Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians maintain airplanes and their components to keep flight travel safe and on schedule. Airframe and power plant mechanics repair and maintain most parts of an aircraft, including the engines, landing gear, and brakes. They use special equipment to check for cracks and corrosion in the plane’s exterior, then repair and recheck to ensure soundness. Avionic technicians take care of the plane’s electronic instruments and systems, such as testing navigation and weather radar to keep flights safely en route, or fine-tuning radio communications to keep pilots in touch with the experts on the ground. This is one of the highest paid technical professions, and it’s easy to see why. These workers analyze complex problems and develop safe, workable solutions quickly to get aircraft back up in the air, often in a matter of hours. Exposure to noise and vibration is part of every shift. Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians work in hangars, repair stations, or on airfields. Most work full time on rotating 8-hour shifts; overtime and weekend work is common. Typically, workers have a high school education and obtain training at technical schools certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, although some learn on the job or enter the field after military experience. Certification by the FAA increases job opportunities and wages, and is required for some positions. This is a job where safety can never take a back seat to schedule.
What they do:
Install, inspect, test, adjust, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, navigation, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.
On the job, you would:
Test and troubleshoot instruments, components, and assemblies, using circuit testers, oscilloscopes, or voltmeters.
Keep records of maintenance and repair work.
Adjust, repair, or replace malfunctioning components or assemblies, using hand tools or soldering irons.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
read and understand what is written
listen and understand what people say
Hand and Finger Use
put together small parts with your fingers
keep your arm or hand steady
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Avionics system testing software
Computer diagnostic software
Facilities management software
Maintenance record software
certificate after high school or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include: