Avionics Technicians: Salary Overview
Avionics technicians install, test, adjust, and repair radar, radio, missile control systems, and other avionics equipment.
They are responsible for the electronics aboard an aircraft and the wiring that connects to the electrical system.
An avionics technician’s job description also includes running cables, mounting antennas, and connecting navigation systems but also installing autopilots and radios.
They usually work at night when they try to fix the problems that pilots have reported during the day.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for avionics technicians was $65,700 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries vary based on experience and education level, the region of employment, and a variety of other factors.
The lowest 10 percent reportedly made less than $40,350 per year while the top 10 percent earned more than $97,150 per year.
The numbers published by BLS show that salaries for this profession are typically higher than the average salary in the United States (which in 2019 was $39,810).
The 25th percentile for this salary distribution is $53,650 which means that 75 percent of all workers in this occupation earned more than this amount.
Avionics Technician Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, avionics technicians held about 22,800 jobs in the United States in 2019.
The biggest employers for avionics technicians were aerospace products and parts manufacturers and companies in the field of support activities for air transportation but they also held jobs in the federal executive branch and in companies that provide professional, scientific, and technical services.
The average annual wage reported by avionics technicians who were hired by aerospace products and parts manufacturers was $74,960 while those who worked in the field of support activities for air transportation reportedly earned $55,620 per year on average.
The average annual wage was $59,760 for avionics technicians who worked for the federal executive branch and $62,140 for those who worked for manufacturers of navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments.
According to BLS, the highest average annual wage was reported by avionics technicians who worked in the field of management of companies and enterprises- a sector where they were remunerated on average with $87,170 per year.
Salaries for this profession also vary depending on the region and the state of employment.
Avionics technicians in Washington reportedly earned $83,940 per year on average- this being the highest-paying state for this occupation in 2019.
Other top-paying states for this profession are Hawaii, California, Maryland, and Missouri- states where the average annual wages for this profession were over the $70,000 threshold.
Avionics technicians in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, on the other hand, reportedly earned less than $50,000 per year.
The top-paying metropolitan area for this profession was San-Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California, a region where avionics technicians reported a mean annual wage of $91,240.
Another area where avionics technicians reported higher-than-average wages was Bakersfield- where they were reportedly remunerated with $85,900 per year on average.
Salaries for avionics technicians also vary depending on the education and experience level.
An associate degree is usually required before entering this occupation but those who have experience in working with avionics flight instruments or computer repairs may have better employment and earning prospects.
They are certified for the work they do on the aircraft and those who work on an aircraft’s electronic and flight instrument systems hold the Airframe rating.
Additional certification requirements depend on the area in which the avionics technician wishes to specialize.
Earning an Aircraft Electronics Technician certification available through the National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies will certify that the avionics technician has enough knowledge in the field but it is not a requirement set by FAA for specific tasks.
Those who work with communications equipment, on the other hand, may need a radiotelephone operator certification, a credential issued by the Federal Communications Commission.
After earning a few years of experience as an avionics technician you may be promoted to a better-paid position as a lead mechanic, shop supervisor, or lead inspector.
* Based on information from the May 2019 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Avionics Technicians. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.