Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians

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Also known as:
Altitude Chamber Technician, Flight Data Technician, Wind Tunnel Technician

ABOUT AEROSPACE ENGINEERING AND OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGIST AND TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

Flying to the very edge of the earth's atmosphere, even to outer space itself, is the fields of aerospace engineering. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians help design and develop systems and vehicles for commercial aviation, national defense, and space exploration.

They assist engineers and scientists doing many of the hands-on tasks involved in aerospace production and quality control. For example, technicians assemble and maintain systems that launch, guide, and land aircraft and space vehicles. Technicians often assemble prototypes. In addition, they may develop testing techniques to ensure that the prototypes function properly and meet quality standards.

Precision tools, computers, and other highly sophisticated instruments are used. Most work is done indoors, in labs, offices, or manufacturing sites, occasionally, the job requires technicians to work outdoors.

Most employers prefer to hire people with at least a two0year associate degree in engineering technology. Programs are available at colleges, vocational schools, and through the armed forces. Additional training comes on the job.

Most technicians work as part of a team, so good communication skills are important, as it the ability to handle deadline pressure. This is a job that demands attention to detail, as well as the ability to understand technical manuals and blueprints. Lives depend upon meticulous and methodical work.

It's been more than a century since man learned to fly, yet it's still awe-inspiring to watch a spacecraft take to the skies.

SNAPSHOT
Operate, install, adjust, 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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
MED
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Adjust, repair, or replace faulty components of test setups and equipment.

Fabricate and install parts and systems to be tested in test equipment, using hand tools, power tools, and test instruments.

Test aircraft systems under simulated operational conditions, performing systems readiness tests and pre- and post-operational checkouts, to establish design or fabrication parameters.

Record and interpret test data on parts, assemblies, and mechanisms.

Confer with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results.

Inspect, diagnose, maintain, and operate test setups and equipment to detect malfunctions.

Identify required data, data acquisition plans, and test parameters, setting up equipment to conform to these specifications.

Operate and calibrate computer systems and devices to comply with test requirements and to perform data acquisition and analysis.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
TOP SKILLS
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.