Career Opportunities in Avionics
Avionics – a Specialize Electronics Career
Ever wonder on how all the aircraft in the world communicate, navigate, and avoid each other? The simple answer is avionics. Wikipedia defines it as, “… electronic systems for use on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft, comprising communications, navigation and the display and management of multiple systems. It also includes the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles; these can be as simple as a search light for a police helicopter or as complicated as the tactical system for an Airborne Early Warning platform.”
Avionics training is typically an add-on to an electronics education or to a person with an Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) FAA certificate. A typical list of subjects covered in an avionics program are: Soldering & Basic Laboratory Practices, D.C. Circuits, Basic Computer, A.C. Circuits, Solid State Devices, Digital Circuits, Microprocessors, Analog Circuits, Radio Repair Stations, Aircraft Electrical Systems, Line and Bench Maintenance, Installing Avionics Systems, Calibration of Test Equipment, AM & FM Transmitters, AM & FM Receivers, AM & FM Transceivers, Electromagnetic Wave Emissions, Line and Bench Maintenance of Radio, Navigation Systems, Line and Bench Radar System, and Operation of Area Navigation Systems. A strong background in mathematics is a strong plus in this field.
There are many employment opportunities that have avionics training. Many graduates find high paying jobs at avionics manufactures, airlines, fixed based operations, service centers, and electronic and avionics accessory shops. With the number of aircraft increasing annually, the technological advancements gaining near exponentially, and the global demand for highly trained individuals, it is no wonder that the demand for avionics technician is growing steadily.
Although the training time will be similar where ever you go, the cost and experiences can be substantially different. The typical training time is roughly two years. The cost can be as high as $40,000 at a private school or as low as $4,000 at a public school – with no difference in quality or experience! Scholarships are typically available.
There are numerous ways to get trained to work on avionics. The first is to join the military and be placed under their electronic and/or avionic training programs. They have one of the best training programs available. Another option is a college or university. They typically have a program that provides adequate theory and ample hands-on experience to get you in the door at an entry level job. Possibly the best training situation is through a FAA Part 147 school that teaches through a hands-on approach in an aviation setting. What use is it to be trained on aircraft systems if they don’t have any aircraft!
The world of avionics is a fast paced, highly skilled, and high wage career path. If you like challenges and are willing to put in the time and effort to learn the required skills, you no doubt want to look into avionics as a career.