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 Spartan

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

National Qualifications

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

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

Members may be posted to most Air Force bases and other Defence Establishments within Australia, as well as limited overseas opportunities.


Requirements

Age

On the day you enter the Air Force you must be at least 17 years old and a maximum of 55 years old.

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the Air Force until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

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.

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 assessment before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

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 Coach can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Additional Requirements

Further Requirements:
  • 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
Licence Requirements

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

Aptitude

The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral 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.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

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.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website.

Employment Training

Avionics Technician Course.
Duration: 59.4 weeks (this is an approximate duration and may be subject to change).
Location: RAAF School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT) at RAAF Base Wagga (NSW).
Training Philosophy.

The training philosophy adopted by the RAAF for Avionics Technical 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).

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.

Fitter progression.

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 Nationally Accredited Qualification or receive a statement of attainment towards a Nationally Accredited Qualification (refer to National Qualifications). 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.

Further Training

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.

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.