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Career and Education Opportunities for Avionics Technicians in San Jose, California

Avionics technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the San Jose, California area. Currently, 1,600 people work as avionics technicians in California. This is expected to grow 6% to about 1,700 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for avionics technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 10.6% over the next eight years. In general, avionics technicians install, inspect, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.

The income of an avionics technician is about $25 hourly or $54,040 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 per hour or $49,310 per year on average. Earnings for avionics technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Aircraft in California and not quite as good as general Aircraft category earnings nationally.

The San Jose area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can get a degree as an avionics technician. Given that the most common education level for avionics technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, 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 San Jose 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

Wyotech-Oakland Campus - Oakland, CA

Wyotech-Oakland Campus, 9636 Earhart Rd, North Field, Oakland, CA 94621. Wyotech-Oakland Campus is a small school located in Oakland, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 101 students. Wyotech-Oakland Campus has a two to four year program in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated eighty-five students in 2008.

Gavilan College - Gilroy, CA

Gavilan College, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd, Gilroy, CA 95020. Gavilan College is a medium sized college located in Gilroy, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,159 students. Gavilan College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated five, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

College of Alameda - Alameda, CA

College of Alameda, 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. College of Alameda is a medium sized college located in Alameda, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,576 students. College of Alameda has 2 areas of study related to Avionics Technician. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Avionics Maintenance Technology/Technician, two to four year.

College of San Mateo - San Mateo, CA

College of San Mateo, 1700 W Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402-3784. College of San Mateo is a large college located in San Mateo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,215 students. College of San Mateo has an associate's degree and a two to four 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: San Jose, California

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.