Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians

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About the Job

Operate, install, calibrate, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems, consoles, simulators, and other data acquisition, test, and measurement instruments and equipment, which are used to launch, track, position, and evaluate air and space vehicles. May record and interpret test data.

It is also Called

  • Wind Tunnel Technician
  • Wind Tunnel Mechanic
  • Test Technician
  • Test Specialist
  • Test Equipment Mechanic
  • Systems Test Technician
  • Spacecraft Systems Engineer
  • Research Mechanic
  • Radar Technician
  • Project Engineer
View All

What They Do

  • Exchange cooling system components in various vehicles.
  • Finish vehicle instrumentation and deinstrumentation.
  • Fabricate and install parts and systems to be tested in test equipment, using hand tools, power tools, and test instruments.
  • Test aircraft systems under simulated operational conditions, performing systems readiness tests and pre- and post-operational checkouts, to establish design or fabrication parameters.
  • Operate and calibrate computer systems and devices to comply with test requirements and to perform data acquisition and analysis.
  • Construct and maintain test facilities for aircraft parts and systems, according to specifications.
  • Identify required data, data acquisition plans and test parameters, setting up equipment to conform to these specifications.
  • Adjust, repair or replace faulty components of test setups and equipment.
  • Confer with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results.
  • Record and interpret test data on parts, assemblies, and mechanisms.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Working Conditions and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was n/a


avg. annual growth

During 2012, this occupation employed approximately 40 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 40 employed in 2022.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 0 replacement openings for approximately 0 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education