Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician

What Does an Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician Do?
Aerospace engineering and operations technicians operate and manage equipment used for testing aircrafts and spacecrafts. They have various job duties, including calibrating test equipment, finding mechanical problems and running computer-simulated tests to examine new designs’ efficiency and safety. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians also use computer programs and communications systems to record and analyze virtual test data. They typically discuss the test procedures and results with engineers and supervisors. Technicians may spend years testing new aircraft designs before they are ready for commercial flight. This work is extremely important to airlines and flyers’ safety since equipment and mechanical malfunctions could be detrimental in flight. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians are concerned with all aspects of air and space flight equipment to ensure safe launching, tracking, positioning and landing of these vehicles. They also make adjustments and repairs and replace faulty components of testing equipment and testing procedures.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for an Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician?
The job outlook for aerospace engineering and operations technicians should remain favorable, with a two percent employment increase by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While there will be a slight growth in employment, an increase in computer simulations for designing and testing new products and flight equipment will lower the need for new technicians. They are often employed by companies that build aircrafts and spacecrafts, as well as some government agencies. The majority of technicians are employed in aerospace products and parts manufacturing, followed by navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing, as well as architectural, engineering and related services. According to the Bureau, the average salary of aerospace engineering and operations technicians was $55,040 in 2008. Technicians who worked in the most common discipline, aerospace products and parts manufacturing, made $52,150, annually. For a complete breakdown of aerospace engineering and operations technicians’ industry profiles and wage estimates, visit the Bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics.

How Can I Become an Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician?
In order to become an aerospace engineering and operations technician, you will need to earn an associate degree in engineering or aerospace technology. You can receive formal training at various postsecondary institutions, such as technical schools, community colleges, four-year universities, the Armed Forces and other schools. During your associate degree program, you may be eligible to do internships and other work at manufacturing and engineering firms. Any additional training and hands-on experience will help your chances of securing a technician career after graduation. Technician applicants should also have good communication and team-building skills so that projects will run professionally and efficiently, as well as creativity for designing new equipment and offering unique ideas in project planning. Depending on the industry you want to work in and whether it is government-run, some aerospace engineering and operations technicians will have to pass a security clearance evaluation before working on defense projects.