Avionics News May 2019 - 57

curriculum. Some of these students are finding their way into our
program. Between increased demand for aircraft mechanics and
STEM students, enrollment demand is high.

Avionics News: How are you preparing students to become technicians and satisfying the increasing demand of the advanced technology fields in avionics, unmanned aircraft systems
and aircraft electronics?
Richey: The rigor of our basic electricity portion of the curriculum has been increased, and additional practical lab projects
have been incorporated. The avionics portion has added state-ofthe-art teaching aides along with an increased emphasis on solid
circuit training.
Avionics News: How are you doing things differently
to keep up with technological advancements? What's new and
exciting in your curriculum?
Richey: We have changed and updated many areas of our
curriculum during the last five years, including avionics, composites, turbine engines, non-destructive testing, fuel metering
and reciprocating diesel and LSA (light-sport aircraft) engines.
Our flight science program (piloting) has added new sections
for drone pilot and various new flight simulators.
Avionics News: How is your program set up? Part
147 with avionics, stand-alone avionics, degree program,
certificate program?
Richey: The Reedley College aviation maintenance training
program does not have a separate avionics program. Avionics
training material is embedded in the communication, navigation,
and basic electricity portions of the Part 147 curriculum.
The student can either complete the program with a certificate of achievement for the airframe and/or powerplant

curriculum or add an associate degree in flight science.

Avionics News: Where are your graduating students being placed? Are many taking jobs outside of aviation?
Richey: Very few of the graduates seek employment
outside of the aviation industry. My feeling is that this is because
there are currently a lot of good job openings available throughout the aviation community.
Right now, the highest number of graduates are going to work
for contractors at Naval Air Station Lemoore. They offer a great
working environment with high pay and desirable hours. There
are also government contract, corporate facilities, and a SkyWest
maintenance facility located at nearby Fresno Yosemite Airport
that employs many of our graduates.
Avionics News: What is the typical yearly salary of one
of your graduates?
Richey: Depending on where they go to work, starting
salaries range from $19 to $32 per hour. The range is broad,
depending on previous military experience and the type of shop
they place into.
Avionics News: Do you offer industry training
short courses?
Richey: Right now, the only short-term courses offered are
in our flight science program for either private pilot or drone
pilot training.
Avionics News: Do you have any active internships or
apprentice programs with local MROs or OEMs?
Richey: We have a long-standing internship program with
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Avionics News May 2019

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