Back to Jobs & Education

Avionics in demand

Clover Park Technical College offers new course

A temperature control board is but one of the many components avionics students learn about. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

The aviation industry is a high-demand field that needs more avionics technicians.

"In aviation, things are always evolving and becoming more user-friendly and easier to troubleshoot," Dustin Cooper, an Air Force veteran and avionics instructor at the South Hill Campus of Clover Park Technical College, explained.

"But with these changes come new challenges ... and the world of aviation and particularly avionics never stops evolving."

Not long ago, several aircraft companies approached the college asking that more of their potential employees be trained in the avionics realm of aviation maintenance.

In response to this request, Clover Park Technical College unveiled its Avionics Technician program in mid-2018. The course is designed for aviation maintenance technicians who are interested in obtaining additional aviation electronics systems training and certification.

To enroll in the program, students must first successfully complete the Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) coursework or be concurrently enrolled in the AMT program or have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airframe license.

"This is a very specialized field," added Greg Doyon, an AMT instructor, during a tour of a hangar.

He went on to explain that the AMT course work provides students with the knowledge and hands-on experience to perform repairs from "nose to tail" on various types of aircraft.

"On the other hand, avionics is the study of an aircraft's navigation, communications and other aircraft systems, and the lives of passengers are literally in the hands of the avionics technician," continued Doyon.

The program design is flexible; classes are offered in late afternoon to early evening, currently three days a week, in a hybrid format.

Cooper and Doyon both said that servicemembers with the desire, interest and/or experience with aircraft make great students.

"Today's veteran, in my opinion, also understands the demand for avionics technicians and, just like during their service, wants to lead the charge," continued Cooper.

Doyon, who has over 40 years of experience in both the civilian and military worlds, added that "veterans are well-disciplined; they have outstanding communication skills; they are very good team players."

Army veteran Jason Nartnik, a student in the college's aviation course program, commented on how students view the instructors.

"The instructors here are easy to work with; they are ready to help; there is an ease of access in talking with them," he said. "Students have the opportunity to pick their brains; there is so much knowledge and experience here."

Veterans can qualify for the college's avionics course by waiving pre-requisites if they have previous experience with aviation and electrical systems.

"A student who completes our training has a ‘golden key' for the future, and if avionics training is a part of this, there are great paying opportunities in their future," concluded Cooper.

"The students and veterans are readily finding work with the airlines, the government, helicopter companies and manufacturers. Really, the world is wide open to such a person."

For more information, visit: or

Read next close

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search