GREENSBORO, N.C. -- GTCC's Avionics Program--the only of its kind in the state of North Carolina--continues to be in high demand by career seekers and is leading to high employment rates within the Triad's booming aviation industry.
"We have about a 90 percent employment rate. For some students, their biggest problem is deciding which of the companies they want to work for," said GTCC Avionics professor David Mayers.
Recruiting from GTCC's program are TIMCO, Honda, Northstate Aviation in Winston-Salem, Landmark, Atlantic Aero and Honda Aircraft -- all based in the Triad.
Avionics is aviation electronics, explained GTCC Avionics professor David Mayers. Avionics technicians troubleshoot aircraft problems, build panels for the aircrafts and communicate with/assist pilots from the ground.
Business Insider recently ranked Avionics as one of the top ten highest-paying careers that does not require a four-year degree. The median salary is $55,000 per year.
The GTCC Avionics Program began in 2009 and will begin offering more options for this year, like a night course, as a result of a grant.
There currently are three classes planned for Fall 2014--one first-year day class (20 students), one second-year day class and one new night class (20).
After a successful open house this week, Mayers said spots in the Fall 2014 courses are now limited, but he encourages interested prospective students to research the program and consider this potential career-changing education for next year. He said it is never too early to consider applying for next year's Spring or Fall courses, for which enrollment will begin in October and June 2015, respectively. Existing GTCC students can begin applying in April for the Fall courses.
Students who complete the two-year program receive an Associate's Degree and an FCC license with which they are certified avionics technicians.
Some students, like Avionics Program graduate William "Drew" Rountree, go on to get FAA Airframe and Powerplant certifications. With that, they can work on all parts of the airplane behind the engine.
Rountree is a father of four who said he had no prior experience in aviation or technology when he took the Avionics Program courses. He went through the Avionics Program while maintaining his other job as an audio engineer. He said his Avionics certification now allows him to have a career with more stability.
"After researching careers that would fulfill my requirements, none stood out more than the aviation field. In an increasing electronics era, the need for qualified personnel is paramount to ensure the continued safety and success of this industry. I could not deny that my eyes reflected the same excitement as my children's when I told them I was going to study to work on planes," he explained.
To learn more about GTCC's Avionics Program or to apply for enrollment, call GTCC's Avionics Department at 336-334-4822 ext 59016 or visit the website.