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Career and Education Opportunities for Aerospace Technicians in Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for aerospace technicians. There are currently 230 working aerospace technicians in Maryland; this should grow by 10% to 250 working aerospace technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for aerospace technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 2.3% over the next eight years. 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.

A person working as an aerospace technician can expect to earn about $27 per hour or $57,710 annually on average in Maryland and about $26 per hour or $55,040 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for aerospace technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Engineering Technologies in Maryland, and better than the overall Engineering Technologies category nationally. Aerospace technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: engineering test specialist, test equipment mechanic, and aerospace mechanic.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as an aerospace technician. Aerospace technicians usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 if you have 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 Columbia 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.
  • Environmental Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental pollution, including waste treatment and site remediation. May assist in the development of environmental pollution remediation devices under direction of engineer.
  • 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

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has an associate's degree program in Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree program in Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated three 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.