Avionics: A Generation RetiringEdward Molek
The demand for aviation technicians has been impacted by several factors, but perhaps none more than the retirement of the Baby Boomer Generation. The youngest Baby Boomers are currently 57 years old, and the gap of skilled workers to fill their positions after retirement continues to grow. This gap has continued to drive up demand for aviation technicians, and no one is better positioned to fill these roles than those individuals who have advanced their skills with Avionics certifications.
According to an article by Thomas Inman published in Avionics News,
“At the same time boomers are retiring, aviation businesses are returning to pre-COVID-19 levels. In April, JSfirm.com reported over 64% of 200 companies surveyed expected moderate or significant growth during this year. Less than 4% expected any decline, and 11% of the companies surveyed planned to hire avionics technicians. In fact, avionics technicians were among those in the highest demand. Employers have told us they could hire all of the aviation maintenance graduates from all the schools in the nation and still not meet their needs.”
Avionics technicians were cited as the third greatest hiring need from the JSfirm.com report, just below maintenance technicians and pilots. It is likely this demand will continue to grow exponentially as aircraft become more technically advanced. This greatly contrasts the past prospects of avionics technicians, who often waited to find available positions. With a lack of middle-aged individuals to fill the roles that are currently available, companies hiring aviation technicians will be looking at soon-to-be and future graduates to meet their demands.
How do I become an Avionics Technician?
Training to become an avionics technician can be done separately or added to a maintenance education. Typically, this training is handled at a school like PIA. technicians typically hold their FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License, their NCATT certification, or both!
Where will I work?
Avionics technicians can work in a variety of environments. While bench testing and shop work is standard, technicians are often called to the aircraft for testing and troubleshooting. Avionics technicians often find themselves working in two categories: research and development prior to installation, or direct installation and maintenance on the aircraft itself.
What will I learn?
Avionics technicians are masters of component-level electrical repairs to maintain the complex gauges, radars, and readings that are interpreted by pilots in the cockpit. Their skillset continues to grow in value as technology becomes more integral to the functioning of the aircraft.
Why should I join this career?
The demand for technicians will continue to grow with the retirement of the Baby Boomer Generation. Companies typically seek out individuals who posses their dual certification (both maintenance and avionics certifications), and then fill in their available positions from there. The Princeton Review notes that employee satisfaction within this career field is high, due to the combination of attention to detail and intellectual curiosity that is stimulated through this job.
Ready to start your career as an aviation maintenance technician?
Aviation Workforce Quick Facts
Boeing Technician Outlook, North America: (2021-2040)
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians, Bureau of Labor and Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook
ATEC 2021 Pipeline Report.