Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors (NOC 2244)

About this job

Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors install, adjust, repair, overhaul and maintain complex aircraft electrical systems and electrical flight controls, such as flight data recorders, radar, communications and navigation systems.

This group also includes workers who inspect instrument, electrical and avionics systems following assembly, modification, repair or overhaul.

People in this occupation:

  • provide critical safety services for the crew and passengers of the aircraft they work on, following Transport Canada regulations to maintain stringent safety standards
  • are employed by regional or national airline companies, architectural or engineering companies, aircraft manufacturing, maintenance and overhaul establishments, and by other aircraft operators
  • must have attention to detail, and good visualization skills and manual dexterity
  • have an interest in working with the sophisticated components and systems of modern aircraft
  • must have good communication skills and follow safe work practices
Common job titles
  • electrotechnician, aircraft / missiles
  • engineer, AME (aircraft maintenance eng.)
  • inspector, shop - avionics / electrical
  • technician / mechanic, rocket components
  • technician, aircraft avionics
  • technician, electronic components
  • electrotechnician, aircraft / missiles
  • engineer, AME (aircraft maintenance eng.)
  • inspector, shop - avionics / electrical
  • installer, avionics / radio / radar
  • mechanic, aircraft electronic system
  • repairer, communications equipmens

Earnings

Annual provincial median salary

$71,390

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
  • Low

Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report

Duties

Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors:

  • test aircraft wiring and control circuitry through voltage metering and resistance measurement
  • read and cross-reference extensive maintenance logs kept for the aircraft to detect patterns and predict and prevent cyclical circuit problems
  • review weekly accident and maintenance bulletins containing new information from the global maintenance community
  • conduct impartial and fair random checks on maintenance work to ensure quality and accuracy in the maintenance standards and practices of the aviation industry
  • periodically upgrade and patch the programmed control routines of digitized electrical and electronic control systems

Special duties

Aircraft instrument mechanics and technicians

These workers repair and overhaul, install, calibrate and test aircraft instruments. Aircraft instrument mechanics and technicians who work in repair and overhaul shops service and test electrical, electronic and instrument components.

Aircraft electrical mechanics and technicians

Aircraft electrical mechanics and technicians repair and overhaul, modify, install and test aircraft electrical systems and equipment.

Avionics mechanics and technicians

These workers troubleshoot, repair and overhaul, test, modify, install and inspect aircraft electronic and electrical systems and components (i.e. including communications, navigation and auto flight equipment).

Avionics mechanics and technicians who work in maintenance hangars troubleshoot, repair, install and inspect aircraft systems and components.

Avionics inspectors

Avionics inspectors examine and test aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics systems and ensure that the installation, maintenance, repair and overhaul of these systems meet Transport Canada and company standards of performance and safety.

Work environment

Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors typically work indoors (in hangars, repair shops or on assembly lines); inspectors and some mechanics may be required to work outdoors in hangers or on the flight line.

Workers perform their tasks in a team with other aircraft trades. Shift work may be a requirement for some occupations and most repair work conducted on aircrafts occurs at night.

Workers may perform their duties under pressure to maintain flight schedules, which may make the job more stressful. The work environment may include unfavourable conditions such as excessive noise, dirt or unpleasant odours and individuals who work outdoors may be exposed to unfavourable weather conditions.

Safety precautions must be undertaken at all times since workers may also be exposed to electrical hazards. Aircraft inspectors may have to stand, lie or kneel in awkward positions or work in high places, such as the top of jet wings and fuselages.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

Completion of a Transport Canada approved college diploma program, experience in the trade, as well as certification is generally required. College diploma programs vary in length, from 29 weeks for Aircraft Mechanical Component Technicians to a 48-week diploma program for Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Category E (Avionics).

Employers and government regulating bodies may also require other specialized aircraft training, recertification or completion of additional examinations, such as Radiation Safety or Industrial Radiographers examinations.

Some occupations may require an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) licence through a recognized Transport Canada training school or institute.

Inspectors are required to obtain an Aircraft Maintenance and Inspection Certificate endorsed for the type of aircraft and power plants where they are employed

For detailed requirements for each occupational group, see the Aerospace Industry Association of British Columbia's Career Pathway Internet database at: www.aiabc.com/pathways.cfm

Skills

  • Spatial Perception
  • Innovative
  • Numerical Ability
  • Detail-Oriented
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Aircraft Mechanic/Maintenance

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
Cariboo
Employment in 2016:
50
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Kootenay
Employment in 2016:
0
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Mainland / Southwest
Employment in 2016:
880
Average annual employment growth:
0.7%
Expected number of job openings:
330
North Coast & Nechako
Employment in 2016:
30
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Northeast
Employment in 2016:
0
Average annual employment growth:
N/A
Expected number of job openings:
N/A
Thompson-Okanagan
Employment in 2016:
160
Average annual employment growth:
2.9%
Expected number of job openings:
100
Vancouver Island / Coast
Employment in 2016:
200
Average annual employment growth:
-0.3%
Expected number of job openings:
50

N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Insights from industry

Of the openings expected to become available over the next few years, most will result from retirements.

There will be strong demand for individuals trained in aviation component overhaul, which along with maintenance and repair of aircraft, is the primary activity in the B.C. aerospace industry. Older aircrafts consistently need to be serviced. As such, workers in this occupational group will be needed to provide these services even when new materials production is slow.

British Columbia aerospace companies produce a variety of aerospace components machined to the highest tolerances. Those who test, inspect and repair these components will continue to be strongly valued by this industry in the province.

Employment in the manufacturing and maintenance sectors of the province's aerospace industry has grown. There is a critical shortage of skilled workers in this occupational group to meet future demand.

Industry, labour, government and training institutions have developed an initiative called the B.C. Aerospace Workforce Strategy to help turn around the aerospace skills shortage in the province and to ensure steps are taken to respond to the demands of this industry.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Aircraft maintenance technicians, inspectors and mechanics may acquire further approvals to their AME licence, allowing them to inspect and certify a broader range of aircraft and avionics systems.

With experience and further education individuals may move into supervisory positions within specific areas of expertise.

Additional resources