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What Is Airplane Assembly Management?

Airplane assembly managers inspect the aircraft assembly process for quality assurance and ensure that the project stays within budget and on schedule. Learn more about the job duties, training requirements, and salary potential for this position by reading this article.

Job Description

Airplane assembly managers assure quality construction in each assembly department. In this position, you may oversee electrical assembly, mechanical assembly, or interior furnishing. One of your main concerns will be product quality wherein it is necessary to determine mistakes before the consumer reports the error. You'll make sure that the work meets all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, all corporate quality standards, and any client specifications.

As an airplane assembly manager, you will also ensure that production meets all deadlines without exceeding the budget. To do this, you'll decide who may or should work overtime and whether the company should purchase new equipment. You'll also inform the supply department in advance of any materials you'll need. To get all this done, it is often necessary to spend extra hours working.

You may manage assembly for both civil and military aircraft. Aerospace companies' incomes often come from government contracts for new, top-secret helicopters, airplanes, missiles, and other aeronautical equipment. Civilian opportunities arise from the need to replace older model aircraft with more fuel-efficient ones. Companies you may work for include Boeing, General Dynamics, Cessna, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Similar Occupations Industrial Engineer, Operations Research Analyst, Construction Manager
Key Skills Leadership, problem-solving, and time-management skills
Work Environment Full-time, sometimes on weekends or at night
Job Growth (2016-2026) 6% (for Aerospace Engineers)*
Mean Salary (2018) $115,220 (for Aerospace Engineers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Airplane manufacturing requires high technical skill thus many employers look to hire managers with a graduate degree in industrial management or business administration according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). They may also prefer a candidate with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering.

A bachelor's degree program in aeronautical engineering prepares you to design and build aircraft while exploring the different materials and their uses involved in the program. You'll learn the relationship between aerodynamics and design principles. You'll also learn how to assemble electrical, propulsion, and guidance systems. Courses you may take include the following:

  • Calculus
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Dynamics
  • Thermodynamics

A graduate degree program in industrial management or business administration will teach you how to relate with supervisors and workers. You'll learn how to make decisions based on multiple factors including the principles of finance, marketing, and economics. Courses will also teach you different systems of quality assurance.