Find out what you'll be doing
About the Job
The Avionics Trade is responsible for the on going maintenance of Avionics systems and equipment at either flightline or workshop level which may include instrumentation, communication, navigation, surveillance, radar, electronic warfare systems, self protection and explosive ordnance systems, automatic flight control systems, oxygen systems and electrical power generation and distribution systems.
Avionics Technicians are employed on duties which include aircraft flight line handling and replenishment; aircraft oxygen replenishment; inspection, removal and installation, test and troubleshooting of aircraft avionic components and systems at all levels of maintenance; disassembly and reassembly of aircraft components; preparation and use of aircraft support equipment; manufacture and repair of aircraft electrical looms and antenna cables; servicing aircraft earthing systems; identification and demanding of aircraft spares; preparation and packaging of technical equipment for transportation; and amendment and maintenance of technical publications; inspection, maintenance, servicing, repair test and fault diagnosis of electronic components and systems; soldering of miniature electronic components; oxygen systems and weapons systems.
Working Conditions. The working environment varies because of the nature of the work encountered. Members are often exposed to outdoor conditions and inclement weather, cramped or awkward working positions, confined working spaces, poor light conditions, and aircraft, machinery and equipment noise and vibration. Where possible, work is performed in shelters, hangars or workshops that offer protection from inclement weather. Workshops may be of the open structure or climate controlled type, depending on the maintenance performed. Work may involve being deployed to other bases in Australia and overseas. Work is often performed outside normal hours.
You may at times during your career, have the opportunity to also work on aircraft belonging to the Navy and Army and be employed within Navy or Army Units.
Hazards. Inherent hazards exist in tasks associated with aircraft and engine operations, explosive ordnance, electrical supplies, toxic materials, Ionising and non-Ionising radiation and cryogenic liquids. Tasks require constant care and development of safe working habits to avoid injury. Minor cuts and bruises may be sustained, but the possibility exists of sustaining more serious injury from machinery, plant, equipment and operational aircraft systems. Personal protective equipment is provided where necessary, and its use is enforced.
Physical Effort. Some handling of both light and heavy tools and equipment is involved in daily tasks, with an occasional requirement for considerable strength for lifting and handling equipment, jigs, machinery, tools and components. While the physical effort required is normally low, on occasion, heavy and awkward objects must be manoeuvred in confined spaces.
Manual Dexterity and Physical Co-ordination. A high level of physical co-ordination and manual dexterity is required to perform tasks that involve the operation of hand and power tools, and machinery. Close tolerance fits of components, sometimes large and heavy, also requires that dexterity and co-ordination be of a high order.
Speed and Accuracy of Movement. A high degree of accuracy of movement is required for most tasks; however, rapid response or great speed of movement is not normally required.
Contact with Others. Avionics Tradespeople are required to frequently interact with other technical trades, engineering officers, aircrew and civilian staff.
Probability and Consequence of Error. The probabilities of error normal to all engineering trades exist. The consequences of error can be severe in relation to property damage and could result in serious injury or death, and loss of high value assets. Errors in workmanship may also lead to expensive wastage of components and/or materials.
Responsibility for Money and Material. The job does not involve any responsibility for the care of money. However, accounting responsibilities require the custody and correct use of valuable technical equipment, tools, machinery, publications, materials, job items and other military assets.
Trade Criticality. The duties of an Avionics Tradesperson are critical to the operational effectiveness of the RAAF. The trade performs a critical role in exercising judgement to ensure continued integrity of the avionics systems and equipment. A high standard of workmanship is necessary to satisfy airworthiness requirements with the RAAF.
Handling of Classified Documents and Equipment. During the course of duties, Avionics Tradespeople may be required to handle classified documents and equipment.
Weapon Systems. Avionics Tradespeople are employed within one of the following Weapon Systems:
- Fighter (F/A-18 Hornet, Hawk, PC9, JSF)
- Surveillance (AP3C Orion, Wedgetail B737 AEWC, P8 Poseidon)
- Strike (F/A-18F Super Hornet) and
- Transport (C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, KC-30A, King Air 350 (B300) C27J Sparton
FULL JOB DETAILS
Other Ranks - Technical
Join the ADF and receive full trade training
The Royal Australian Air Force is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulation 2011 (NVR). This allows the RAAF to issue national awards, which in principle have the same standing as those provided by Universities and other Institutes of TAFE.
Following completion of the Avionics Technician course and attainment of the competency standards you will be issued with a Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Avionics).
Salary & Allowances
Salary while undertaking Military (Recruit) Training: $1,434 per fortnight ($37,302 per year).*
Salary while undertaking Employment Training commences at $1,639 per fortnight ($42,631 per year) and increases to $1,742 per fortnight ($45,296 per year) after 12 months of training.*
While under training, you will also receive $403 per fortnight ($10,493 per year pro rata) Trainee Allowance.
Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of Initial Employment Training: $2,049 per fortnight ($53,289 per year).*
In addition to your salary, you will receive Service Allowance of $538 per fortnight ($13,991 per year) except while undertaking Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.
To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will also receive a Uniform Allowance of $16 per fortnight ($419 per year).
Each General Entry job in the Australian Defence Force is classified into a pay grade. This particular job is classified as a Pay Grade 3 occupation, with the following progressions as applicable:
- Avionics Fitter Grade 1, Pay Grade 3
- Avionics Fitter Grade 2, Pay Grade 4
- Avionics Technician Pay Grade 5
- Avionics Technical Supervisor Pay Grade 6
- Avionics Technical Manager Pay Grade 7 and
- Avionics Systems Technician Pay Grade 7.
* Please note that these figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); and superannuation. Superannuation no longer a compulsory deduction.
Members may be posted to most Air Force bases and other Defence Establishments within Australia, as well as limited overseas opportunities.
On the day you enter the Air Force you must be at least 17 years old. Subject to the capacity of your local recruiting centre, you may be able to start the application process aged 16.5 years.
Education & Experience
It is essential that the applicant has completed Year 10 with passes in English, Maths and Science (with a Physics component). These entry qualifications are required to facilitate understanding of the engineering principles encountered during training.
Note: Consumer Maths, General Maths, Mathematics (General Mathematics) and similarly 'modified' Maths subjects are not suitable for this job,
If you do not satisfy the education requirements for this trade or do not possess evidence of your educational attainment there is an alternative pathway available to you.
You may be eligible to sit an Alternative Education Equivalency (AEE) Assessment to ascertain your ability at the required educational level for this trade.
Further information is available here.
Medical & Fitness
To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.
You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.
Period of Service
You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation.
Your Careers Counsellor can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.
- Well-developed hand-skills and hand-eye coordination
- Advanced analytical and problem-solving skills required to troubleshoot aircraft
- Appreciation of safety requirements
- Good attention to detail
- Ability to work under pressure
- Able to sustain long periods of precision lifting
- Comfortable working in confined spaces and
- Resourcefulness and common sense
Applicants should hold a provisional or full Australian C Class (or equivalent) motor vehicle licence for a vehicle with a manual transmission for 12 months. Applicants should be free of traffic infringements and/or offences that may result in future cancellation of the licence, or prevent the issue of an ADF Drivers Licence.
The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.
Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.
The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.
Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.
Only Australian Citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.
If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.
The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.
Duration: 10.6 weeks
Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)
You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.
Avionics Technician Course.
Duration: 37 weeks (this is an approximate duration and may be subject to change).
Location: RAAF School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT) at RAAF Base Wagga (NSW).
The training philosophy adopted by the RAAF for Avionics Technical Training is based on the Integrated Job Performance Training System in which students are first given broad hand skills, then trained in the operation and maintenance of complete systems before ultimately being trained in the detailed operation and diagnostic maintenance of complete system components. Training is based on the requirements of the MEA11 Aeroskills Training Package and is aligned to the Competency Standards required for a Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Avionics). Following completion of the Avionics Technician course and attainment of the competency standards you will be issued with an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level IV certificate.
Avionics Technician Course.
The Avionics Technician course comprises the initial generic trade training for Avionics trainees who upon graduation are employed at the Fitter (Grade 1) skill level. The course provides instruction in generic trade hand skills, avionics systems component removal and installation and detailed avionics systems theory of operation and diagnostics. Training is also provided in aircraft handling and servicing tasks.
Having graduated as an Aircraftman/Aircraftwoman (AC/ACW) Avionics Fitter grade 1, members are required to consolidate their training through work experience. The minimum requirement for progression to Avionics Technician is the completion of 24 months employment as a Fitter (comprising a minimum of 12 months as an AC/ACW Fitter grade 1 and 12 months as an LAC/LACW Fitter grade 2) plus the successful completion of the competency units required to qualify for a Trade Certificate. This results in the member being promoted to LAC Avionics Technician. Following a further 24 months experience as an LAC/LACW Avionics Technician, and the successful completion of pre-requisite training and satisfactory performance, the member will be eligible for consideration for promotion to CPL. Advancement through the ranks to Warrant Officer is in competition with other Avionics Technicians.
Technician Progression Options.
There are a number of career options that provide for employment beyond Avionics Technician however, in every instance, advancement is competitive and strictly according to Service requirements, regardless of which career path is chosen. The following options are available:
Progression through Promotion.
Avionics Technicians (AVTECHs) may choose to remain within the Technician career path and seek advancement through the Supervisor and Technical Manager skill levels to the rank of Warrant Officer. This career option provides a wide variety of employment including Operational Maintenance (OM) and Deeper Maintenance (DM) on aircraft and in a workshop environment. There are also career opportunities available in aviation support staff positions such as: Logistics Management, Project Offices, training establishments, headquarter units, Combat Support units, and Force Element Groups.
Progression to Systems Technician.
Avionics Tradespeople with two years experience as a CPL, including at least one year as a Trade Supervisor, may apply to undergo competitive selection for remuster to Avionics Systems Technician (AVSYSTECH). AVSYSTECHs are employed in the analysis, diagnosis, testing and resolution of faults in complex or integrated avionics systems. Successful candidates will require completion of a formal course of study at the Advanced Diploma of Engineering level, followed by the completion of the Systems Technician Course and the Senior Technical Managers Course.
Graduates from the Systems Technician Course are remustered and promoted to SGT AVSYSTECH, then progress through the ranks to Warrant Officer in competition with both AVTECHs and other AVSYSTECHs.
Alternate career pathway to Non-Destructive Inspection Technician (NDITECH).
Avionics Tradespeople are also provided with an opportunity to undergo competitive selection and training leading to remuster to NDITECH. Once NDI training is complete, members will progress from NDITECH Grade 1 to Grade 2, then progress through the ranks to Warrant Officer in competition with other NDITECH members.
Explosive Ordnance (EO) Training.
Avionics Technician tradesmen are required to undertake on-the-job experience training in EO relevant to the aircraft platform on which they are employed.