How to Get A Job In Avionics

An avionics career offers long-term job security and a chance to make positive changes in air travel and more. Read how to get a job in avionics now.

Avionics are necessary for aircraft, man-made satellites, and other spacecraft to function. Domestic and international air travel is predominantly the most popular method of travel in modern times and projects to remain as such for the foreseeable future. Air travel is also expected to undergo significant positive changes over the next twenty years - changes proposed to further enhance the convenience, efficacy and popularity of aircraft and air travel overall. Therefore, a career in avionics provides long-term job security and an opportunity to contribute to such positive changes. What training do you need to obtain a job in avionics? How much does a job in avionics pay? Continue reading to learn how to get a job in avionics and start your career today.

Avionics 101 - What Is Avionics?

Aviation is defined as the operation and/or flying of an aircraft. Electronics are described in two important ways. One definition describes electronics as a branch of technology and physics related to the development and design of circuits (including microchips and transistors). An alternative definition describes electronics as the way electronics move and behave inside conductors, semiconductors, vacuum and/or gas.

Avionics merges aviation and electronics in both spelling and core functionality. Essentially, avionics is a combination of electrical parts, components, systems, and equipment utilized in various aspects of aircraft, spacecraft, and man-made satellites. Avionics elements make the flight and overall operation of aircraft possible. Avionics also monitor performance systems and fuel levels in addition to assisting with takeoffs and landings. Most avionics are housed inside the control panels located in the cockpit of an aircraft. Multiple categories of avionics systems are active before and during each flight, each powered by a different type of technology.

General Overview of Avionics Systems

Avionics and the technology from which they are made are installed inside numerous systems. Each system is designed to manage specific flight, safety and/or other operational functions. For example, the monitoring system monitors all instruments, gauges, and dials necessary for flight operation via digital or analog methods. For another example, the overall avionics fuel system calculates available remaining fuel via the fuel quantity indication system (FQIS). Fuel is further managed via the fuel control and monitoring system (FCMS). Additional avionics systems installed in modern aircraft include:

  • Traffic alert.

  • Collision avoidance.

  • Communications.

  • Navigation.

  • Flight control (autopilot).

  • Weather.

What Types of Jobs Could You Get in Avionics?

Avionics designer (engineer) and avionics mechanic (technician) are two primary types of career fields available in avionics today. Avionics mechanics are assigned a significant variety of duties and tasks pursuant to the repair and upkeep of avionics inside an aircraft. This job description is also applicable to avionics mechanics working on spacecraft and man-made satellites, although the technology used is unique to each type of flight craft. The job of an avionics mechanic is demanding due to the inherent responsibility each mechanic has to the safe operation of an aircraft. Essentially, the safety of the aircraft and all people on board are dependent upon the integrity of the work performed by each avionics mechanic. All discovered issues are required to be repaired prior to an aircraft leaving the ground. Even the suspicion of a potential issue is required to be examined thoroughly and eliminated as a potential hazard prior to the approval of a takeoff. Avionics mechanics are further required to:

  • Comply with all local, regional, state and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety regulations.

  • Install new equipment.

  • Ensure functionality of all wiring and components.

  • Operate power and hand tools safely and effectively.

  • Predict any malfunctions and prevent their occurrence via flight data interpretations.

  • Inspect all work for accuracy.

  • Keep accurate logs of all performed maintenance and repairs. 

Avionics engineers design the electronic components installed and operated inside aircraft, spacecraft, and man-made satellites. Avionics engineers also test the avionics parts, components, and systems they design. Overseeing the manufacturing of avionics elements and equipment is also part of this career field. Additional jobs available in the field of avionics include:

  • Pilot.

  • Aerospace engineer.

  • Air traffic controller.

  • Technician assistant.

  • Assistant engineer.

  • Flight attendant.

Training Required for an Avionics Career

Training for an avionics career begins early for some aspiring candidates. Other candidates might develop later interest in the field due to training and additional experiences in the military. All employers of avionics mechanics and engineers require prospective employees to possess a minimum FAA-approved certificate, however, although college degrees are commonly preferred.

Numerous high schools around the nation provide vocational-technical (vo-tech) electronics programs. Participating in these courses helps advance your opportunities and potential for success in the field. Specialized training programs facilitated by an FAA-certificated Aviation Maintenance Technician School (AMTS) provide the minimum required education and experience necessary to obtain employment in the avionics field. Avionics certificate programs take approximately eighteen to twenty-four months to complete. Six-to-eight-month accelerated programs are also offered to qualified students looking to start their careers fast.

Obtaining an associate degree or higher in Avionics Maintenance Technology (AMT) or another related field increases your value to employers and (potentially) your starting salary. What is the primary difference between avionics certificate and degree programs? Avionics certificate programs emphasize training pursuant to electrical components. Avionics degree programs emphasize the aircraft powerplant. Once you obtain a certificate and/or degree, you will need to regularly update your certification status to maintain compliance with all new rules and regulations. Voluntary additional certificate training also helps increase your promotion and salary potential.

How Much Does Avionics Training Cost?

Tuition for avionics training programs varies based on the type of education received. Prices range between approximately $2,000 and $37,500 for certificates through college degree programs. Associate degree programs generally require two years to complete, cost more than certificate training but less than four-year bachelor’s degree programs. Discounted tuition might be available to in-state students at some institutions. Financial aid might also be available through the U.S. federal government and other resources

How Much Does a Job In Avionics Pay?

Aviation mechanics earn an approximate average of $32 per hour. Salaries range between $20 and $50 per hour, however (or between $35,000 and $110,000 per year or more). The median salary for avionics mechanics is $65,550 per year. Avionics engineers earn more, with a national average salary of approximately $150,000 per year. Please note: Obtaining a job as an avionics engineer also requires more training and education than obtaining a position as an avionics mechanic.

Finding An Avionics Job:

One of the top resources for finding a job in avionics is through the Aircraft Electronics Association. They have postings and listings for available avionics positions around the country. Another quality resource for finding local Avionics jobs is using At the time of this writing there were thousands of job listings on for avionics positions.