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What Is an Aircraft Avionics Technician and How to Become One

Aircraft Avionics Technician

What Does an Aircraft Avionics Technician Do?

An aircraft avionics technician tests, inspects, and repairs different pieces of avionics equipment, such as fuel system gauges, radar and navigation systems, radios, and other technical equipment necessary for flying an aircraft. In this career, your duties and responsibilities include keeping careful documentation and logs of your maintenance work, adjusting or replacing components and systems that are malfunctioning, installing electrical systems, and setting up test equipment and operational support tools for ground crews. You use many different hand tools as an aircraft avionics technician, including soldering irons, voltmeters, oscilloscopes, and circuit testers.

How Can I Become an Aircraft Avionics Technician?

The qualifications needed to become an aircraft avionics technician start with an associate’s degree. Prior experience as an avionics mechanic or service technician combined with technical training and classroom instruction can substitute for an associate degree. You also need to have clearance for installation, inspection, and repair of specific flight instruments and electronic equipment on planes. You can get certifications in numerous systems, including the Aircraft Electronics Technician certification and Radiotelephone Operator certification, which you can apply for through the FCC.

Where Can Aircraft Avionics Technicians Work?

Aircraft avionics technicians primarily work in manufacturing facilities and around airports or air bases. Around 30% of avionics technicians work for aerospace product and parts manufacturing companies and another 30% work in industries that provide air transportation support. You can find work within the civilian air industries or with the US military. Unlike mechanics, who may work in the open, most aviation technicians work in production hangars, hangars at airports, or repair stations connected to an air facility, which are typically climate controlled.

What Skills Are Required to Become a Successful Aircraft Avionics Technician?

You need numerous skills to be a successful avionics technician. Technical troubleshooting and critical thinking are essential because you need to know how to test and diagnose problems in electronic and radio equipment. The ability to read different types of gauges, indicators, and dials is important for assessing machinery. You should have strong mechanical and electrical engineering skills. Clear verbal and written communication skills are also essential for the job, as you need to log everything you do and communicate major problems with your superiors.