Electrician vs. Aviation Electronics Technology Technician

man working on avionics
April 26, 2021
Electrician vs. Aviation Electronics Technology Technician

Does working on communications systems, navigation systems, and air traffic control systems on private jets sound exciting to you? What about assembling and programing a drone? All of these tasks fall under the job description of an aviation electronics technology technician. An aviation electronics technology technician is trained to work on some of the most complex and sensitive new technology on the market. From planes to unmanned aerial devices (UAD) to satellites, exciting pieces of electronics.


It only takes a little more than a year to train for this type of work. Not only could you be trained to work with cutting edge technology, but you could be part of a job sector that will be increasingly in demand as these types of technology gain traction, according to Forbes.


If you're considering training to be an aviation electronics technology technician, you may be curious just how it compares to work as an electrician. We've put together a brief description of each plus the pros and cons of training to be an electrician vs training to be an aviation electronics technology technician.


What Does an Electrician Do? 


A traditional electrician installs, maintains, and repairs "electrical power, communications, lighting and control systems", according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Electricians might work for a large or small company or be self-employed. Some electricians specialize in working on one type of equipment or in one segment of the market, such as residential wiring; other electricians are generalists. Many electricians work evenings and weekends, and overtime is common in this field.

While you might be most familiar with electricians that fix wiring for your new office computers or install the wiring for that new addition on your home, many electricians only do in-house work for a single company or industry.

Most electricians learn their skills at a trade school or community college. Some follow a trade apprentice program, where they work closely with an experienced electrician. Training takes an average of four years.


All states require that electricians pass certain requirements to be licensed. This involves passing an initial licensing test, keeping current with continuing education requirements and paying an annual licensing fee.

In addition to the lengthy training period, one of the downsides of electrician work is working with potentially deadly electricity. In addition, if you work for general contractors, there may also be a lot of travel and work away from home at job sites. Self-employed electricians face additional challenges as small business owners, such as continually having to market your business, rising liability insurance costs, and finding good, qualified people to hire as associates.

On the positive side, there is a steady demand for electricians and, in most cases, there is an ever-changing array of work, so the job is rarely boring. In addition, there's a job format for most every personality. Extroverts will likely be drawn to self-employment, whereas quieter personalities can work in relative anonymity with an in-house department of a larger corporation.


What Does an Aviation Electronics Technology Technician Do?


An aviation electronics technology technician helps to maintain, install, and repair the complex components of aircraft, including their communications systems, wiring, electrical systems, navigation systems and other components. Such workers need to be current and well-versed on all FAA regulations and keep detailed and accurate maintenance and repair records on the aircraft they work on. Some aviation electronics technology technicians specialize in one system or in one type of aircraft, such as helicopters or private jets; others generalize. This training may also qualify you to work with high-tech electronics and machinery, such as drones and robotic equipment.


One of the most positive aspects of work as an aviation technology technician is that it is a field that's growing. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the market for aviation electronics technicians nationwide will grow by around seven percent by the end of the decade. In addition, the work can be fascinating, since you work with cutting-edge electronics.


Additionally, aviation electronics technology technicians are needed more often in large, urban areas near airports and large corporations. Therefore, this trade is not quite as flexible as that of an electrician, who can work virtually anywhere. In addition, aviation electronics technology technicians have to keep learning, even after they graduate, to keep themselves up to date on the latest technological advancements. Since there is no state or federal continuing education mandate, you’ll need to be self-motivated.


About the Aviation Electronics Technology program at Spartan College


The Aviation Electronics Technology program at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology trains students to work in electronics technology in aviation and a variety of other industries, including communications, aerospace, robotics, simulator development, unmanned aerial vehicles/drones and renewable energy. Students study FAA regulations, learn the proper use of basic tools and test equipment, study electronic theory, learn how to perform high-reliability soldering and wiring, and have hands-on training in the installation, troubleshooting, and repair of electronic and avionics systems. Spartan College offers a good balance of theory and hands-on learning. In addition, program specialty classes provide shop, flight line testing, and repair facilities for students to learn first-hand about navigation, communications, and radar equipment.


As a part of the Aviation Electronics Technology program, your classes will be on subjects that have a direct correlation to your future training. You'll take classes like aerospace wiring, instrument controls, and robotics and avionics communication systems. To facilitate learning, Spartan College has invested in equipment like the Garmin G100 avionics display units, autopilot systems, navigation systems, radar equipment, and air traffic control transponders. You'll learn on real-world systems. At Spartan College, we'll teach you skills that will train you to be a part of the future of aviation electronics technology.


The Aviation Electronics Technology program at Spartan College is offered at both the Tulsa campus and the Broomfield, Colorado campus near Denver. The Broomfield campus has an Associate of Applied Science program that takes 15 months to complete. The Tulsa campus has two program options available — a 12-month certificate program and a 15-month Associate of Applied Science degree program. New classes start regularly. Scholarships and financial aid are available to students who qualify.


About Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology


Our campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma is adjacent to Tulsa International Airport, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology is a private aviation training institution. Founded nearly 100 years ago, Spartan College has grown to include campus locations in Colorado and California.


To learn more about the Aviation Electronics Technology program at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology or to apply, contact the admissions department or visit spartan.edu.

Interested in Learning More?
If you would like to learn more about Spartan College and our program offerings, fill out the form below to request information, and we will have one of our admissions representatives contact you.

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