Aerospace engineering technician
Construction, Mechanical & Electrical Trades
Aerospace engineering technicians build, test and repair all types of aircraft. They usually specialise in mechanics or avionics.
Aerospace engineering technicians are involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of all types of aircraft.
Aerospace engineering technicians specialising in mechanics build and service an aircraft's hydraulic and pneumatics systems, this includes wings, engines and landing gear, and also its fuselage.
Aerospace engineering technicians specialising in avionics are involved in installing and testing electrical and electronic systems that are used in navigation, flight control and communications.
Aerospace engineering technicians working in production or maintenance will usually be based in an aircraft hangar.
Some maintenance work will be carried out on aircraft between flights. This will also include refuelling of the aircraft and would take place on the airfield.
Some aerospace engineering technicians may be involved in the development or design of aircraft. They would be based in an office or laboratory and use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM) software to design new aircraft .
It is possible to specialise in different types of aircraft, such as small aircraft, helicopters or large passenger jets.
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for aerospace engineering technicians
- Technical knowledge and awareness of aircraft systems
- Good hand skills
- Good concentration levels and attention to detail
- Responsible and aware of safety requirements
- Able to work as a team
- Good communication skills
Pay And Opportunities
Typical employers of aerospace engineering technician
- Maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) divisions of aerospace manufacturers.
- Specialist aircraft maintenance companies
- Flying schools
- Armed forces
Qualifications and training required
The traditional route into this career has been through an apprenticeship with an employer. Apprenticeships are available from aircraft component manufacturers such as BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Messier-Dowty and Goodrich. You would learn how to build the very complex parts and systems that make up the aircraft components.
Apprenticeships are also available from aircraft maintenance providers. These include airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic and also specialist aircraft maintenance companies such as Monarch Aircraft Engineering, ATC Lasham and Hawker Pacific. You would learn how to inspect, repair and maintain the aircraft parts and systems.
Apprenticeships are also available in helicopter maintenance. Applicants would need four GCSE's including English, Maths and Physics or a relevant City & Guilds qualification, or the equivalent. For Scottish applicants these apprenticeships would likely require a minimum of National 5s including English, Maths and Physics.
Professional registration is available to those who have joined a professional engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council, this is known as EngTech.