Aerospace Technician: Occupational Outlook
Aerospace technicians work with aircrafts and spacecrafts, often in parts or manufacturing. Interested candidates may read on for more information on job outlook, salary and educational requirements.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aerospace engineering and operations technicians are expected to see little or no job growth from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). However, the BLS does note that a considerable amount of retirements are expected in the field over the same decade, so some opportunities should be available.
In 2012, aerospace engineering and operations technicians earned a median annual salary of $61,530 annually, according to BLS data. The technicians at the bottom 10% of industry earnings made $40,020 or less per year, while those in the top 10% made $87,370 or more. Aerospace product parts and manufacturing companies were the largest employers of aerospace technicians in 2012, employing more than 3,500 workers, while the scheduled air transportation industry staffed just 360 technicians that year. The BLS reported that individuals with education and experience will have more options in the job market than those that do not share those qualifications.
The education requirements of engineering technicians are not as rigorous as the requirements to become an engineer. The preferred degree program for potential technicians is an associate degree program in engineering or aerospace technology, which can be completed in two years. These programs usually emphasize hands-on learning in a laboratory or real-world setting. According to the BLS, many junior and community colleges, as well as vocational schools or technical institutes, offer such programs throughout the U.S.
Aerospace technicians work on air and spacecraft. They may work in every facet of production including construction, testing and maintenance; however, they typically specialize in one of those areas. For example, using special equipment and computers, an aerospace technician may regularly calibrate control systems, fix damaged landing gear or perform routine preventative maintenance.
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