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Career and Education Opportunities for Aerospace Technicians in Huntsville, Alabama

Aerospace technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Huntsville, Alabama area. There are currently 180 jobs for aerospace technicians in Alabama and this is projected to grow by 10% to about 200 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for aerospace technicians are expected to grow by about 2.3%. Aerospace technicians generally operate, install, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment to launch, track, and evaluate air and space vehicles.

Aerospace technicians earn about $23 per hour or $48,360 per year on average in Alabama and about $26 hourly or $55,040 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies, people working as aerospace technicians in Alabama earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies nationally. People working as aerospace technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: wind tunnel mechanic, avionics technician, and avionics test technician.

The Huntsville area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree as an aerospace technician. The most common level of education for aerospace technicians is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years training to become an aerospace technician if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Aerospace Technician

Aerospace Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, aerospace technicians operate, install, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment to launch, track, and evaluate air and space vehicles. They also may record and interpret test data.

Aerospace technicians talk with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results. Finally, aerospace technicians identify required data, data acquisition plans and test parameters, setting up apparatus to conform to these specifications.

Every day, aerospace technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for aerospace technicians to inspect and operate test setups and apparatus to detect malfunctions. They are often called upon to record and interpret test data on parts and mechanisms. They also adjust, repair or remove faulty components of test setups and equipment. They are sometimes expected to fabricate and install parts and systems to be tested in test equipment, using hand tools and test instruments. Somewhat less frequently, aerospace technicians are also expected to talk with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results.

Aerospace technicians sometimes are asked to test aircraft systems under simulated operational conditions, performing systems readiness tests and pre- and post-operational checkouts, to determine layout or fabrication parameters. They also have to be able to operate and calibrate computer systems and devices to comply with test requirements and to perform data acquisition and analysis And finally, they sometimes have to finish vehicle instrumentation and deinstrumentation.

Like many other jobs, aerospace technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:

  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Aerospace Technician Training

John C Calhoun State Community College - Tanner, AL

John C Calhoun State Community College, 6250 U S Highway 31 N, Tanner, AL 35671. John C Calhoun State Community College is a medium sized college located in Tanner, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,754 students. John C Calhoun State Community College has an associate's degree program in Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated ten students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Corrosion Technician: This certification is geared towards personnel with little experience but who possess some basic knowledge of corrosion and corrosion control, who are capable of performing routine, but well-defined work under the close direction of Specialist or Senior Technologist personnel.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

Certified Manufacturing Technologist: This certification primarily benefits new manufacturing engineers and experienced manufacturers without other credentials.

For more information, see the Society of Manufacturing Engineers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.