Avionics Technician Certification and Certificate Program Info

The following article discusses certifications and certificate programs for the aspiring avionics technician. Explore educational prerequisites, coursework and employment outlook statistics here.

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Essential Information

Aircraft electronics, also known as avionics, is a rapidly changing industry that requires training in advanced technology and maintenance. Successful completion of an FAA-approved avionics technician certificate program qualifies graduates to work as aircraft mechanics and service technicians. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, avionics technicians typically need to earn an associate's degree. There are two primary certifications in this field - powerplant mechanics and airframe mechanics. While these certifications aren't necessarily required, most aspiring mechanics and technicians obtain one or both of them.

Certificate programs teach students how to install, remove and repair aircraft equipment. Technology coursework covers global positioning systems, communication systems, flight computers, weather radars and radios; it also teaches system integration and troubleshooting. Math is a major component of avionics studies. Course structure involves electronic and avionic theory, general core requirements and practical applications.

Education Prerequisites and Coursework

Previous field or class experience is not required to enroll in an avionics technician program, but applicants must submit high school transcripts and have a diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED). Within the program, coursework includes:

  • Aircraft electrical systems
  • Bench and line maintenance
  • Test equipment calibration
  • Avionics installation
  • Electronics basics
  • Autopilot systems
  • Navigation systems

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Avionics technicians are in demand, and the national need for their skills is expected to increase by seven percent from 2010 through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median hourly wage for avionics technicians was $26.61 in 2012, which translated into $55,350 per year, the BLS stated.

Continuing Education Information

It is necessary to take a certification exam to work as an avionics technician. Candidates may choose from airframe mechanic, powerplant mechanic or A&P mechanic certification. A minimum of 16 training hours every two years is required to stay current with emerging technologies and keep an avionics technician certification valid. Specific areas, such as radiotelephone, require additional licensing or certification issued by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

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  • School locations:
    • Utah (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Utah State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
        • Avionics Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southern Illinois University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance
        • Automotive Mechanics
        • Avionics Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Western Michigan University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
        • Avionics Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Educational Administration and Supervision
      • ESL Teaching
      • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
      • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts

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