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Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, & Systems Assemblers

Also called: Aircraft Line Assembler, Helicopter Mechanic, Sheet Metal Assembler and Riveter (SMAR), Structures Technician

Where in the Air Force? In the Air Force: Aerospace Maintenance Apprentice, C-17; Aerospace Propulsion Apprentice, F101, F110, F118 Jet Engines; Aerospace Propulsion Helper, F101, F110, F118 Jet Engines; Aerospace Propulsion Superintendent; Aircraft Armament Systems Apprentice, F-16; Aircraft Armament Systems Helper, All Other; Aircraft Armament Systems Helper, F/A-22; Airlift/Special Mission Aircraft Maintenance Craftsman; Airlift/Special Mission Aircraft Maintenance Journeyman, C-5; Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Craftsman; Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Journeyman, F-15

What they do:
Assemble, fit, fasten, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.
On the job, you would:
  • Align and fit structural assemblies manually, or signal crane operators to position assemblies for joining.
  • Assemble prefabricated parts to form subassemblies.
  • Assemble, install, and connect parts, fittings, and assemblies on aircraft, using layout tools, hand tools, power tools, and fasteners such as bolts, screws, rivets, and clamps.


Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
Arts and Humanities
  • English language


Basic Skills
  • figuring out how to use new ideas or things
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • put together small parts with your fingers
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Cooperation
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Achievement/Effort


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
Word processing software
Computer aided design CAD software


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers.