When we think of flying, we often focus on the little amount of leg room we have and the feeling of relief we experience when the person sitting behind us stops kicking the back of our seat. What we may not think about is all that goes into making a 400-ton piece of metal glide through the sky. For others, understanding the mechanics of air travel drives them from curiosity to career. If you happen to be one of those curious people, an electronic engineering degree can give you just what you need to begin a career in aviation!
As you begin exploring career and education options, you may have a few questions we can help answer.
What’s a Good Way to Get Started in Aviation?
A potential entry-level position in aviation is working as an Avionics Technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are many tasks an avionics technician must be able to do. You must be able to test electronic instruments, interpret flight test data to diagnose malfunctions and performance problems, assemble electrical controls, install software and instrument panels, and repair malfunctioning components. Having an electronic engineering degree can provide you with the knowledge needed to tackle these tasks.
As an avionics technician, you will be involved in maintaining some of the plane’s most important electronic instruments, including radio communication devices and equipment, radar systems and navigation aids. Computer system maintenance on aircraft will only become more prominent as the use of digital technology increases.
The avionics technician is there to make sure that the systems in the aircraft are working well, taking people from one destination to another without issue.
How Much Does an Aviation Technician Make?
In 2015, the median annual wage was $58,540. The salary for avionics technicians can vary depending on what industry you are working in. Here are the top five industries for avionics technicians and the salary for each:
• Scheduled air transportation: $76,420
• Aerospace product and parts manufacturing: $63,790
• Federal government, excluding postal service: $55,560
• Support activities for air transportation: $54,800
• Employment services: $47,210
What is the Growth Opportunity for an Avionics Technician?
Avionics technicians can move up in positions depending on their education and how long they have been in the industry. Most entry level positions are spent as “junior” members of research teams. Duties include installation of less complicated electronics systems, and extensive reading and research.
Five years into your avionics technician role, you can consider yourself one of the senior members of the research team and could potentially be leading it. You may be involved in testing protocols and installation procedures or focused on maintenance and overseeing new technicians.
Ten years into your career, you will likely be working with designers and producers, and managing other avionics technicians. The technicians in these advanced positions have worked to understand not only the systems they are working with, but the best way for the team to function as a whole.
How will an Electronic Engineering Degree Help Me?
Although many aviation technician positions require only a two-year technical program, having a bachelor’s degree may give you an edge in the industry. Boeing’s website states that electronic and electrical engineering teams are at the heart of any aviation system. With a four-year degree under your belt, you will put yourself in a position to advance your avionic technology career.
At Grantham, our electronics engineering technology degree curriculum prepares graduates to:
1) Successfully find employment in engineering technology;
2) Effectively identify, analyze and solve technical problems;
3) Effectively use professional communication skills and teamwork; and
4) Apply knowledge of current technology.
If you are intrigued by planes and how their electronic systems can take hundreds of people at one time safely across the world, know that working on that very technology is not an unimaginable job for you. Wherever you are and whatever your schedule may be, Grantham’s online education can be accommodating to your life and provide you with an opportunity to earn your electronics engineering technology degree and start your career in aviation.