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Aerospace engineering technician

Aerospace engineering technicians design, build, test and repair civil and military aircraft.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need to do:

  • a college course in mechanical or electrical engineering
  • an airline operator, airline manufacturer or service engineering company apprenticeship

Careers in Aerospace has more information on careers in the aerospace industry.

Tomorrow's Engineers has more information on engineering.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • practical skills
  • maths, science and IT skills
  • attention to detail and a methodical approach to work
  • problem-solving skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll usually work in either:

  • mechanics – building and servicing aircraft fuselage, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, like wings, engines and landing gear
  • avionics – installing and testing electrical and electronic systems used in navigation, communications and flight control

Your day-to-day duties in both areas might include:

  • developing component plans using computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software
  • investigating and testing solutions to engineering problems
  • building and testing prototypes
  • using prototypes to predict and improve the performance of aircraft systems

You’ll also carry out line and base maintenance between flights. Line duties include pre-flight checks, refuelling and minor tasks. Base maintenance involves more detailed checks, fault diagnosis and repairs.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £23,000

Experienced: £24,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 or more (design or management roles)

Bonuses and overtime payments may be available.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week. This could vary depending on the project you’re working on and any deadlines you need to meet.

You may have to work shifts.

If you’re involved in development or design, you’ll work in an office or laboratory.

In production or maintenance, you’ll usually be based in an aircraft hangar.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into supervisory, project management and higher management roles, or specialise in a particular field, like aircraft design.

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Last updated: 22 March 2017