Avionics technicians repair and maintain aircraft navigation and radio communication components, weather radar systems, and other instruments and computers used to control flight, engine, and other primary functions.
These duties may require additional licenses, such as an FCC license — a radiotelephone license issued by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Avionics technicians who hold an FCC license often receive higher wages than those without such a license. Additionally, A&P Mechanics often qualify for higher wages if they are also certified as an avionics technician.
Because of the increasing use of technology, more time is spent repairing electronic systems, such as computerized controls. Technicians also may be required to analyze and develop solutions to complex electronic problems.
At least 50 schools in the U.S. offer aircraft electronics/avionics certification courses. Many of these programs are offered in conjunction with A&P training, although the courses can be taken independently. Avionics programs are also offered at 2-year and 4-your universities, such as the Aviation Maintenance Science degree offered at Embry-Riddle, where students choose a concentration in either Maintenance Management, Aerospace Electronics, Flight, or Information Technology. While the AMS degree comprises a full four-year program resuilting in a Bachelor of Science degree, Embry-Riddle also offers a 4-month Avionics Line Maintenance Certification program, in which students study aircraft avionics system installation, wiring concepts, line troubleshooting of avionics aircraft problems, and prepare to test for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license.