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Career and Education Opportunities for Avionics Technicians in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you want to be an avionics technician, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for avionics technicians sees this job pool growing by about 10.6% over the next eight years. 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 $26 hourly or $54,240 per year on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $23 per hour or $49,310 annually. Incomes for avionics technicians are better than in the overall category of Aircraft in Pennsylvania, and not quite as good as the overall Aircraft category nationally.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree 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 Pittsburgh include:

  • 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

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics - West Mifflin, PA

Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, 5 Allegheny County Airport, West Mifflin, PA 15122. Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics is a small school located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 257 students and an admission rate of 94%. Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics has an associate's degree program in Avionics Maintenance Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.


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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.