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The FCC General Radio Operator License or often referred to as GROL is required by the FCC to fix radios, radars and
transponders in modern aircraft. A holder of a GROL is also able to oversee and sign off unlicensed technicians as
they perform radio or other radar equipment repairs.
Avionic technicians work on several different components of the aircraft, like antennas mounted on the aircraft,
radar and weather equipment, electrical sensors, comm equipment, lights inside and out and navigation equipment. Not
only will these technicians remove and replace but they also troubleshoot and test issues with the components.
The avionic technicians are not the only technicians that work on these components. Airframe and powerplant
certificate holders also perform basic electrical work and troubleshooting. It is not common that A&P techs perform
avionic work but it is being signed off by a GROL licensee.
Today’s aircraft are becoming technologically advanced with electronic integrated mechanical components. An A&P with
knowledge of basic electronic and electrical knowledge will become valuable. Here are 3 reasons an aviation technician
should consider getting their GROL:
There are several certificates and licenses for avionic techs or electrical techs. For example, the Electronic
Technician Association- International. Many employers will accept some but the one license that is commonly accepted
and widely used is the GROL. If you’re an avionic or electrical tech, look on Glassdoor or Indeed and check some of
the flyers for certification must have. 99% of the time you’ll see the GROL as the only or one of the certification
accepted by employers.
For many of us, the resume is the first impression of yourself. So strengthen your resume by providing more value to
the employer and separate yourselves from the rest of the candidates. If you’re an A&P mechanic who will see seldom
use of their license and many A&P will tell you that they haven’t used it, “it’s useless and you’ll never use it!”
Good chance that is the case I would ask will it help get a job? Adding this tool on your toolbelt can add value and
separation from regular A&P techs.
Avionic techs in the aerospace industry according to the May 2018 review BLS
average $64,140. As you review the statistics, the top 10% (or 90 percentile) of avionic technicians earn an average
$94, 710. The need for these techs will be increasing due to more aircraft being retrofitting with new tech. In May
2018, the median annual wages for aircraft mechanics and service technicians in the scheduled air transportation pay
$83, 870 and aerospace product and parts manufacturing pay $64, 510.
It’s a good idea that Airframe and Powerplant technician must not restrict themselves to working within the A&P
scope. The technology is constantly changing and to stay competitive is by continuing to improve yourself. Education
is an investment for yourself and it’s an investment for the workforce. These companies cut costs by hiring employees
that hold multiple certifications or licenses. An aircraft technician who obtains the A&P and GROL will become a
valuable team member and improve their career opportunities. Prepare and GO FCC yourself!