The Avionics and Aircraft Specialty For Diesel Mechanics - Diesel Mechanic Guide

The Avionics and Aircraft Specialty For Diesel Mechanics

With air flight becoming a popular mode of transportation for people and supplies across the nation, more and more diesel mechanics are contemplating a career in this sector of the mechanic industry.

Diesel mechanics who specialize in avionics focus on the repair and maintenance of the various types and sizes of aircraft, ensuring these vehicles remain safe during takeoff, flight, and landing.

Individuals who are contemplating being an avionics diesel mechanic need to earn the necessary degree and licensure through a certified avionics program, which will open up many career opportunities in this field.

Educational Prerequisites

Whether a diesel mechanic wishes to enter this field directly out of high school or earn a degree to ascertain a higher paying position at an upstanding company, all employers and colleges across America require potential applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED.

Depending on the avionics program, students may need to fulfill further educational prerequisites, such as English, math, and computer, to prepare them for the in-depth training of aircraft engines and equipment.

Educational Requirements

aircraft mechanic careerMany employers will hire potential workers who have just graduated from high school, utilizing on-the-job training to teach new hires the essentials of diesel engine repair and maintenance. Other aspiring avionics diesel mechanics enter this occupation after receiving specialized training while in the military. With the continuing advancement of diesel technology, most employers prefer to hire those who have earned a degree at an accredited college, vocational schools, or university.

Students who wish to obtain further certification upon graduation should enroll in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved aviation maintenance technician school.

Diesel mechanics who have already earned a degree in diesel technology can obtain further educational training in aviation maintenance technology, which will instruct them on the necessary skills they need for repairing and maintaining mechanical systems and aircraft structures.

Associate’s Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology

Taking approximately two years to complete with full-time courses, an associate’s degree in aviation maintenance technology focuses on the technical training aspects of aircraft maintenance and repair. Diesel mechanics can specialize in structural or engine systems, with coursework covering the theories and skills necessary to ascertain their FAA certification in powerplant and airframe maintenance. Courses may include topics on:

  • FAA regulations
  • Aircraft electrical systems
  • Aerodynamics
  • Materials science
  • Gas turbine and piston powerplants
  • Instrumentation
  • Aircraft structure
  • Airframe systems

Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology

For those who wish to enter a leadership role at an avionics company, earning a bachelor’s degree in aviation maintenance technology trains diesel mechanics in the technical training of aircraft maintenance as well as the general education in management and business. A bachelor’s degree can take approximately four years to complete, requiring students to take full-time courses in order to graduate on time. In addition to covering courses on business and management, these programs include topics on:

  • Electrical systems
  • FAA regulations and documentation
  • Fuel, exhaust, and air systems
  • Powerplants
  • Airframe maintenance practices
  • Propeller systems
  • Avionics
  • Engine maintenance and repair
  • Management principles

Certification

Even though certification is not necessary to find employment in the United States, many mechanics are earning a specialized certification in this field to improve their chances of obtaining an increased wage or higher level of employment, especially since the FAA requires all aircraft maintenance to be performed under the direction of a certified mechanic.

Diesel mechanics who have graduated with a degree in diesel technology or aviation maintenance technology can take various certification examinations through the FAA.

The FAA certifies diesel mechanics in airframe mechanics (A) or powerplant mechanics (P), but many employers prefer to hire mechanics who have high ratings in both specializations, which shows that the mechanic has successfully met the industry’s basic ability and knowledge standards. In order to be approved to take the exams, diesel mechanics need to meet certain qualifications, including:

  • A Fluency in English
  • Being more than 18 years of age
  • A minimum of 30 months of experience
  • The completion of oral, written, and practical exams
  • The completion of relevant maintenance or repair work within the past 24 months

Diesel mechanics who wish to advance their careers or increase their skills can earn additional certifications or licenses through the FAA, including the Inspection Authorization (IA) and the Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR).

Career Outlook

Competition in the avionics sector of the mechanic industry is high, especially since a 2012 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the employment outlook for this sector is predicted to increase by only two percent by 2020.

The median annual wage for diesel mechanics is $55,210, with the lowest 10 percent earning $35,190 annually and the highest 10 percent making $76,660 annually.

Depending on previous experience, occupation specialty, and prior education, diesel mechanics who specialize in avionics and aircraft can find employment in one of the top-paying industries in America, including:

  • Electrical Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution – $82,440 annual mean wage
  • Insurance Carriers – $76,020 annual mean wage
  • Couriers and Express Delivery Services – $74,700 annual mean wage
  • Support Services – $71,210 annual mean wage
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing – $68,510 annual mean wage

With flight instruments and aircraft control systems becoming increasingly digitalized, the need for diesel mechanics who specialize in avionics repair and maintenance is growing.

Earning a degree and the proper certifications in this field increases a diesel mechanic’s chances of obtaining a higher paying position and job stability in one of the many states, such as Texas, California, and Florida, currently employing certified avionics diesel mechanics.