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Career and Education Opportunities for Avionics Technicians in Tucson, Arizona

If you want to be an avionics technician, the Tucson, Arizona area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 460 people work as avionics technicians in Arizona. This is expected to grow 22% to about 560 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for avionics technicians are expected to grow by about 10.6%. Avionics technicians generally install, inspect, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.

Income for avionics technicians is about $22 hourly or $46,280 annually on average in Arizona. Nationally, their income is about $23 per hour or $49,310 annually. Earnings for avionics technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Aircraft in Arizona and not quite as good as general Aircraft category earnings nationally.

There are twenty-one schools of higher education in the Tucson area, including one within twenty-five miles of Tucson where you can get a degree to start your career as an avionics technician. Avionics technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be an avionics technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Avionics Technician

Avionics Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, avionics technicians install, inspect, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.

Avionics technicians adjust or remove malfunctioning parts or assemblies, using hand tools or soldering irons. They also keep records of maintenance and repair work. Equally important, avionics technicians have to test and troubleshoot instruments, parts, and assemblies, using circuit testers or voltmeters. They are often called upon to fabricate parts and test aids as required. They are expected to connect parts to assemblies such as radio systems and in-flight refueling systems, using hand tools and soldering irons. Finally, avionics technicians assemble parts such as switches and junction boxes, using hand tools or soldering irons.

Every day, avionics technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for avionics technicians to set up electrical and electronic parts, assemblies, and systems in aircraft, using hand tools or soldering irons. They are often called upon to direct work with that of engineers and other aircraft maintenance personnel. They also assemble and operate ground support and test apparatus to perform functional flight tests of electrical and electronic systems. They are sometimes expected to interpret flight test data to diagnose malfunctions and systemic performance problems. Somewhat less frequently, avionics technicians are also expected to operate computer-aided drafting and layout applications to lay out avionics system modifications.

And finally, they sometimes have to set up electrical and electronic parts, assemblies, and systems in aircraft, using hand tools or soldering irons.

Like many other jobs, avionics technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tucson include:

  • Aircraft Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
  • Car Electronics Installer. Install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.
  • Electronics Mechanic. Install, adjust, or maintain mobile electronics communication equipment, including sound, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other mobile equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Avionics Technician Training

Pima Community College - Tucson, AZ

Pima Community College, 401 North Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85709-5000. Pima Community College is a large college located in Tucson, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,529 students. Pima Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Avionics Maintenance Technology/Technician.

CERTIFICATIONS

Avionics: A technician with two or more years of combined work and electronics training may apply for the Journeyman exam.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Customer Service Specialist: An individual who successfully passes ETA's World Class CSS Certification exam is professionally recognized as having the ability to uphold the interpersonal and business standards necessary in today's workplace.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Airmen Certification: Include the following areas:

  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Flight Engineers, Flight Navigators, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Control Tower Operators
  • 8610-1 (PDF) - Mechanic's Application for Inspection Authorization
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Mechanics, Repairman, and Parachute Riggers
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot

Medical Certification:

Certified Aerospace Technician: The SpaceTEC Certified Aerospace Technician Core exam is a three part exam consisting of a 70 question, computer based, written exam, followed by an oral and practical evaluation of an individual's technical knowledge and skills.

For more information, see the SpaceTEC website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona photo by Howcheng

Tucson is situated in Pima County, Arizona. It has a population of over 541,811, which has grown by 11.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Tucson, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tucson are priced at $179,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Tucson, down from 1,131 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tucson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 22.9% of Tucson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tucson is 9.2%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Tucson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Tucson is home to the Arizona Correctional Training Facility and the Silverbell Golf Course as well as Vista del Pueblo Park and Verde Meadows Park. Shopping centers in the area include Gaslight Square Shopping Center, Grant Park Shopping Center and Grant Plaza South Shopping Center. Visitors to Tucson can choose from LA Quinta, Casa Tierra Adobe B & B Inn and Best Western Executive Inn for temporary stays in the area.