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.
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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