Aerospace engineering and operations technologists and technicians are highly skilled professionals who use their strong investigative capabilities to develop, maintain, and troubleshoot aerospace products and systems. They work with engineers to design and test components and systems, develop test procedures, and conduct tests. They use their knowledge of flight dynamics, aircraft systems, and engineering principles to ensure aerospace products and systems are safe, reliable, and efficient. Additionally, aerospace engineering and operations technologists and technicians may be responsible for inspecting and repairing parts, performing maintenance, and coordinating with vendors and suppliers to ensure the timely delivery of parts and materials. 

Aerospace engineering and operations technologists and technicians are responsible for a variety of tasks related to the design, development, testing, and maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft, and related components. In addition, they oversee troubleshooting and repairing any malfunctions that may occur.  These professionals must also stay up to date on the latest technology to keep current with the aerospace industry. They must also be familiar with the safety regulations and laws related to aircraft and space vehicles. Finally, they must be able to work with various tools, software, and hardware in order to perform their job duties.

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians can specialize in areas such as aerospace manufacturing and assembly, aircraft maintenance and repair, flight testing and evaluation, avionics and instrumentation, aerospace quality control and inspection, aerospace research and development, spacecraft operations and control, and unmanned aerial vehicle technology.

Strong Interest Inventory® (SII) Investigative Theme Code Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologist and Technician Career

Learn all about a career as a Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologist and Technician, including career stats such as median salary, daily tasks, employment growth, and more!

They use a variety of tools and technologies to perform their duties, including computer-aided design (CAD) software, simulation and modeling software, testing equipment, and specialized tools for aircraft maintenance and repair. They also use communication and data management systems to monitor and control aerospace systems and missions. Additionally, they may use avionics and instrumentation systems to monitor and control aircraft systems and performance.

A career as an aerospace engineering and operations technologist and technician typically requires a minimum of a two-year college degree in aerospace technology, or a related field such as aeronautical engineering or mechanical engineering. Depending on the job and employer, additional certifications or post-secondary education may be required. A certification in aviation maintenance may be necessary to work as a technician in certain aerospace engineering and operations positions.

It is important to have a range of skills. These include technical, analytical, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork abilities. Additionally, a knowledge of mathematics, physics, and engineering principles is essential, as is a familiarity with computer-aided design software. Experience with aircraft systems, power systems, and airframes is important as well. Finally, an understanding of government regulations and safety procedures is also necessary.

Aerospace engineering and operations certifications are offered through the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (NIAT), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the International Council of Aerospace Industries (ICAI).

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians and technologists typically receive an entry-level salary ranging from $45,000 to $60,000 per year. As experienced technicians and technologists attain higher levels of proficiency, they can expect to earn salaries ranging from $60,000 to $80,000 annually. In addition, those in the field can expect to receive salary increases and bonuses for exemplary performance. Employment opportunities for aerospace engineering and operations technicians and technologists are expected to increase over the next 10 years, making it an excellent career choice.

Below are some employment trends for Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians:

  •     Median Salary: $35.37 hourly, $73,580 annual
  •     Employment: 11,300 employees
  •     Projected growth (2021-2031): Average (4% to 7%)
  •     Projected job openings (2021-2031): 1,200
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections