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How Do I Become an Aircraft Electrician?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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In order to become an aircraft electrician, you will need a high school diploma and some specific technical training to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work in this career field. A general working knowledge of computers and electronics is probably the most important part of this along with knowing how to properly use the particular types of equipment and tools in the industry. Another important factor for those wanting to become an aircraft electrician is a basic knowledge of physical principles and how these affect an aircraft's electrical system. The basic responsibilities for this job include installing, testing, modifying, repairing, and troubleshooting aircraft electrical systems.

Education and training requirements for those wanting to become an aircraft electrician include a high school diploma or GED (general education diploma) and some specialized technical courses. This training introduces students to basic electronic components like diodes, resistors, transformers, capacitors and transistors. Some aircraft electricians have received their highly specialized training in the armed forces or reserves. Others were trained at various technical schools and colleges that specialize in these specific types of coursework. Those aircraft electricians who want to work on airframes or aircraft engines must acquire additional training, and certification or licensure from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).

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If you have a basic knowledge of computers, programming, software, and electronics, then you likely have the ability necessary to become an aircraft electrician. Design modifications to the electronics systems, on-board computers, circuit boards, and processors are an ongoing operation for most modern aircraft. If you want to become an aircraft electrician, you need to know all about the current computer and electronic technology and to be aware of new developments. This knowledge will also assist you in maintaining the numerous types of ground testing equipment that are used in this job. Keeping up with the latest technology will require a continuing process of training throughout your career.

Knowing the various types and specific uses of tools, machinery, and equipment used in the aviation field is critical for those who want to become an aircraft electrician. Some of these specific tools measure amperage, voltage, electrical continuity, and resistance. Other are used to locate and tie in electrical systems to other areas of an aircraft. For example, an aircraft electrician needs to know which tools are necessary to make all the proper electrical connections between an aircraft's physical machinery and its electronic instrumentation system. The ability to read and interpret blueprints, diagrams, and design schematics is a necessity in this line of work.

If you want to become an aircraft electrician, you are going to need some basic knowledge in the areas of physics and to understand what effects certain forces like water, pressure, or weather will have on an aircraft's computer or electrical system. Knowledge of physics, mathematics, engineering, and mechanical processes will be a big help in performing the daily duties of this job. This knowledge will help you to diagnose and eliminate any sort of trouble within the sometimes complex computer and electronics systems found in modern aircraft.

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