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Career and Education Opportunities for Avionics Technicians in Santa Clara, California

If you want to be an avionics technician, the Santa Clara, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 1,600 people work as avionics technicians in California. This is expected to grow by 6% to about 1,700 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for avionics technicians are expected to grow by about 10.6%. 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 earn approximately $25 hourly or $54,040 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $23 hourly or $49,310 per year. Avionics technicians earn less than people working in the category of Aircraft generally in California and less than people in the Aircraft category nationally.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Santa Clara area, including one within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree to start your career as an avionics technician. The most common level of education for avionics technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn 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 Santa Clara 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

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.

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: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.