Avionics engineering refers to the electronic systems used within the aerospace industry. This term blends the words “aviation” and “electronics.”
All aerospace vehicles, including aircraft, satellites, and spacecraft, require avionics. Avionic systems also use various functions, such as navigation, communications, displays, and more.
Avionics engineers work hands-on with the modern systems associated with the internal electronics for aerospace vehicles to improve flight safety and fuel efficiency, but the internal systems used in avionics engineering technology can be complex.
If you’re interested in learning more information about avionics engineering, keep reading this guide!
How to Become an Avionics Engineer
To become a professional aerospace avionics engineer, you’ll need to study the field of aviation electronics and understand each innovative concept. Part of the term “avionics” covers the equipment that pilots use in flight, including navigation, weather radar, and radio communications.
Avionics also focuses on the electronic systems that aerospace vehicles require to monitor the flight and maintain performance. Technicians within avionics engineering must be highly skilled and understand how to check for quality assurance.
Aerospace vehicles require maintenance and possible part replacement, so avionics engineers help ensure that the flight systems work properly at all times.
Avionics engineers will also need to implement standard safety procedures while diagnosing technical difficulties and providing equipment repairs as needed.
Job Duties of an Avionics Engineer
Avionics engineers, otherwise known as electronic engineers and engineering technicians, hold plenty of responsibilities. UItimately, this prominent role in the engineering industry ensures that aerospace vehicles can operate safely.
The impactful work of an avionics engineer may also help cut harmful energy costs, leaving a positive impact on the environment.
Here are some of the primary responsibilities you can expect to have as an avionics engineer:
- Implement standard safety procedures for technical issues and routine maintenance
- Handle the design, development, testing, and production of various avionic equipment, including internal systems
- Repair aerospace avionics equipment as necessary
- Adhere to safety standards
- Improve flight safety and fuel efficiency
- Create acceptance criteria for design methods
- Implement sustainable practices to reduce high energy costs
While special skills aren’t required for most professional roles, having some of the below skills can be beneficial for many avionics engineers, particularly before participating in a specialized bachelor’s degree program.
Here are some special skills that many employers look for when hiring avionics engineers:
- A knack for coding languages
- A passion for computer systems
- Problem-solving and analytical skills
- Strong knowledge of professional engineering
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Exercise confidentiality
- Strong math skills
- Professional writing skills
The Educational Path to Becoming an Avionics Engineer
To become an avionics engineer, it is recommended that you study in a four-year bachelor’s degree program with a concentration in aerodynamics. Be sure to study at an accredited college or university that offers certificates, associate’s, or bachelor’s degrees specific to avionics technology or avionics.
Many employers prefer a professional certification from the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies (NCATT).
Entering a four-year program that specializes in aerodynamics, propulsion, aerospace structures, digital communication, flight control systems, and more can offer you a wide range of courses and potential job opportunities to become a successful avionics engineer.
Understanding data processing for avionics, as well as the control systems, will be crucial to your role as an avionics engineer. It’s an exciting time in the world of avionics and the industry is flourishing more every day!
Throughout your studies as an aspiring avionics engineer, you can expect to participate in the following courses:
- Electrical circuits
- Fundamentals and circuit analysis
- Digital electronics
- Microwave, radar, and pulse systems
- Power distribution systems
- Flight control and management systems
- Electronics flight instrument systems
- Long-range navigation systems
- Integrated avionics systems
- Traffic alert and avoidance systems
You can also expect to participate in plenty of hands-on opportunities within a laboratory setting to acquire more knowledge about avionics.
Although you don’t need a license to become an avionics engineer, you may consider obtaining a Professional Engineering license. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also trains and certifies many engineers, including avionics engineers.
The Future of an Avionics Engineering
The future of avionics looks promising! As innovative trends in aviation continue to evolve, there are also more research areas where avionics engineers can implement effective technological solutions for aerospace vehicles.
Avionics is considered a contemporary industry since most of the systems require the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other complex certifications. Also, more internal software systems are necessary for the heavy research in cyber security and avionics.
Currently, more employment opportunities are appearing for aspiring avionics engineers, specifically within the AI realm.
Since most modern flight systems are now dependent on software and internal controls, preventing any technological glitches is more important than ever. The industry needs professional avionics engineers with relevant work experience to fix the errors and ensure these aerospace vehicles are operating efficiently.
Ultimately, the avionics field is evolving as we know it and both the job opportunities and potential challenges are growing each day!
Work Environments for Avionics Engineering
Many people in this field will work within the following designated areas of the industry:
- Systems Engineering
- Software Development
- Avionics Fabrication
- Space Explorations
- Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence
Average Salary of an Avionics Engineer
As of 2019, the average salary of an avionics engineer is $64,310. The average salary for avionics engineers depends on location, years of experience, and specialty field.
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