complete a program from a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved school. An associate's degree program in avionics maintenance can prepare you for the FAA certification exams and help you obtain a Federal Communication Commission radio operator license. Some 4-year avionics degree programs will offer general courses in electronics and business, which can benefit you if you wish to work as a repair manager. If you concentrate in avionics, some of your course options might include aircraft electrical systems, navigation installation and electronics troubleshooting.

Certification

To be an avionics repair technician you will need to obtain the FAA airframe and power plant (A&P) certificate before you can work on airplanes without supervision. Although the airframe and power plant certificates can be earned separately, airline employers prefer applicants who have obtained the combined certificate. The FAA requires 30 months of experience or completion of an approved program before you can become certified. Experience working on aircraft in the armed services can satisfy the experience requirement in place of schooling or on-the-job training. You must complete three exams before being awarded the A&P certificate.

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