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Aviation Electronics can also commonly be referred to as Avionics. The main areas of concentration in this field include communications, navigation, air traffic control, instrumentation and automatic flight control. Avionic technicians or Aviation Electronics technicians can work in maintenance, repair, manufacturing and installing new systems. A graduate of this program is not only trained in basic electronics, but in advanced aircraft communication and navigation equipment and their specialized test equipment as well as unmanned aerial systems that relate to the emerging field related to unmanned aerial vehicles – also known as drones.

Aviation electronics play a key role in the development and construction of satellites, helicopters, and aircraft of all types and sizes. Technicians in the field are responsible for the assembly, maintenance, troubleshooting, repair and installation of these airborne and space-related components. This includes the emerging field of Unmanned Aerial Systems and Vehicles (UAV).


Aviation Electronics Training Avionics IMG 3917 small

Learn in a simulated work environment in our facilities, equipped with lab equipment featuring::

  • Nearly 8,000 sq. ft. of classroom and lab space
  • A large variety of test equipment
  • More than 40 types of test equipment including more than 100 digital oscilloscopes
  • Four custom auto pilot trainers
  • Six Garmin 1000 training kiosks
  • Wide range of test benches

Aviation Electronics Course Work

Aviation Electronics Course Work 

The program is designed to prepare you for FCC and NCATT certification tests. Labs and equipment used in the program have been selected from companies that set the standards in their field, including HP, Honeywell, Collins, King, Pace, IFR, Aspen, Dynon, and Barfield. To teach fundamentals, the program uses electronic trainers from BK Precision, Lab-Volt, Snap-On, Tektronix, Garmin, Michel, and Linaire.

Spartan’s career-focused education helps you develop the technical skills employers seek. Aircraft are highly complex machines, and they must function safely. Avionics technicians work with avionics electronics systems, which are instruments and computers that control engine, flight and other primary functions including aircraft navigation and radio communications. These systems are now an integral part of aircraft design and have had a huge influence on aircraft capability.

Graduates of the Spartan College Aviation Electronics Technology program will master essential avionics concepts in courses such as:

    • AC Electronics – Covers the concepts of voltage, current, and resistance along with various circuit components and how they react in series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits.
    • Communication and Navigation System – Teaches VHF, HF and SatCom forms of communication and aviation systems as well as cockpit display and enhanced vision systems.
    • DC Electronics – Explores the concepts of voltage, current, and resistance along with various DC circuit components and how they react in series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits.
    • Digital Electronics – Discusses digital electronic concepts including number conversion, gates, flip/flops and counters and requires the application of these in lab projects.
    • Gyroscopes and Autopilot Systems – Gain an understanding of basic flight theory, flight controls, gyroscopes and gyroscopic systems and requirements including the ACD and pilot/static systems.
    • Instrumentation and Control – Teaches the various components of an analog circuit, basic soldering techniques and how to read wiring diagrams and schematics.
    • Pulse Microwave Systems – Gain a fundamental understanding of the theory, operation and practical usage of pulse microwave systems and their relationship to safety in aviation

    • Solid State Electronics – Describes the basic concepts of solid state theory and how to troubleshoot solid state electronics using common test equipment.
    • Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Students will maintain and operate a complete UAV, and will learn basic troubleshooting techniques for ground control stations and UAVs maintenance.

Since many industry employers prefer graduates with important certifications, our training also helps you prepare for selected Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification tests.1 Aviation Electronics students have the opportunity to take certification exams in elements 1, 3, and 82 under the auspices of the FCC exams. Additional certifications are available through the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT)3. For students who choose NCATT status, Spartan instructors will help prepare you for required tests. All tests are administered on the Spartan campus.

Aviation Electronics Careers

Aviation Electronics Careers 

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.

Avionics or aircraft electronic technicians typically do the following:
  • Test electronic instruments, using circuit testers, oscilloscopes, and meters
  • Interpret flight test data to diagnose malfunctions and performance problems
  • Assemble components, such as electrical controls and junction boxes, and install software
  • Install instrument panels, using hand and power tools
  • Repair or replace malfunctioning components
  • Keep records of maintenance and repair work
Typical entry-level positions for Spartan graduates of this program include:1
  • Avionics Technician
  • Field Technician
  • Bench Technician

Learn more about our career development services and important program disclosures and occupations the Department of Labor lists as potential careers for graduates of this program. 

How to Become an Avionics Specialist

How to Become an Avionics Specialist

Does the science of flight fascinate you? Are you curious about the aircraft mechanics or the power behind the propeller? Would you like to tackle difficult avionics problems, find unique solutions, and feel pride in a job well done? Then perhaps a career as an avionics specialist is right for you. Are you interested in joining the emerging industry related to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)?

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

Most avionics training programs offer hands-on, focused learning, allowing you to learn in well-equipped labs, on computers, in classrooms, and inside actual avionics repair shops to gain valuable skills and experience. According to FAA guidelines, students are required to complete a minimum of 1,900 class hours. 

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:

  • Satellite Communications
  • Avionics Troubleshooting
  • Test Tools and Equipment
  • Network Infrastructures and Topologies
  • Aviation Components
  • Transmission Lines and Antennas
  • Interfacing
  • Amplifiers
  • Cables and Cabling
  • Avionics Systems
If these classes sound appealing and you have always been fascinated with airplanes, consider pursuing a career as an avionics specialist.

Demand for Aviation Technicians

Demand for Aviation Technicians 

Aerospace giant Boeing released a long-term market outlook report and it contains good news for those interested in a career in avionics. The report predicts that as global economies grow and tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners are produced, the demand for pilots and educated technicians will also grow exponentially. The company anticipates more than 617,000 pilots and 679,000 airline maintenance technicians will be needed over the next 20 years.

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.

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 aviation electronics 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 1-888-354-1902 today for more information.

1 Graduates without experience in the field will likely start in entry-level positions.

2 fcctests.com

3 ncatt.org

4 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

5 Boeing 2016 Market Outlook

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