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Aerospace Engineering And Operations Technicians Career

Career Description

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians operate, install, calibrate, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment to launch, track, position, and evaluate air and space vehicles.

Common Work Tasks

  • Construct, test, and maintain aircraft and space vehicles
  • Calibrate test equipment and determine causes of equipment malfunctions
  • Use computer and communications systems to record and interpret test data
  • Confer with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results
  • Adjust, repair or replace faulty components of test setups and equipment
  • Identify required data, data acquisition plans and test parameters, setting up equipment to conform to these specifications
  • Construct and maintain test facilities for aircraft parts and systems, according to specifications
  • Test aircraft systems under simulated operational conditions, performing systems readiness tests and pre- and post-operational checkouts, to establish design or fabrication parameters
  • Fabricate and install parts and systems to be tested in test equipment, using hand tools, power tools, and test instruments
  • Finish vehicle instrumentation and de-instrumentation

Other Job Titles

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians are also known by other titles, including:

  • Civil Engineering Technicians
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians

Education, Training, and Experience

Education and Training
Although it may be possible to qualify for certain engineering technician jobs without formal training, most employers prefer to hire someone with at least a 2-year associate degree in engineering technology. People with college courses in science, engineering, and mathematics may qualify for some positions but may need additional specialized training and experience. Prospective engineering technicians should take as many high school science and math courses as possible to prepare for programs in engineering technology after high school.

Experience
  Because many engineering technicians assist in design work, creativity is desirable. Good communication skills and the ability to work well with others also are important as engineering technicians are typically part of a team of engineers and other technicians.

Salary

The median annual salary for an aerospace engineering and operations technician is $55,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $78,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $38,000. Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of aerospace engineering and operations technicians are:

  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing - $55,100
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services  - $57,470
  • Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing  - $54,160
  • Scheduled Air Transportation  - $65,450
  • Scientific Research and Development Services  - $64,690

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  10%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 900
  • Employment 2006 : 8,500
  • Employment 2016:  9,400
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