What Is the Average Salary for the Field of Aviation Technology?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in aviation technology. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and education information. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Would I Do in an Aviation Technology Career?

If you have an interest in airplanes, you might be interested in a career as an avionic technician, an aircraft mechanic or an air traffic controller. As an avionic technician, you would test aircraft parts and systems to make sure that they are working properly, and you would fix them when they are malfunctioning. Similarly, aircraft mechanics identify mechanical and electrical problems on airplanes and follow manuals in order to solve them. Aircraft controllers work on the ground and airports, coordinating takeoffs, landings and ground traffic like baggage vehicles and airport workers.

The following chart discusses education requirements and potential salaries for jobs in aviation technology.

Aircraft Mechanic and Service TechnicianAir Traffic Controller Avionics Technician
Degree/Certification Required FAA certificationBachelor's degree, or three years work experience FAA certification
Education Field of StudyAircraft equipment mechanicsAviation safety Aircraft equipment mechanics
Key SkillsUnderstand aircraft design and structure, maintain aircraft Notice details, react quickly, concentrate consistentlyTest and repair aircraft parts
Job Growth (2014-2024) 1%* -9%* 0%*
Average Salary (2015) $60,160* $118,740* $60,200*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Aviation Technology Careers Are Available to Me?

Numerous careers are available in the field of aviation technology, all of which command different salaries. If you're interested in servicing aircraft, you might consider becoming an aircraft mechanic or a service technician. If you want to be involved in guiding planes, a career in air traffic control may interest you. Alternatively, you could become an aircraft safety inspector who ensures that vessels are flight-worthy.

What Education Do I Need?

If you have a high school diploma or a GED, you might consider enrolling in an associate or bachelor's degree program in aviation technology or aviation maintenance technology. Such programs prepare you to maintain and repair various types of aircraft, from commercial airplanes to helicopters. You can expect to take courses in aircraft engine systems, aviation electrical systems, rotary wing maintenance, aircraft inspection, air traffic, airport management, aerodynamics and federal aviation regulations. You also may consider training options offered by the military and the Federal Aviation Administration.

If you're interested in a leadership position, you might continue on to a graduate program in aviation technology, aviation safety or business administration with a concentration in aviation. You could manage manufacturing operations, repair stations, flight schedules or even airports.

What Salary Can I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for aircraft mechanics and service technicians was $60,160 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS estimated that most mechanics earned between $34,770 and $72,990 that year. Avionics technicians, who maintain electronic navigation and communication systems, earned an average annual salary of $60,200, while air traffic controllers made $118,740.

What Are My Job Prospects?

Overall, aviation technology is growing gradually as an industry. The BLS projected that the number of jobs available for aircraft mechanics and service technicians would increase one percent from 2014-2024. The BLS stated that the number of air traffic controllers was expected to decline by nine percent during the same time frame.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You might also be interested in another aviation industry job, such as a commercial pilot. Commercial pilots fly planes for charter flights, rescue efforts, photography and agricultural product distribution, among other purposes. You would need at least a high school diploma for this job. If you are looking for a mechanic or technician position, you could work as an automotive service technician or mechanic. Instead of working on airplanes, you would maintain and repair motor vehicles like cars, trucks and motorcycles. You would need to complete a postsecondary training program for one of these jobs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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