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Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Parts Assemblers in Vancouver, Washington

Aircraft parts assemblers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Vancouver, Washington area. About 6,070 people are currently employed as aircraft parts assemblers in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to 6,950 people employed. This is better than the national trend for aircraft parts assemblers, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.4% over the next eight years. 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.

There are forty-eight schools of higher education in the Vancouver area, including one within twenty-five miles of Vancouver 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 Vancouver 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.
  • Structural and Ornamental Metalwork Metal Fabricator. Fabricate, lay out, and fit parts of structural metal products.
  • 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

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has 2 areas of study related to Aircraft Parts Assembler. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-three and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Aircraft Powerplant Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 17 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.