Aviation Electronics Technician Job Description
Aviation electronics technicians inspect, repair, and maintain the electrical systems in aircraft. Specialized knowledge and training is necessary, as they must understand the workings of warfare sensors, flight controls, signal jamming, and other aircraft mechanisms. This role also entails some unpredictability, since projects vary in terms of complexity. Aviation electronics technicians may work in the military, which requires extensive travel and training, or pursue employment with airlines, repair stations, or manufacturers.
Aviation Electronics Technician Duties and Responsibilities
While the day-to-day duties of aviation electronics technicians are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with this role. Based on the job listings we analyzed, these include:
Aviation electronics technicians are responsible for conducting inspections on aircraft to ensure that they’re fully functional, especially before boarding. This involves testing various components, including navigational systems and emergency controls, and putting them through several use cases to account for unpredictable situations.
Troubleshoot and Repair Equipment
Upon detecting malfunctions, aviation electronics technicians analyze test results and consult schematic diagrams to diagnose their root cause. The technician can then isolate which component is defective and repair or replace it, depending on the extent of the damage.
It’s the job of aviation electronics technicians to perform both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of aircraft equipment. Day-to-day tasks include fueling, equipment calibration, aircraft washing, and micro-repair of circuit cards. They may also upgrade electrical systems by building new functionalities to bolster performance.
Improve Testing Systems
Because testing equipment and processes has a major impact on their work efficiency, aviation electronics technicians optimize it as much as possible. They constantly develop and revise repair procedures, check testing devices for compliance and quality assurance, and create productivity-boosting tools such as tracking systems.
Given their specialized knowledge, aviation electronics technicians supervise and instruct junior technicians in daily tasks, providing assistance as needed. In addition, they may hold more in-depth training sessions that cover complex topics such as antivirus software and engineering safety requirements.
Aviation Electronics Technician Skills and Qualifications
Aviation electronics technicians are natural problem-solvers with strong technical skills. Highly trained in avionics and equipment handling, they excel at troubleshooting and repair as well as working with their hands. Organizations hire candidates with certification and the following skills:
- Avionics expertise – from scanning blueprints to assembling components, aviation electronics technicians possess a deep understanding of electrical systems in aircraft. Technical aptitude backed by experience is a must for this role
- Proficiency with testing – evaluating the functionality and safety of aircraft is the technician’s most important task. They should be proficient at conducting tests for different kinds of equipment and interpreting the results
- Analytical thinking – determining the source of technical malfunctions isn’t always straightforward, so aviation electronics technicians need good analytical skills to troubleshoot successfully
- Attention to detail – small details like mismatched settings or overheating can have a disastrous impact when left unnoticed. It’s crucial for aviation electronics technicians to have a sharp, critical eye and to work with precision and accuracy
- Eye-hand coordination – aviation electronics technicians rely on excellent hand-eye coordination when handling minute components such as wires and circuits
Tools of the Trade
Aviation electronics technicians frequently use these tools to perform their jobs:
- Electrical testing tools (such as meters, calibrators, oscilloscopes, or signal generators)
- Repair equipment (such as write strippers, pliers, or screwdrivers)
- Circuit components (such as resistors, inductors, or capacitors)
- Aviation maintenance software (such as AvPro Software, UpKeep, or WinAir)
Aviation Electronics Technician Education and Training
The minimum educational requirement for aviation electronics technicians is a high school diploma. However, they must have an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification, which requires more than two years of experience working under licensed avionics professionals. They can qualify for this by undergoing on-the-job training, obtaining a college degree in avionics, or joining an official program at a technician school. Those planning to enter the military must additionally go through military education and training.
Aviation Electronics Technician Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that aviation electronics technicians have a median annual salary of more than $62,000. This is the highest-earning role under the career group of aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians. The lowest 10 percent of earners in this career group have salaries of less than $37,000, while the highest 10 percent earn more than $92,000.
Employment for aviation electronics technicians is expected to grow by 5 percent over the next decade. This is an average rate, since outsourcing and automation offset the predicted increase in air traffic.
Interested in knowing more about this career path? Take a look at the following books and organizations for aviation electronics technicians:
Federal Aviation Administration – part of the US Department of Transportation, the FAA regulates national industry standards by issuing regulations, providing licenses and certifications, and implementing programs for improvement. Its website contains a thorough list of training resources and certified aviation schools
Aircraft Inspection, Repair & Alterations: Acceptable Methods, Techniques & Practices – aviation electronics technicians can refer repeatedly to this handy guide, which contains exhaustive instructions and illustrations for repairing and maintaining aircraft
Aircraft Electronics Association – AEA’s members consist of avionics businesses and educational institutions in more than 40 countries. While individuals can’t join directly, they can attend events such as workshops, conventions, conferences, and training programs
Aviation Mechanic Handbook: The Aviation Standard – written by Dale Crane, who won several awards for his contributions to aviation maintenance, this comprehensive reference book covers technical topics such as relevant mathematical formulas, material identifications, common measurements, and up-to-date best practices
IEEE Aerospace & Electronic Systems Society – aviation electronics technicians interested in both electronics and computing should consider joining this organization, which holds regular panels and releases high-quality technical publications
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