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Date: March 21, 2019
WHSV – Several careers in aviation are in demand in the Shenandoah Valley. This week, we’re highlighting two careers, both related to aviation: aircraft mechanic and service technician and avionics technician. Avionics deals with the electronics systems used in aviation.
Luke Fahrney works as an airframe team lead for Dynamic Aviation in Rockingham County. He was interested mainly in cars growing up and didn’t think much about airplanes, but a friend introduced him to the aviation program at Blue Ridge Community College.
“I decided to check it out and ended up coming here afterward, and six years later here I am,” Fahrney said. “I mean, honestly, you know, the more I get into airplanes, airplanes are cool; most people like them. I enjoy just being a mechanic.”
David Thompson is an electrical team lead at Dynamic Aviation. He got his training in the military before landing his job.
“The best part about working the aviation field is the changes and modifications that get to happen to the aircraft,” Thompson said. “Every day something is different with them, and you get to take your ideas and apply those to the aircraft and the airframe structure.”
According to statistics gathered by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, the average salary for an aircraft mechanic and service technician is between $35,000 and $55,000 a year. Over the next decade, 99 of these positions are projected to be in demand.
For an avionics technician, the salary range is between $40,000 and $59,000 per year. Within 10 years, 10 of these positions are expected to be in demand.
These jobs require a post-secondary non-degree award, associate degree or on-the-job training.
“Aviation in general is a great career path for anybody that likes to mechanically work on things and see their product get put into the air,” said Thompson.