Avionics Engineers and Technicians

Avionics (from the words aviation and electronics) is the application of electronics to the operation of aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. Avionics engineers conduct research and solve developmental problems associated with aviation, such as instrument landing systems and other safety instruments for aircraft or space vehicles. Avionics engineers are a subspecialty of the field of aerospace engineering. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in May 2014 there were approximately 69,080 aerospace engineers employed in the United States.

Avionics technicians inspect, test, adjust, and repair the electronic components of aircraft communications, navigation, and flight-control systems and compile complete maintenance-and-overhaul records for the work they do. Avionics technicians also calibrate and adjust the frequencies of communications apparatus when it is installed and perform periodic checks on those frequency settings. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in May 2014 avionics technicians held about 17,150 jobs.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Conduct research and solve developmental problems associated with electronics in the operation of aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles (engineers); inspect, test, adjust, and repair the electronic components of aircraft systems and provide support to engineers (technicians)
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but California, Washington, Texas, Ohio, and Alabama offer the best prospects
Minimum Education Level
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Realistic
  • Technical
Skills
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Decline
Career Ladder
  • Avionics Engineering Supervisor/Manager or College Professor
  • Avionics or Engineer
  • Junior Avionics Engineer
  • Avionics or Aerospace Technician

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