What Do Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Do?
The work of aerospace engineering and operations technicians is vital for national defense and commercial air traffic safety. It is the responsibility of technicians to install, calibrate and operate the equipment used to develop, test and produce new aircraft and spacecraft. Much of the work is done using computer-operated consoles and simulators.These programs launch, track, position and evaluate air and space vehicles. Recording and interpreting data is another important component of the job. There are approximately 2010 aerospace engineering and operations technician job openings each year.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Skills and Abilities
Technicians in this field need to have good communication skills and be team players. Many individuals are involved in projects that take the careful and creative input from groups to get done. In addition to knowing the practical application of engineering and science technology, expertise is required in four areas:
- Mechanical – Knowledge of machines and tools
- Computers and Electronics – Knowledge of computer hardware and software
- Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services.
- Administration and Management – Knowledge of strategic planning and management of people and resources.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Duties
Aerospace engineering technicians must be astute. Active listening, critical thinking, complex problem solving and reading comprehension are all required skills that allow for success. Some of the duties for this position include:
- Operation Monitoring – Observing dials and gauges, as well as additional indicators ensure machines are working as they should.
- Quality Control Analysis – Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Problem Sensitivity – The ability to understand when problems may arise.
- Deductive Reasoning – The ability to address specific issues by applying general principles.
- Inductive Reasoning – The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Tools and Technology
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians depend on a number of mechanical instruments and computer software to do their job, including:
- Calipers – dial calipers, digital calipers, spring calipers, vernier calipers
- Punches or nail sets or drifts – aligning punches, center punches, drive punches, pin punches, prick punches
- Taps – bottoming taps, plug taps, taper taps
- Vibration testers – shakers, vibration tables, vibration testers, vibration transducers
- Welder torch – brazing equipment, brazing hearths, welding torchesTechnician jobs also depend heavily on the use of computer programs like:
- Analytical or scientific software – data acquisition software, vibration analysis software
- Computer-aided design CAD software
- Industrial control software – computerized numerical control CNC software
- Inventory management software – inventory software
- Spreadsheet software – Microsoft Excel
Education and Training for Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
Many aerospace engineering and operations technicians enter the field with an associate’s degree in engineering and aerospace technology. Community colleges, technical schools and four-year colleges have this course of study.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Salary
After receiving an Associate’s Degree, aerospace engineering and operations technicians can look forward to a growing career that starts at $18 an hour. The average yearly salary in the field is $63,800. 90 percent of technicians make $93,300 per year.
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians Jobs by Geography
The states with the greatest concentration of aerospace engineering and operations technicians are California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Texas in that order. However, those in this occupation make slightly higher salaries in Colorado and Connecticut. The national government and private industry employ aerospace engineering and operations technicians. You can consider both for employment in varying climates as you pursue your job search.