By Helen Ginger
Publication date: July 2009
Buy now at the TSTC Waco Bookstore.
Each TechCareers book has three sections:
- detailed career information, necessary skill sets and potential career pathways including salary ranges;
- overview of required degrees and/or certifications that includes sample degree plans from schools in the United States; and
- additional information including a comprehensive listing of instructional programs, major employers and industry-related websites/blogs.
Whether you’re a high school or workforce counselor looking to steer people into a career field best suited for them, a mid-life career changer, or just want to learn more about the state of the industry, the TechCareers series has the information you need.
“Anyone interested in being an aviation technician can expect an enduring career in this field,” says Mark W. Danielson, an aircraft electronics technician.
Millions of people take to the air every day, trusting in the skills of the pilot to ensure safety. However it’s not just the pilot who keeps the plane in flight. An Aviation Electronic Technician (AET) deals with the maintenance and repair of all flight instruments, including flight control, weather radar and missile control.
China and the Hot Air Balloon
Although people have been watching birds take flight throughout history, it was not until the Chinese invented hot air balloons and used them for military communications that humans joined the flying creatures in the skies. Today, no aircraft would be able to fly without avionic technicians. Avionic skills are not just for planes anymore. With the profusion of technological advancements, avionics also are needed for satellites and spacecraft.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and service technicians held about 140,300 jobs in 2008; about 87 percent of these workers were aircraft mechanics and service technicians; the rest were avionics technicians. Between 2008 and 2018, employment in avionics is expected to increase by 7 percent.
“If you’re just beginning to think about this field and a career in avionics, now is the opportune time to begin your training…the good news for those now considering this field is the super techs are reaching retirement age, creating a job gap and a wide open door for new techs to step through.” – TechCareers: Avionics Technician.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the average salary of avionic technicians is around $23 an hour, or $48,000 a year – but that’s just the average. It also depends on where you work. Those working for the local government or scientific research receive a salary averaging more than $50,000 a year. Avionic technicians also have a higher average salary in Oklahoma ($54,900) than in New Mexico ($43,000).
There’s a lot to do as an aviation electronic technician. Some of the jobs include:
- Testing equipment and performing functional flight tests
- Troubleshooting instruments, components and assemblies
- Interpreting flight test data to diagnose malfunctions
- Installing electrical components
- Adjusting, repairing or replacing malfunctioning components or assemblies
Graduating with a certificate or associate degree may suffice to get your foot in the door, but all avionic technicians must spend their entire lives learning and training. With the swift advancements of electronics and equipment, avionic technicians never can learn enough.
TechCareers: Avionics Technician gives a clear description of the growing need for avionics technicians. Featuring necessary information about job opportunities, training and educational requirements, TechCareers: Avionics Technician is a valuable tool for prospective students entering the field.
About the Author
Helen Ginger taught at San Antonio College and Incarnate Word College after receiving her master’s degree from Southwest Texas State University. She served as the executive director of the Writers’ League of Texas and is an owner-partner of Legends In Our Own Minds. She also wrote TechCareers: Automotive Technicians and TechCareers: Computer Gaming Programmers & Artists.