What Do Aerospace Technicians Do?

Aerospace technicians assist with the design, construction, and testing of air and spacecraft, including planes, helicopters, and rockets. If you're creative, mechanically inclined and comfortable working with high-tech equipment, a career in this field might be for you. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

An aerospace technician, sometimes called an aerospace engineering technician, performs a range of duties that require knowledge of both engineering and mechanical principles. No matter what skills are used, aerospace technicians work to ensure that aircraft and spacecraft operate within design specifications. Some of the general duties of an aerospace technician may include testing prototypes, analyzing data, and overseeing the construction of new aircraft designs.

Important Facts About Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians

Median Salary (2018) $67,010
Professional Certification Not required, but offered through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Key Skills Oral and written communication, critical thinking, detail oriented, interpersonal, mathematics background, mechanical ability
Similar Occupations Aerospace engineers, drafters, electro-mechanical technicians, industrial engineering technicians, mechanical engineering technicians

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

As an aerospace technician, you'll report to and assist those in charge of a project, most commonly a team of scientists and engineers. You might find yourself calibrating the equipment used to test aircraft or analyzing data to identify operation trends. Because of the complexity of modern planes and other aircraft, you might specialize in one system or component, or you might have to complete a variety of duties skillfully. While some of your duties will be working hands-on with physical prototypes and tools, modern technology has resulted in increased use of computer simulations to perform tests and design prototypes.

Education Options

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) notes that employers look for job candidates with formal education. Many community colleges, technical schools, and four-year universities offer associate's and bachelor's degrees in engineering technology that you can customize to focus on aerospace technology. You can expect to complete coursework in topics like advanced math, aircraft construction, electrical systems, fluid dynamics, and propulsion. When choosing a program, you should check its accreditation status with ABET, which ensures that programs maintain a rigorous quality standard.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities

The BLS predicts that there will only be 7% growth over the 2016-2026 decade. If you'd like to become more competitive in the job market, you might consider earning a certification from SpaceTEC (www.spacetec.org). To become certified in one or more of several aerospace specialties, you must meet education and experience requirements, then pass oral, written, and practical exams.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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