Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- Aircraft mechanics and service technicians typically enter the occupation after attending a Part 147 FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school. These schools award a certificate of completion that the FAA recognizes as an alternative to the experience requirements stated in regulations. The schools also grant holders the right to take the relevant FAA exams.
- Training Required
- Some aircraft mechanics and service technicians enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent and receive on-the-job training to learn their skills and to be able to pass the FAA exams. Aviation maintenance personnel who are not certified by the FAA work under supervision until they have enough experience and knowledge and become certified.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 5% (As fast as average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- As aircraft mechanics gain experience, they may advance to lead mechanic, lead inspector, or shop supervisor. Opportunities to advance may be best for those who have an inspection authorization (IA). Mechanics with broad experience in maintenance and repair may become inspectors or examiners for the FAA.
- The FAA requires that aircraft maintenance be done either by a certified mechanic with the appropriate ratings or authorizations or under the supervision of such a mechanic.
- Median pay: How much do Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians make?
- $60,270 Annual Salary
- $28.98 per hour
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians repair and perform scheduled maintenance on aircraft.
What do Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians do?
Aircraft mechanics typically do the following:
- Diagnose mechanical or electrical problems
- Repair wings, brakes, electrical systems, and other aircraft components
- Replace defective parts, using hand tools or power tools
- Examine replacement aircraft parts for defects
- Read maintenance manuals to identify repair procedures
- Test aircraft parts with gauges and other diagnostic equipment
- Inspect completed work to ensure that it meets performance standards
- Keep records of maintenance and repair work
Avionics technicians typically do the following:
- Test electronic instruments, using circuit testers, oscilloscopes, and voltmeters
- Interpret flight test data to diagnose malfunctions and performance problems
- Assemble components, such as electrical controls and junction boxes, and install software
- Install instrument panels, using hand tools, power tools, and soldering irons
- Repair or replace malfunctioning components
- Keep records of maintenance and repair work
Airplanes require reliable parts and maintenance in order to fly safely. To keep an airplane in operating condition, aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians perform scheduled maintenance, make repairs, and complete inspections. They must follow detailed regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that dictate maintenance schedules for different operations.
Many mechanics are generalists and work on many different types of aircraft, such as jets, piston-driven airplanes, and helicopters. Others specialize in one section, such as the engine, hydraulic system, or electrical system, of a particular type of aircraft. In independent repair shops, mechanics usually inspect and repair many types of aircraft.
The following are examples of types of aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians:
Careers for Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
- A&P mechanics
- Aircraft armament mechanics
- Aircraft electronics specialists
- Aircraft electronics technicians
- Aircraft engine mechanics
- Aircraft engine specialists
- Aircraft instrument mechanics
- Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics
- Airframe and power plant mechanics
- Airframe mechanics
- Airplane electricians
- Airplane riggers
- Automatic pilot mechanics
- Aviation electronics technicians
- Avionics technicians
- Designated airworthiness representatives
- Designated airworthiness representatives (DARs)
- FAA certified powerplant mechanics
- Flight test mechanics
- Helicopter mechanics
- In-flight refueling system repairers
- Inspection authorized (IA) mechanics
- Inspection authorized (IA) repairmen
- Jet engine mechanics
- Propeller-driven airplane mechanics
- Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
- Automotive Body and Glass Repairers
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics
- Diesel Service Technicians and Mechanics
- Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
- Electro-mechanical Technicians
- Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Service Technicians
- Mechanical Engineering Technicians
- Medical Equipment Repairers