Seen from the ground... the flight of a jumbo jet... or the launching of a space shuttle... can seem like magic. For the aerospace engineering and operations technicians who work on these modern marvels up close, these events are part of their everyday jobs. These technicians help ensure that aerospace engineers' experimental designs for air and space vehicles are feasible and can be implemented. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians build test facilities, then run tests on prototypes or new models to find problems in design or function. They record test data and make adjustments to prevent dangerous equipment failures. Making live tests function as intended requires both communication skills and technical skills. Often when something isn't working, technicians and engineers troubleshoot together, so technicians must know how to ask the questions that will lead to the right answers. Most aerospace engineering and operations technicians work full time in manufacturing plants, laboratories, and offices. In plants, technicians are directly involved in assembling aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians typically earn an associate's degree in engineering technology. Security clearance may be required for work related to national defense. Proper execution of their duties is crucial both for safety and performance. In the end, it's these technicians who carry the weight of flight.
What they do:
Operate, install, calibrate, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems, consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment, which are used to launch, track, position, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.
On the job, you would:
Inspect, diagnose, maintain, and operate test setups and equipment to detect malfunctions.
Record and interpret test data on parts, assemblies, and mechanisms.
Confer with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
read and understand what is written
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
pay attention to something without being distracted
see hidden patterns
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
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft SQL Server
Structured query language SQL
Analytical or scientific software
Data acquisition software
Vibration analysis software
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include: