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Career and Education Opportunities for Aerospace Technicians in Arlington, Virginia

For those living in the Arlington, 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. 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 approximately $33 hourly or $69,150 per year on average in Virginia. Nationally they average about $26 hourly or $55,040 annually. Aerospace technicians earn more than people working in the category of Engineering Technologies generally in Virginia and more than people in the Engineering Technologies category nationally. People working as aerospace technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: field service engineer, wind tunnel mechanic, and avionics technician.

The Arlington area is home to eighty-seven schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Arlington where you can get a degree as an aerospace technician. Given that the most common education level 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 Arlington 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: Arlington, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia
Arlington, Virginia photo by Postdlf

Arlington is located in Arlington County, Virginia. It has a population of over 209,969, which has grown by 10.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 126, is far greater than the national average.

The top three industries for women in Arlington are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 60.2% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 30.6%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 29.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Convenant Presbyterian, Abundant Life United Holy Church and Advent Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church.

Arlington is home to the Clarendon Metro Station and the Virginia Square-GMU Metro Station as well as Arlington House-Robert E Lee Memorial and Doctors Branch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, Ballston Common Shopping Center and Lucas Market Shopping Center. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Econo Lodge National Airport, Crystal Gateway Marriott and Hilton Arlington & Towers for temporary stays in the area.