Summary Report for:
17-3021.00 - Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
Operate, install, calibrate, 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.
Sample of reported job titles: Avionics Technician, Avionics Test Technician, Calibration Technician, Communication Technician, Electronics Technician, Engineering Technician, Instrumentation Technician, Spacecraft Systems Engineer, Systems Test Technician, Test Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Inspect, diagnose, maintain, and operate test setups and equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Record and interpret test data on parts, assemblies, and mechanisms.
- Confer with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results.
- Adjust, repair or replace faulty components of test setups and equipment.
- Identify required data, data acquisition plans and test parameters, setting up equipment to conform to these specifications.
- Construct and maintain test facilities for aircraft parts and systems, according to specifications.
- Operate and calibrate computer systems and devices to comply with test requirements and to perform data acquisition and analysis.
- Test aircraft systems under simulated operational conditions, performing systems readiness tests and pre- and post-operational checkouts, to establish design or fabrication parameters.
- Fabricate and install parts and systems to be tested in test equipment, using hand tools, power tools, and test instruments.
- Finish vehicle instrumentation and deinstrumentation.
- Exchange cooling system components in various vehicles.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable wrenches
- Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers
- Bench vises
- Borescope inspection equipment — Borescopes
- Box end wrenches
- Calipers — Dial calipers; Digital calipers; Spring calipers; Vernier calipers
- Cold chisels — Straight chisels
- Combination wrenches
- Compasses — Dividers; Layout compasses
- Compression testers — Digital force gauges
- Coordinate measuring machines CMM
- Depth gauges
- Drill press or radial drill — Drill presses
- Eddy current examination equipment — Eddy current inspection equipment
- Explosive initiators — Pyrotechnic initiators
- Fall protection lanyard — Safety lanyards
- Farmers own file — Knife files
- Fire extinguishers
- Flat hand file — Flat files
- Flat taper file — Vixen files
- Flowmeters — Flow meters
- Force or torque sensors — Electronic torque testers; Force transducers
- Form tools or toolbits — Twist drills
- Gage block set — Gauge blocks; V blocks
- Gantry milling machine — Gantry mills
- Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Gas arc welding equipment
- Go or no go gauge — Go/no-go gauges; Plug gauges
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Gyroscopic instruments — Gyroscopes
- Hacksaw — Hacksaws
- Half round file — Half-round files
- Hammers — Soft face hammers
- Height gauges — Digital height gauges; Planer gauges
- Hex keys — Allen wrenches
- Hole gauge — Bore gauges; Small hole gauges
- Horizontal turning center — Computerized numerical control CNC lathes
- Impact hammers
- Infrared imagers — Infrared inspection equipment
- IR 192 radiography examination equipment — Gamma ray testing equipment
- Leak testing equipment — Bubble emission inspection equipment
- Liquid penetrant examination equipment — Dye penetrant inspection equipment
- Magnetic particle examination equipment — Fluorescent penetrant inspection equipment; Magnetic particle inspection equipment
- Mainframe console or dumb terminals — Terminal computers
- Manipulators — Hydrasets
- Mass spectrometers
- Metal cutters — Aviation snips
- Micrometers — Depth micrometers
- Mill saw file — Mill files
- Offset screw driver — Offset screwdrivers
- Open end wrenches
- Paint application system — Paint booths
- Personal computers
- Pneumatic drill — Air drills
- Power screwguns — Power screwdrivers
- Precision file — Precision files
- Pressure indicators — Pressure gauges
- Profiling and duplicating milling machine — Multi-axis mills; Skin mills
- Punches or nail sets or drifts — Aligning punches; Center punches; Drive punches; Pin punches (see all 5 examples)
- Respirators — Air-supplying respirators; Purifying respirators
- Rivet tools — Riveting tools
- Round file — Round files
- Rulers — Steel rules
- Safety harnesses or belts — Body harnesses
- Screwdrivers — Flat head screwdrivers; Reed and Prince screwdrivers
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Shielded arc welding tools
- Shot peen machine — Shot peening equipment
- Sockets — Socket wrenches
- Soldering iron — Soldering irons
- Spanner wrenches — Hook spanner wrenches
- Specialty wrenches — Bleeder wrenches
- Speed sensors — Accelerometer sensors
- Squares — Alignment squares; Tri-squares
- Straight edges — Straightedges
- Strain gauges — Strain gauge balances
- Taps — Bottoming taps; Plug taps; Taper taps
- Telescoping gauge — Telescoping gauges
- Thickness measuring devices — Snap gauges; Thickness gauges
- Thread counters or gauges — Thread gauges
- Thread repair kits — Split dies
- Tinners snips — Hand snips
- Torque wrenches — Digital torque wrenches
- Torx keys — Torx drivers
- Track cranes — Overhead cranes
- Traveling column milling machine — Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines
- Turret lathe — Vertical turret lathes VTL
- Ultrasonic examination equipment — Ultrasonic inspection equipment
- Vacuum ovens — Annealing ovens
- Vibration testers — Shakers; Vibration tables; Vibration transducers
- Voltage or current meters — Voltmeters
- Welder torch — Brazing equipment; Brazing hearths; Welding torches
- Wire lug crimping tool — Wire crimpers
- Wire twister — Safety wire pliers
- X ray radiography examination equipment — X ray inspection equipment
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Data acquisition software; Vibration analysis software
- Computer aided design CAD software
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft SQL Server software ; Oracle software; Structured query language SQL
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Microsoft Visio
- Industrial control software — Computerized numerical control CNC software
- Inventory management software — Inventory software
- Object or component oriented development software — Oracle Java
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — UNIX
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- 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.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- 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.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- 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.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- 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.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Detailed Work Activities
- Interpret design or operational test results.
- Operate computer systems.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Inspect equipment or systems.
- Maintain mechanical equipment.
- Document design or operational test results.
- Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
- Maintain test equipment.
- Assemble equipment or components.
- Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
- Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
- Fabricate devices or components.
- Install production equipment or systems.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 93% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 95% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 66% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
- Freedom to Make Decisions
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 58% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making
- Spend Time Sitting
- Structured versus Unstructured Work
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 33% responded “Very important results.”
- Time Pressure — 65% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 60% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 30% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 59% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 64% responded “More than half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 64% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions
- Consequence of Error
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Master's degree|
|Not available||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Not available||Associate's degree|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: RIC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$31.82 hourly, $66,180 annual|
|Employment (2014)||11,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Slower than average (2% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||3,200|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Aerospace engineering and operations technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.