An avionics technician completes maintenance on airplanes and helicopters and also inspects airplanes, helicopters and other equipment essential to the flying industry such as missile guidance systems, flight-control equipment and jet engines. Many technicians are trained and employed through the armed forces, although it is also very possible to be employed by an airplane hangar, a repair station or an airfield. Training in these instances usually occurs through a certificate program or an Associate’s degree obtained at a community or junior college. As job growth is somewhat unpredictable, those who have a Bachelor’s degree in aircraft maintenance from a four-year college have a leg-up on their competition. All avionics technicians must be certified through a Federal Aviation Administration approved program. Many aerospace companies provide their own training schools where their own product line is emphasized.
Prospective technicians should have a degree of manual dexterity and be interested in physics and calculus-level mathematics.
Avionics technicians generally work indoors in an airplane hangar where environmental conditions can be somewhat unpredictable owing to the amount of upgrades that the hangar has. For example, should the weather be warm in the summer, it is likely that the conditions inside the hangar would be fairly uncomfortable. Those that are employed by the military either as civilians or enlisted can expect to work on a military installation.
Avionics technicians can expect to work full time with the opportunity for quite a bit of overtime and weekend work. Technicians are supervised by any of a number of people including their superiors through the military and those that run the airfield.
Avionics technicians are a necessary part of the aerospace industry and will likely be in demand for quite a while to come.