Aircraft technicians inspect and repair aircraft systems, either as part of routine maintenance that must be done according to manufacturers recommendations, or when an aircraft is unable to function because of some unforeseen problem.
Avionic technicians are responsible for inspection and repair of the many instruments in the cockpit that allow the flight crew to fly the aircraft by continually monitoring and displaying aircraft attitude and performance.
Aircraft and avionics technicians are responsible for performing maintenance and repair on aircraft in a safe manner in accordance to manufacturers and government aviation safety standards that ensure safe and proper operation of the aircraft.
Applicants may start in an apprenticeship program at community colleges or vocational schools that require a minimum amount of hours and cover several required subjects. The courses start with the most basic aircraft systems and continue to turbine-powered aircraft, then large airline transport requirements. Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration is required.
After obtaining certification, an aircraft technician may start work at a small aircraft service company working on single engine piston powered aircraft that are privately owned. From basic single engined aircraft, they can progress to larger twin engined aircraft to turbine powered executive aircraft, continuing to a commuter or regional airline overhaul base. An aircraft technician can also start their own aircraft repair shop.
Aviation is one of the most sensitive industries to national and global economic conditions. When consumers and businesses need to make budget cutbacks, travel is among the non-essentials which are trimmed. Although air cargo is vital for quick movement of goods, ground transportation is often less expensive.