Avionics System Technician
Avionics Systems Technicians are responsible for maintaining all electronic systems onboard Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) aircraft. As part of the aircraft maintenance team, the Avionics Systems Technician is responsible for first line servicing operations in launching and recovering all types of aircraft.
The primary responsibilities of Avionics Systems Technicians are to:
- Carry out performance tests, preventive/ corrective maintenance, and calibration of the following systems and their associated components:
- Aircraft communication
- Search radar
- Fire control radar
- Acoustic sensing
- Infra-red radar
- Electronic warfare
- Flight control systems
- Set up and operate test equipment to maintain the above systems
- Operate and maintain computer-controlled automatic test stations
- Serve as an instructor in field technical training units, training squadrons or basic training units
- Prepare and maintain aircraft forms and statistical data
- Operate aircraft support equipment
- Perform first line servicing tasks such as marshalling, parking, towing, starting, refueling, cleaning and de-icing
Avionics Systems Technicians are employed primarily at air bases in aircraft maintenance organizations, in maintenance hangers, in airborne aircraft, lab environments and on the flight line. In the course of their career, Avionics Systems Technicians will be required to work shifts and periods of overtime. In geographic terms, employment can vary from CAF bases and wings within Canada, including the Arctic, to overseas locations throughout the world in response to NATO and UN commitments.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Avionics Systems Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Once all required training is complete, they are posted to a location within Canada where they complete on-the-job training on the equipment specific to their home unit. After field technical training and a period of time in the position, Avionics Systems Technicians may apply for training to become a Non-destructive Testing Technician. Avionics Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Avionics
- Avionics Maintenance Technician
Basic military qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the CAF physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic occupational qualification training
Avionics Systems Technicians attend the Performance- Oriented Electronics Training course at the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario. Training takes approximately 30 weeks and teaches the following basic skills:
- DC circuits theory
- AC circuits theory
- Electro-mechanical devices
- Solid state devices
- Power sources
- Amplifier circuits
- Oscillator circuits
- Multistage electronic circuits
- Conductors and cables
- AM/FM theory
- Audio/video equipment
- Digital circuits
- Computers and peripherals
The second part of the training program takes place at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering in Borden, Ontario. Training takes approximately 24 weeks and includes:
- Common mechanical training
- Common aircraft servicing
- Solid-state devices
- Digital logic
- Aircraft wiring
- Magnetron, Klystron, Travelling Wave Tubes and Microwave theory
- Computer techniques and architecture
- Inspection and repair of indicator/display, pitot static, flight instrument, compass, aircraft flight recorder and locator, air data computer, automatic flight control, electronic warfare, navigation, radar communications, aircraft data processing, Avionics (AVS) and combined Avionic (AVS)/Aviation (AVN) multi-purpose display systems
Avionics Systems Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Instructional techniques
- Calibration technician
- Quality assurance
- Computerized fault diagnosis and analysis
- High reliability soldering
- Aircraft specific type courses
As they progress in their career, Avionics Systems Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:
- Technical administration
- Leadership and management courses
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
If you already have a college diploma, the Forces will decide if your academic program matches the training criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military occupation training is required before being assigned.
Non-commissioned Member Subsidized Education Program.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Air Force
Serve with the Reserve Force
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Avionics Systems Technicians serve with the Royal Canadian Air Force. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis, they usually serve at Forces bases and tactical units at locations within Canada.
Reserve Force training
Reserve Force members usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, Avionics Systems Technician candidates will proceed to the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario to complete the Performance Orientated Electronics Training (POET), which is about 30 weeks in duration. On successful completion of the POET course, candidates will then proceed to the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering for their Common Core and Avionics Systems Technician course, which is about 47 weeks in duration. Potential Avionics Systems Technicians can expect to be under formal trade training for about 77 weeks.
Air Reserve members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts and are employed in the same unit and perform the same job. Air Reserve members usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day, with opportunities to serve full-time for short durations as needed. Reserve Force members are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.