Electronics Technician duties include preventive maintenance (inspection of equipment, meter reading, replacement of deteriorating parts, adjustments) and corrective maintenance (troubleshooting, repair and replacement of malfunctioning equipment). Electronic technicians may also specialize in design, development, and evaluation of new types of electronic equipment for the federal airways.
A major source of aviation careers lies in jobs with federal, state and local government agencies.
Civil aviation careers in the Federal Government for men and women are found within the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; the Civil Aeronautics Board; and a growing number of other Federal departments and agencies. All of these aviation jobs come under the Federal Civil Service, and wage scales are determined by Congress, which, from time to time, adjusts the pay levels to bring them in line with comparable jobs in private business and industry. Salaries for Federal Civil Service employees are established into two chief categories: General Schedule (for those employees who perform administrative, managerial, technical, clerical and professional jobs and who are paid on an annual basis) and the Federal Wage System (for those employees who perform jobs associated with the trades and crafts and who are paid wages on an hourly basis).
Most Federal Civil Service employees in the aviation field are covered by the General Schedule and their salaries vary according to their grade level (GS-1 through GS-18). Within each of the grades provided in the General Schedule, provision is made for periodic pay increases based on an acceptable level of performance. With an acceptable level of competence, the waiting period of advancement to steps two, three and four is one year, steps five, six and seven is two years, steps eight, nine and ten is three years.
Forty hours constitutes a normal work-week. Additional payment (called premium pay) is made for shift work involving duty between 6 o'clock p.m. and 6 o'clock a.m. and for work during Sundays and holidays. Merit promotions are awarded under provisions of a Civil Service approved merit promotion plan.
Most federal employees under Civil Service participate in a liberal retirement plan. Employees earn from 13 to 26 days of paid annual vacation, depending upon the length of service, and 13 days of paid sick leave each year. Health insurance, low-cost group life insurance, credit union service, and compensation and medical care for injury on the job are other benefits offered.
The largest number of aviation jobs found within the Federal Government (outside the Department of Defense) is with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the Department of Transportation. The FAA, with a total of approximately 47,000 employees, is charged with the administration and enforcement of all federal air regulations to insure the safety of air transportation. The FAA also promotes, guides and assists the development of a national system of civil airports. The FAA provides pilots with flight information and air traffic control services from flight planning to landing.
They usually work out of an Airway Facilities Sector Field Office with other technicians whose work is directed by a supervisor. The office is frequently located at an airport and the equipment for which the office is responsible is within a 30 or 40 mile radius of the airport-in control towers, air route traffic control centers, flight service stations, or in open fields and even on remote mountain tops. Some of the work must be performed outdoors in all kinds of weather. Forty hours comprise a regular work week, with shift work and weekend work rotated.
Typical Requirements and/or Experience
Age eighteen is the minimum age. Experience and education or training in electronics (a knowledge of basic electronic theory and related mathematics, transmitters and receivers, use of test equipment, techniques of troubleshooting and circuitry analysis, use of tools, and installation practices) are required. The greater the degree of education and / or experience, the higher the entrance level. Applicants must have had a minimum experience of the kinds and amounts indicated in the table below for each grade. Excess "specialized" experience may be credited as "general" experience. Some types of civilian or military education, related to the option for which application is made, may be substituted for the specialized experience requirement.
In addition, the applicants must show an ability to work without supervision and to write reports. They must be able to pass a physical examination and be free from color blindness. A technician may, in connection with the performance of regular duties, be required to drive a Government-owned automobile or truck.
The greater the degree of education and / or experience, the higher the entrance level.
Married and unmarried men and women, with or without children are eligible. Persons who are widowed or divorced, also are eligible.
It is the policy of most aviation companies to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Most aviation companies are strongly committed to this policy, and believe in the concept and spirit of the United States law.
Most aviation companies are committed to assuring that:
All recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, and other employment related programs are provided fairly to all persons on an equal opportunity basis without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law;
Employment decisions are based on the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action;
All personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, training, and participation in social and recreational programs are administered without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law, and;
Employees and applicants will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have exercised any right protected by law.
Most aviation companies believe in and practice equal opportunity and affirmative action. All employees are responsible for supporting the concept of equal opportunity and affirmative action and assisting the company in meeting its objectives.
Most aviation companies maintain Affirmative Action Plans for minorities, women, disabled persons and veterans.
EEOC has jurisdiction of the prohibitions against employment discrimination codified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) enforce the prohibitions against federal employment discrimination codified in the CSRA. The OSC will defer those bases of discrimination under EEOC's jurisdiction to the respective federal agency and its EEO process. The CSRA also prohibits employment discrimination in the federal government based on marital status, political affiliation and conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee, none of which are within EEOC's jurisdiction. Moreover, the law defines ten other prohibited personnel practices in the federal government, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the OSC and the MSPB. See Prohibited Personnel Practices at http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm.
Additional information may also be found on the the EEOC web site located at http://www.eeoc.gov/
Wages and Benefits
Most Federal Civil Service employees in the aviation field are covered by the General Schedule and their salaries vary according to their grade level (GS-1 through GS-18). Within each of the grades provided in the General Schedule, provision is made for periodic pay increases based on an acceptable level of performance. With an acceptable level of competence, the waiting period of advancement to steps two, three and four is one year, steps five, six and seven is two years, steps eight, nine and ten is three years. The highest grade for a non supervisory professional air traffic control specialist in the tower is GS-14. The General Schedule is updated yearly.
The entrance level normally starts at GS-5.
Salaries and benefits can vary. For an updated look at salaries in the aviation industry, view the Avjobs.com Salary Report.
Where the jobs are and who hires
The Federal Aviation Administration employs thousands of electronic technicians. Most electronic technicians work in field offices or "sectors" scattered all over the country. Some work is located at the FAA's National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center which is engaged in electronic research and development projects.
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Opportunities for Advancement
The employee has opportunities to progress to higher grade levels depending upon the complexity of her or his duties, the degree of supervision received or exercised, and the growing knowledge and skills used in the performance of the work. Supervisory positions are available at sector, area, and regional offices. Promotion to managerial jobs at FAA Headquarters is possible.
Outlook for the Future
The aviation industry has gone through periods of tremendous success and innovation, and periods of intense challenges. Today, aviation plays a critical role in our economy and the future of aviation will depend on business and personal travel, aviation fuel costs, and government subsidy and intervention.
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Basic training is available at technical and vocational schools offering courses in electronics. Upon assignment to an FAA sector office, the new employees undergo a short period of on-the-job training to familiarize them with FAA equipment and procedures and then may receive several months of training at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City.
The Academy offers correspondence courses to support technical training efforts, and many of these correspondence courses are prerequisites to assignment for advanced courses at the Academy. The technician receives regular salary and a subsistence allowance while in training at the Academy. Basic training and experience for FAA employment may also be obtained during active duty in the military services.
To locate educational facilities with programs related to this position, search Avjobs Aviation School Directory. The Avjobs Aviation School Directory makes researching and finding an aviation college, university, flight school or professional training facility simple.