Avionics News November 2014 - 30

and tenure in their current positions, 10 years on average,
buying the shop they work for, or moving the family to
take a position at another shop, is a momentous decision
its members were born during aviation's evolutionary
for any family, especially so if it includes middle and
adolescence. Aviation in the 1920s and 1930s was the
high school age children.
pinnacle of adventure, and Charles Lindbergh was
Today's talent pool is the millennial generation whose
its generational icon. Inspired by the mass appeal of
members were born between 1980 and 2000. Unlike
aerial adventures, and aided by wartime needs, a great
their parents or grandparents, technology has been their
many people achieved their dreams, growing the pilot
overwhelming inspiration, not aviation. Fortunately,
population and the number of new general aviation
avionics today is all about technology, so drawing
aircraft manufactured each year to their respective peaks.
from this younger talent pool and "growing our own"
And then in the 1970s and 80s, the Lindbergh
technicians is an attractive option for shops searching for
generation started turning 60. As children of the
needed personnel, according to Adamson.
Depression, retirement realities led to hard decisions
The challenge will be competing with other aspects
that contributed to the precipitous
of technology and competing
decline in building new airplanes and
with them in pay and benefits.
the continuing decline in the pilot
And something must attract their
FOR THE THIRD
population.
attention, something new and
CONSECUTIVE YEAR, THE
The demographic parabola of the
exciting. Drones - unmanned aircraft
2014 RESULTS SHOW A
baby boom generation coincides with
systems or remotely piloted aircraft
the birth of the avionics industry.
GROWING PERCENTAGE
- are attracting a lot of interest and
Just one generation removed from
OF RESPONDENTS EXPECT
attention, which suggests they may
Lindbergh, the boomers grew up
well be the avionics opportunity
THEIR BUSINESS TO GROW
during the jet/space age. Inspired
that follows ADS-B. The technology
IN THE COMING YEAR, AND
by test pilots and astronauts, many
is similar and, in some cases, the
85 PERCENT OF THEM SAY
followed their aviation interests. This
same. When the FAA finally issues
THEIR GREATEST CHALLENGE
generation owns today's avionics
the rules that will govern them, they
IS FINDING QUALIFIED
shops. As the survey shows, the
will surely require maintenance
NEW-HIRE TECHNICIANS TO
vast majority are small, familyand record keeping that follows the
EXECUTE THE EXISTING AND
owned businesses that average nine
regulations governing populated
ANTICIPATED WORK.
employees. Among all respondents,
aircraft.
34.5 percent have one or two
Growing technicians from the
personnel, and 48.1 percent have
millennial generation poses another
three to 10 employees.
challenge avionics must meet: training. Just ask the U.S.
Born in 1946, the first baby boomers graduated
Navy. In October, the Associated Press carried a story
from high school in 1964, the recognized end of their
on how the Navy sub school at Groton, Connecticut, is
generation. Those same boomers this year attended
investigating ways to adapt its training for this generation
their 50th high school reunions. Where the Lindbergh
whose members have always been the center of their
generation was in the 1980s, the boomers are today, and
parents' attention. "For millennials, it's very important
it is having a significant effect not only on the technician
for them to have a relationship with their boss, just like
talent pool but on the retirement plans of many shop
they did with their parents," said Capt. Andrew Jarrett,
owners. For many of them, the equity they have built
the sub school's commander. "They don't want to be
in their businesses is their retirement account. To cash
friends, but they want you to care about them and give
in, they have to sell the business, and here they face a
them feedback."
challenge similar to their search for technicians, a limited
Anecdotally, this transition seems to be underway,
pool of qualified applicants.
according to Adamson. Just back from the fall AEA
As this year's survey indicates, the average technician's
Regional Meetings on both coasts, he saw a number of
experience spans two decades, give or take a few years
newer, younger faces. Change, whether in technology
in the different regions. They were born at the end of
(from analog radar to satellite-based ADS-B) or
the baby boom, or just after it, making them members
of Generation X. Either way, given their age, experience
Continued on page 32
AEA RATE & LABOR SURVEY
Continued from page 29

30

avionics news

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november

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Avionics News November 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News November 2014

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View from Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Shifting redundancy gears
Member Profile
AEA Rate & Labor Survey
A Conversation With...
Member Profile
Real-world Avionics
Antenna Tech
Aviation Aces
Business Basics
Before & After
Meet the AEA board of directors
Avionics technician certifications
Legal Ease
Marketing Report Card
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News November 2014 - Intro
Avionics News November 2014 - Cover1
Avionics News November 2014 - Cover2
Avionics News November 2014 - 1
Avionics News November 2014 - 2
Avionics News November 2014 - 3
Avionics News November 2014 - Point of Communication
Avionics News November 2014 - 5
Avionics News November 2014 - AEA Now
Avionics News November 2014 - 7
Avionics News November 2014 - 8
Avionics News November 2014 - 9
Avionics News November 2014 - 10
Avionics News November 2014 - 11
Avionics News November 2014 - 12
Avionics News November 2014 - 13
Avionics News November 2014 - The View from Washington
Avionics News November 2014 - 15
Avionics News November 2014 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News November 2014 - 17
Avionics News November 2014 - 18
Avionics News November 2014 - 19
Avionics News November 2014 - Shifting redundancy gears
Avionics News November 2014 - 21
Avionics News November 2014 - 22
Avionics News November 2014 - 23
Avionics News November 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News November 2014 - 25
Avionics News November 2014 - 26
Avionics News November 2014 - 27
Avionics News November 2014 - AEA Rate & Labor Survey
Avionics News November 2014 - 29
Avionics News November 2014 - 30
Avionics News November 2014 - 31
Avionics News November 2014 - 32
Avionics News November 2014 - 33
Avionics News November 2014 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News November 2014 - 35
Avionics News November 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News November 2014 - 37
Avionics News November 2014 - 38
Avionics News November 2014 - 39
Avionics News November 2014 - Real-world Avionics
Avionics News November 2014 - 41
Avionics News November 2014 - 42
Avionics News November 2014 - 43
Avionics News November 2014 - Antenna Tech
Avionics News November 2014 - 45
Avionics News November 2014 - 46
Avionics News November 2014 - 47
Avionics News November 2014 - Aviation Aces
Avionics News November 2014 - 49
Avionics News November 2014 - Business Basics
Avionics News November 2014 - 51
Avionics News November 2014 - 52
Avionics News November 2014 - Before & After
Avionics News November 2014 - Meet the AEA board of directors
Avionics News November 2014 - 55
Avionics News November 2014 - 56
Avionics News November 2014 - 57
Avionics News November 2014 - Avionics technician certifications
Avionics News November 2014 - 59
Avionics News November 2014 - 60
Avionics News November 2014 - 61
Avionics News November 2014 - Legal Ease
Avionics News November 2014 - 63
Avionics News November 2014 - Marketing Report Card
Avionics News November 2014 - 65
Avionics News November 2014 - What's New
Avionics News November 2014 - 67
Avionics News November 2014 - 68
Avionics News November 2014 - 69
Avionics News November 2014 - 70
Avionics News November 2014 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News November 2014 - 72
Avionics News November 2014 - Cover3
Avionics News November 2014 - Cover4
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