Aerospace engineering and operations technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $61,460
- 2011, number of jobs: 9,290
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: -2 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
Aerospace engineering and operations technicians; what they do:
Without qualified aerospace engineering and operations technicians, none of us could feel safe getting on an airplane. Aerospace technicians are in charge of the equipment used to test new designs in aviation. An aerospace engineering and operations technician helps find solutions to fix problems.
An aerospace technician career includes using basic engineering principles and technical skills to support the work of engineers and others who develop, make and test aircraft, spacecraft and the systems operating them.
An aerospace technician career includes programming computers for flight simulation to test new aircraft designs; operating and calibrating computer systems so they meet various test requirements. An aerospace technician career also includes building and maintaining test facilities to meet engineers’ specifications.
Aerospace techs conduct tests, record and analyze data and diagnose problems. Sometimes called avionics technicians, they adjust, repair or replace faulty components. Aerospace technicians discuss test procedures with aerospace engineers.
An aerospace tech career may include installing parts and systems to be tested, and monitoring production of aircraft systems to ensure they are of the highest quality.
Aerospace engineering and operations technicians job duties:
- Maintaining and operating equipment to detect problems with new aircraft designs.
- Resolving problems with aircraft components.
- Recording and analyzing test results.
- Programming and operating computers to simulate flight conditions.
- Constructing and maintaining test facilities.
- Performing system readiness tests and conducting evaluations before and after tests.
- Making and installing parts to be tested.
Aerospace engineering and operations technicians job titles:
- Spacecraft systems engineer
- Electronics technician
- Instrumentation technician
- Engineering technician
- Avionics technician
- Calibration technician
- Systems test technician
- Communication technician
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
Candidates for avionics technicians jobs should be detail-oriented and have good communication, critical-thinking, math, technical and interpersonal skills.
Certification is not required to work as an aerospace technician, but skills-based programs can help you earn certification through the Federal Aviation Commission, which can increase your hiring potential.
Certificate and diploma programs offered by vocational-technical schools provide training for work as an aerospace technician, but employers increasingly seek candidates with an associate in aerospace engineering technology degree. Aerospace technicians seeking to work on defense contracts must qualify for a security clearance, which sometimes requires U.S. citizenship.
Aerospace engineering and operations technicians programs cover subjects such as:
- Aircraft/spacecraft systems technology
- Prototype and operational testing
- Design and development testing
- Instrument calibration
- Inspection and maintenance procedures
- College algebra
- Report preparation
- Computer science
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Employment Outlook
Forecast: .2 percent negative employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for aerospace technicians. Due to the security clearances often required, jobs in this field may stay in the United States.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $61,460
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $72,860
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $49,960
- Aerospace products and parts manufacturing
- Navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control instrument manufacturing
- Architectural, engineering and related services
- Scheduled air transportation
- Colleges and universities