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Are FAA and FCC Certification Needed in Avionics?

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Those interested in studying avionics for their career may also wonder if Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) certifications are required. These certifications are not yet legally required in order to obtain employment as an avionics technician. Graduates of an avionics program who hold one or both of these certifications will potentially earn more money and receive more opportunities for advancement as compared to those who have received the necessary education without certification.

FCC license

The FCC license will help make sure graduates of avionics programs are able to repair and maintain all of the computer and electronic components required to operate the plane. Some schools will allow students to prepare and take the necessary certification exam for the FCC. Different manufacturers have different types of equipment, and the type of equipment is what dictates the type of certification the graduate will need. The requirements are simple. People wishing to receive FCC licensure must be able to:

  • read and speak English
  • must be eligible for employment in the United States
  • and must be able to pass the multiple choice exam

The license will not expire once obtained.

FAA license

The FAA license is another certification ensuring graduates of avionics programs are knowledgeable of the regulations one must know to properly be able to work on the aircraft. This ensures safety of everyone working in, on, or around the aircrafts. The FAA license comes into play for mechanics and pilots.

The requirements for obtaining an FAA license are:

  • showing proper training (proof of graduation from an appropriate avionics program) taking three different written examinations on general regulations
  • powerplant and airframe

Those who do not receive a FAA license must work under the supervision of someone with the appropriate FAA licensure in order to work at all. Two certificates, a repairman certificate and a powerplant certificate are available, and most mechanics choose to get both certificates. The repairman certificate only certifies one or two tasks and requires a supervisor be present whenever the person is working. Testing for certification takes about eight hours for each certificate, and involves an oral test. The fee to take the test may change at any time, so people wishing to take the test should contact the FAA directly to find out more about the testing center, dates, and times.

Even though the FAA and FCC certification and licensing are not required in order to do well in the avionics field, one who denies the chance to obtain either certification risks losing a valuable opportunity to solidify a means of being a competitive member in avionics. Someone considering a career in avionics should also consider these requirements for licensure and certification by the FCC and FAA, if not immediately upon graduation, soon thereafter. By being able to work without the supervision of another, graduates are sure to make themselves more profitable. If and when the certifications ever become legally required to work in the field, those who already have them will be one step ahead of the game.

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