Today’s aircraft are highly complex machines that require reliable components and systems to fly safely. To keep aircraft in peak operating condition, aircraft and avionics equipment technicians perform scheduled maintenance, make repairs and complete inspections. They must follow detailed federal regulations set by the FAA that dictate maintenance schedules for a variety of different operations.
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The field of aviation today is far more advanced than ever before, primarily due to the use of sophisticated digital systems, electronic computer devices, autopilot equipment, communication and navigation radios and weather radar. A career as an avionics specialist is highly technical.
Those who are interested in entering this field should begin by taking courses in physics, mechanical drawing, math, electronics, computer science, and chemistry. Through these classes, students can acquire a basic working knowledge of the science behind flight and aircraft mechanics.
To begin your actual training as an avionics specialist, you should first enroll in a certified avionics school. At this institution, you’ll learn the skills you need to work on a vast array of avionics equipment.
Once your avionics training has been completed, you will qualify to take the necessary FAA exams for certification as an avionics specialist. Additional licenses may be necessary depending on individual job duties and requirements. In addition, avionics specialists often need to be certified through various avionics associations or organizations.
Once you have received certification from all necessary parties, you will be ready to begin your career as an avionics specialist. Ongoing courses or training will be required to help you stay up-to-date on the latest avionics technologies, mechanics, repair techniques or changes in aviation law.
What to Expect While Attending Avionics School
The average avionics specialist training program will last anywhere from 18 to 24 months, during which students will receive practical, hands-on avionics instruction. Students enrolled in a certified avionics training program should expect to take courses covering the following topic areas:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics1, job prospects will be best for technicians who hold an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certificate and keep up with technical advances in aircraft electronics and composite materials. The BLS states many older aircraft mechanics are expected to retire between 2010 and 2020, allowing management and entry-level positions to open up for younger mechanics.
Boeing predicts that as next-generation airplanes begin to dominate fleets in the coming years, reliability will improve and maintenance check intervals will lengthen. This trend is likely to moderate the growth of technician positions, but overall hundreds of thousands of new jobs will be created as the global fleet rapidly expands.
The Asia Pacific Region is predicted to lead the spike in technician job growth, with approximately 224,000 new technician personnel needed. North America is predicted to see the second largest growth in demand with 109,000 new technicians required. Airlines in Europe will require 102,000, the Middle East 62,000, Latin America 44,000, the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Republics) 24,000 and Africa 19,000, according to the report.
In the United States all aircraft mechanics must have specialized schooling and receive certification through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to secure a job in the field. There are separate tests for airframe mechanics and engine mechanics as well as the combined A&P certificate. According to the BLS, the majority of aircraft mechanics and technicians work in the scheduled air transportation industries such as shipping and passenger transportation, with a smaller number working for aerospace companies or the federal government.
At Spartan College, you can graduate with an associate degree in avionics in just 15 months, which can provide you with rich opportunities to work in the avionics industry. Interested in seeing the training facilities? Request program info online or call 1-800-510-3216 today for more information.