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Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Parts Assemblers in Chicago, Illinois

Aircraft parts assemblers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 190 people are currently employed as aircraft parts assemblers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 10% to about 170 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for aircraft parts assemblers are expected to grow by about 9.4%. Aircraft parts assemblers generally assemble, fit, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.

Aircraft parts assemblers earn about $12 hourly or $25,520 annually on average in Illinois and about $21 per hour or $44,130 yearly on average nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as an aircraft parts assembler. The most common level of education for aircraft parts assemblers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become an aircraft parts assembler if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Aircraft Parts Assembler

In general, aircraft parts assemblers assemble, fit, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.

Aircraft parts assemblers attach brackets or clips to secure components, using bolts, screws, rivets, chemical bonding, or welding. They also read and interpret blueprints, illustrations, and specifications to establish layouts, sequences of operations, or identities and relationships of components. Equally important, aircraft parts assemblers have to align and install system components, using jigs, fixtures, measuring instruments, hand tools, and power tools. They are often called upon to assemble and connect components, fittings, and assemblies on aircraft, using layout tools and fasteners such as bolts and clamps. They are expected to cut and smooth components, and verify sizes and fitting tolerances in order to insure proper fit and clearance of components. Finally, aircraft parts assemblers position and align subassemblies in jigs or fixtures, using measuring instruments and following blueprint lines and index points.

Every day, aircraft parts assemblers are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to prioritize information for further consideration. It is also important that they twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for aircraft parts assemblers to lay out and mark reference points and locations for installation of components and components, using jigs, templates, and measuring and marking instruments. They are often called upon to assemble and fit prefabricated components to fashion subassemblies. They also fit and fasten sheet metal coverings to surface areas and other sections of aircraft before welding or riveting. They are sometimes expected to clean and/or coat system components as needed before assembling and attaching them. Somewhat less frequently, aircraft parts assemblers are also expected to assemble and fit prefabricated components to fashion subassemblies.

They also have to be able to inspect and test installed units and assemblies for fit and adherence to standards, using measuring instruments and test equipment And finally, they sometimes have to form loops or splices in cables, using clamps and fittings, or reweave cable strands.

Like many other jobs, aircraft parts assemblers must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Layout Technician. Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, or machine parts, for further processing. Includes shipfitters.
  • Machinist. Set up and operate a variety of machine tools to produce precision parts and instruments. Includes precision instrument makers who fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical instruments. May also fabricate and modify parts to make or repair machine tools or maintain industrial machines, applying knowledge of mechanics, shop mathematics, and machining procedures.
  • Tool and Die Maker. Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, and machinists' hand tools.
  • Welder. Use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Aircraft Parts Assembler Training

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has 2 areas of study related to Aircraft Parts Assembler. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree.
  • Avionics Maintenance Technology/Technician, bachelor's degree.


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.