Career and Education Opportunities for Aerospace Technicians in Alexandria, Virginia
For those living in the Alexandria, Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for aerospace technicians. The national trend for aerospace technicians sees this job pool growing by about 2.3% over the next eight years. 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.
The income of an aerospace technician is about $33 hourly or $69,150 per year on average in Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $26 per hour or $55,040 per year on average. Incomes for aerospace technicians are better than in the overall category of Engineering Technologies in Virginia, and better than the overall Engineering Technologies category nationally. People working as aerospace technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: flight test data acquisition technician, altitude chamber technician, and aerospace mechanic.
There are eighty-four schools of higher education in the Alexandria area, including two within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can get a degree to start your career as an aerospace technician. Aerospace technicians usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be 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
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 Alexandria 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.
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: Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.
The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.
Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.
Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.