Overview

Embark on a transformative journey with our Avionics Technology program, designed to equip you with the essential expertise to become a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) “E”.

This program lays the foundation for a career in aviation maintenance, focusing on modern aircraft’s electrical and electronic parts.

In this program, you will learn: 

  • the fundamentals of aircraft electrical systems, ensuring a solid understanding of the basics
  • the advanced electronics used in aviation, from theory to application
  • the essentials of aircraft communication systems, vital for pilot and ground interactions
  • the essentials of aircraft navigation systems, crucial for safe flying
  • the details of data systems within aircraft, a growing field as avionics become increasingly sophisticated
  • repair and maintenance techniques specific to avionics, preparing you for hands-on work in the field. 

Once you graduate, you’ll be prepared to begin work in the aviation industry and work towards becoming an “E” licensed AME.  As an avionics technician, you will maintain and repair aircraft avionics systems. The program is aligned with the current demands of the aviation industry, ensuring your skills are up to date. 

Situated at the Art Smith Aero Centre for Training and Technology at the Calgary International Airport, the program offers a unique learning environment. Benefit from modern computer labs equipped for web-based learning. All required equipment and resources are provided.

The program spans four semesters, with a break between the second and third. 

There are opportunities to connect with industry professionals through workshops and seminars. 

Upon completion, you will be ready to tackle the challenges of avionics and poised for a career managing the critical electronic systems that keep aircraft safely in the sky. 

Avionics technicians tend to be objective, methodical and innovative. 

You need:  

  • good writing and speaking skills 
  • the ability to work alone and with others 
  • an interest in taking more training as needed 
  • math skills 
  • patience for solving problems 
  • good colour vision 
  • manual dexterity. 

You should enjoy analyzing complex data and using tools for precise tasks. You should be able to follow clear rules and enjoy being organized.

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in an industry job shadowing experience during one of your breaks in classes, providing experience in the aviation industry. You’ll work with experienced technicians to gain a better understanding of what your career post-graduation will look like.

During this experience, you’ll need to meet the safety requirements of the company you will be job shadowing and may need to purchase additional personal protective equipment (PPE.)

If you attend 95% or more of your classes and labs and achieve minimum marks of 70% in each course, you’ll receive a Transport Canada credit for 18 months’ work experience towards the “E” category AME license. 

This program is accredited by Transport Canada, subject to periodic audits.

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be awarded a SAIT Avionics Technology diploma.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 93% graduate employment rate

salary icon $39,000 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 22313, 72404, 72422, 93200.

Test

Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Courses

The Avionics Technology diploma requires 63 credits (34 courses) to complete.

The program spans two years, with two semesters each year.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

This course will give the student a basic knowledge of aircraft aerodynamics and flight. The topics covered will be the properties of air, indicated and true airspeeds, lift and drag, flight controls, special lift and drag control surfaces and thrust. Aircraft performance, stability and control, load factor, supersonic flight and the principles of helicopter flight will also be examined. The student will have an opportunity in the laboratory to observe, adjust, and do calculations on the lift and drag of an actual model aircraft and airfoils in the wind and smoke tunnels.

1.5

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) are the regulations and standards for the aircraft industry in Canada. This course provides the learner with a basic understanding of the CARs system as an introduction to accessing and navigating within CARs. The learner will use computer-based learning and classroom theory to develop the skills they will need for using the CARs in a workplace environment.

1.5

The students study the mechanical elements of the aircraft. Airframe components, flight controls and propellers are explained and types of aircraft construction are studied. Topics also include metallurgy and sheet metal, aircraft servicing procedures, weight and balance, wheels and brakes and anti-skid systems. Aircraft systems such as hydraulics, ice protection and propellers are also studied.

1.5

The students will be given hands-on applications with aircraft electrical and mechanical systems, as well as practical training in ground handling of aircraft.

1.5

In this course, you’ll examine key topics in aircraft electrical systems, their installation and their interfaces. You’ll examine the operation and maintenance of AC and DC motors, generators and control systems, as well as transformers and alternate power systems. You’ll also investigate the operation of aircraft busing systems, landing gear, circuit components and lighting systems, and you’ll interpret electrical system schematic diagrams and installation manuals. This course prepares you with the theoretical knowledge required to install and physically interface aircraft components.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELEC 214
3

This is a detailed study of the operation and interconnection, to a block diagram level, of the avionics navigation systems found in a modern aircraft. Standard signal format and testing procedures, as well as troubleshooting techniques, are examined with reference to practical applications.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELTR 259
  • ELTR 260
  • DIGI 235
  • DIGI 236
1.5

The students will conduct laboratory exercises build skills in aircraft wiring and the interconnection of switches, relays and transformers. Three-phase motors are connected, and interface problems are solved.

1.5

This introduction to basic aircraft record keeping will allow students to practice record keeping using maintenance documents as well as government and manufacturers’ publications.

1.5

The course starts with a brief overview of the operation of a microprocessor or microcontroller. The student then studies the different computers on board a modern aircraft. Glass cockpit concepts are examined, together with aircraft data buses.

1.5

This course involves a detailed study of the application of control systems theory to avionics. Basic position control systems are studied in relation to the operation of compass systems, radar stabilization and automatic flight control.

Pre-requisites:
  • ASYS 310
1.5

This course explores and develops skills for public speaking and technical presentations. Students will focus on technical writing for reports. Students will also develop resume styles to assist them in their job searches.

1.5

The student will study pitot-static instrumentation, gyroscopic principles and gyrodirection indicators. Tachometers, temperature indicators, pressure and quantity gauges and remote indicators are also studied.

1.5

This course is a study of aircraft electrical blueprints through the use of CAD software. Topics to be studied include: ANSI Y32.2 specifications, title blocks, list of materials, notes, sheet sizes, drawing area, lines and electrical symbols. Common AutoCad commands will be utilized by the student to reinforce drafting and avionic design concepts with emphasis on schematic interpretation and comprehension of aircraft electrical systems.

1.5

CAD software will be used to study advanced aircraft electrical and avionic systems. Topics to be studied include: fixed and rotary wing schematic diagrams, instrument panel layout and wiring interface, avionic installation cost analysis, aircraft avionic modifications, and domestic and foreign aircraft blueprint interpretation. All completed drawings will be based on ANSIY32.2 and Air Transport Association specification 100.

Pre-requisites:
  • DFTG 250
1.5

Topics include circuit operation of basic combinational logic gates and how they apply to Boolean postulates and theorems. Sequential synchronous and asynchronous circuits, flip/flops, and other devices are studied from a practical aircraft perspective and lead into the computer circuitry of memories, counters and registers.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELTR 216
3

The laboratory program provides practical hands-on application of the concepts and theories discovered in Digital theory. The correct use of digital specific test equipment is practiced.

1.5

A typical light aircraft avionics system is installed in a simulated aircraft radio console. The student fabricates the wiring harness and is responsible for the installation of all wiring and hardware and its conformity to aircraft standards. The student performs function checks and troubleshoots the system to ensure that it is operational.

Pre-requisites:
  • ASYS 310
  • ASYS 307
  • ELCM 355
1.5

This course provides a solid, fundamental background in communication concepts for students in a diverse range of electronic technologies. It provides the basic concepts required for further studies in the areas of analog and digital transmission, radio and data communications. Major topics include transmission media, amplitude modulation (AM), transmission and reception and frequency modulation (FM).

1.5

The students assemble an AM radio in breadboard form. When the radio is working correctly it will be transferred from the breadboard to a printed circuit board for assembly in its case. The students will also perform tests on aircraft communications radios and microwave transmission lines. Specialized measurement techniques on oscilloscopes, signal analyzing equipment and special purpose test equipment will be practiced.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELTR 259
  • ELTR 260
  • STDP 283
3

The students will conduct an in-depth study of communications systems applied to aircraft applications including HF, VHF and UHF airborne transceivers. ELT is discussed in the general and commercial aviation environments. Topics also covered are transmission lines and wave guides used in microwave systems and their application to Weather Radar. Considerations for aircraft antenna types, location, mounting and their transmission lines are investigated. The use of standard instrumentation such as the oscilloscope, Megger, power meters and signal, analyzing equipment will be studied.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELCM 250
3

The students learn the interaction of the aircraft avionics systems. Electrical distribution, intercom, audio integration, communications and navigation systems are studied to a fundamental Ramp Check level.

1.5

In this course you will apply the learnings of ELCM 355 - Avionics Systems Intro Theory. This lab component will have students complete multiple functional checks and tests to avionics equipment using manufacturer’s instructions while adhering to industry guidelines and safety protocols.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELCM 355
1.5

The student performs operational tests and troubleshooting exercises on a variety of avionics systems.

Pre-requisites:
  • ASYS 310
  • ELCM 355
  • ELCM 349
3

This course applies the fundamentals of D.C. and A.C. generation and distribution to the aircraft environment. A high degree of aircraft system examples are used to reinforce the correct selection of wire etc. Components studied include switches and relays, circuit protection devices, aircraft batteries, static and rotary inverters. D.C. motor /generators and alternators are also studied.

1.5

Students taking this course will expand their knowledge of applied math and physics to develop the skills required to service and repair aircraft electrical and electronic systems.

1.5

The basic concepts of D.C. and A.C. for electronics are covered. A strong foundation in the fundamentals of circuit laws with analysis and troubleshooting are studied with examples using aircraft circuits. Reactive components and tuning circuits as well as resonance are studied as it applies to Avionics equipment.

3

This course develops skill in the construction and testing of basic electronics circuits. The correct use of basic test equipment and the application of troubleshooting techniques are studied.

3

The operations of the most common active devices in the industry are studied. Devices such as diodes, transistors, thyristors and op-amps are applied to common and specific aircraft applications such as power supplies, amplifiers, oscillators and voltage regulators.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELTR 235
3

This course provides practical experiments and circuit troubleshooting exercises to develop hands on skill to reinforce the concepts learned in Electronics II theory.

Pre-requisites:
  • ELTR 235
  • ELTR 236
1.5

Students study reciprocating piston engine and turbine engine and propulsion system principles and design. Theory is also presented on thrust augmentation and reversal and noise suppression. The operation of anti-icing, ignition and starting systems are discussed. Students study instrumentation for engine analysis, performance monitoring and adjustment.

1.5

This is a preparatory level course designed to introduce the students to the effect of human factors in aviation. The course will prepare the student entering the workforce with an awareness of the impact that human factors play in aircraft incidences and provide the opportunity to reduce errors through the adoption of human factor principles.

1.5

Topics studied include safety, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), the correct use of common hand tools and precision measuring equipment and lock wiring practices. Aircraft hardware types and coding systems, dimensional problem solving, identification and coding of materials and practical applications will also be examined.

1.5

Topics studied include practical applications of hanger and lab safety and practices, the use of common hand and power tools, hands-on practice with precision measuring tools and locking devices.

1.5

Students will learn about and practice various skills commonly employed by avionics technicians. Topics will include wire striping, terminations routing, lacing, connections, coax connections, following schematic diagrams and standard wiring practices.

1.5

Progression

You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents:

  • at least 50% in Math 30-1 or 30-2
  • at least 50% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

hall

Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.

hall

English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Transfer agreements

At SAIT, we evaluate post-secondary credit you have previously earned and apply it to your SAIT credential. Explore our formal transfer agreements available for this program.

We can evaluate your prior education, even if we don't have a formal agreement in place.

Submit a transfer credit application

There are no formal transfer agreements currently in place for this program.

Transfer options for graduates

Build on the knowledge you’ve learned at SAIT. The opportunity to advance your education at an accredited post-secondary institution may be available.

🔗 Visit Transfer Alberta search tool for a full list of transfer opportunities within the province.

Griffith University

Program name
Bachelor of Aviation Management
Available credits:
45

Upon successful completion of this program, you'll be eligible to receive up to 45 credits (1.5 years) toward Griffith's Bachelor of Aviation Management.

This degree is a three-year program with intakes offered in February and July each year.  Both on-campus and online delivery are available. 

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Waitlisted
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024

Spring 2025

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: April 30, 2025
International students: Open
  • Application deadline: March 28, 2025

Costs

2024/25 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

Domestic students

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for domestic students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $7,986 $1,608 $9,594
2 2 $7,260 $1,608 $8,868
Total cost:
$18,462

The estimated total cost of tuition and fees for international students is based on the recommended course load per year. 
Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $22,671 $1,608 $24,279
2 2 $20,610 $1,608 $22,218
Total cost:
$46,497

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 for the first year and $100 for the second.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

Coveralls (supplied by SAIT) and safety glasses are required. Safety glasses can be purchased using a debit or credit card. 

Wait to purchase your equipment. The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed at orientation.

Required equipment/tools

A list of required tools will be provided at orientation. You'll have to purchase these during your first few weeks of classes. 

The required tools and personal safety equipment will cost approximately $1,200. However, prices vary depending on the quality and brand of tools chosen.

sait

Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the transportation.info@sait.ca domain to your safe senders list or you risk missing critical email messages.

sait

Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School of Transportation Advising

Phone
403.284.8471
Email
transportation.info@sait.ca

International Student Advising

Phone
403.284.8852
Email
international@sait.ca
a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.