I hadn't encountered anyone with the certification, but the The National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies, NCATT (http://www.ncatt.org/about.php) (formerly called the National Center for Aircraft Technician Training), offers professional accreditation. (I don't think it's part of the FAA processes, yet anyway). The local school issues a graduation certificate, and then one can continue with the optional NCATT certificate.
Interestingly, it would seem both the A&P and avionics certification are increasingly helpful in a number of industries, as employers seek qualified candidates. The wind energy business was in particular pointed out, both for the A&P mechanical applications, and the electronic control and power distribution aspects.
The following syllabus is the one followed by my local institution, in the past it has been a four-term program, and the fifth term is an option for those pursuing the national certification.
|Session 1 (15 weeks)||13 credit hrs|
|Basic Electricity and Electronics||3|
|Basic Electricity and Electronics Lab||4|
|Introduction to Avionics||3|
|Session 2 (15 weeks)||7 credit hrs|
|Avionics Systems & Troubleshooting||2|
|Avionics Systems & Troubleshooting Lab||2|
|Basic Communication Electronics||3|
|Session 3 (15 weeks)||8 credit hrs|
|Wiring and Cannon Plug Lab||2|
|Aircraft Electrical, Comm & Nav 1||3|
|Aircraft Electrical, Comm & Nav 1 Lab||3|
|Session 4 (15 weeks)||10 credit hrs|
|Aircraft Electrical, Comm & Nav 2||3|
|Aircraft Electrical, Comm & Nav 2 Lab||3|
|Basic Communications Electronics Lab||4|
|Session 5 (15 weeks)||11 credit hrs|
|Principles of Avionics||3|
|Certification Preparation for NCATT 1||3|
|Certification Preparation for NCATT 2||3|
|Global Professional Standards||2|
The reading list for do-it-yourselfers (and study-it-yourselfers):
Basic Mathematics for Electricity and Electronics ($219)
Grob's Basic Electronics: Fundamentals of DC and AC Circuits ($151)
Grob's Basic Electronics: Experiments Manual ($80)
Grob's Basic Electronics: Problems Manual ($77)
Avionics Training- Systems, Installation and Troubleshooting ($69)
Avionics Databuses ($127)
Introduction to Airborne Radar ($159)
Basic Communication Electronics ($69)
Aircraft Wiring and Electrical Installations ($27)
Automatic Flight Control ($117)
Avionics Troubleshooting and Repair ($46.50)
Avionics Systems: Operation and Maintenance ($25.50)
Aircraft Instruments and Integrated Systems ($120)
Avionics Test Equipment Handbook ($86.50)
Aircraft Electricity and Electronics ($106)
Some of these are a bit dated- going back to the mid 1990's (ahem). I suppose a large percentage of general aviation aircraft are even older, so maybe not such a big deal. Good reference material anyway. (The "Grob's Basic Electronics: Fundamentals of DC and AC Circuits" in particular looked like a handy starting point aspiring students and DIY-ers to become familiar with).
Things change- the textbooks, as well as the test equipment. Seems like all the Oscopes I see anymore are the digital LCD ones. (And just after I figured out how to set the clock on my VCR, along comes DVDs... "Just when you figure out the answers, they change the questions".
I've *almost* overcome that digital trepidation because of the multi-color traces available with Tektronix "Digital Phosphor Oscilloscope" (DPO) - and probably a lot of other manufacturers. Interestingly, Hewlett Packard is no longer among those competitors, having ditched the test measurment business with a controversial spin off (Agilent). No shortage of controversy at HP, for sure. Here's a link to some of the "real" stuff though.
As typical, Wikipedia has a nice article on Oscilloscopes. Scroll down a bit, and you'll come across the "Digital Storage" section, and note:
"The first Digital Storage Oscilloscope (DSO) was invented by Walter LeCroy (who founded the LeCroy Corporation, based in New York, USA) after producing high-speed digitizers for the research center CERN in Switzerland. LeCroy remains one of the three largest manufacturers of oscilloscopes in the world."
Intereseting- I though of CERN (allowing my crude translation of things backwards- Center of European Research into Nuclear Stuff- I guess they left the "S" off) as a recently developed organization, but it dates back to 1954. Lot's of publicity about the Large Hadron Collider.
I would suspect a certificate in Avionics might be a good resume item for these other high tech industries- wind farms today, fusion reactors tomorrow! (Unfortunately, fusion energy seems about as far off as the flying car...).
Of course, there have been a variety of approaches to the flying car thing. But let's hope that regardless of the industry they enter, our friends with avionics certificates can get their career's off the ground!
(Or at least into high gear- not reverse! :)