Aircraft Engineer Job Profile
An aircraft engineer job is to design and manufacture high technology systems for aircraft. As an aircraft engineer, you would be involved in the research, design and manufacturing of the aircraft. You need to work on the maintenance and every mechanical aspect of the aircraft. The job demands a high level of technical and mechanical capability and acuity.
The Basic Tasks
Every machine on the craft has to be part of your field of expertise when you are an aircraft engineer. This means you are responsible for the hydraulics and pneumatics and also the airframes. The engines, fuel, control and communication systems would also be under your supervision. You also need to perform repetitive maintenance tasks that align with the standards. You should be able to point out accurately the smallest essential details regarding any deviation.
You would be working on the various stages of the production and manufacture of the aircraft, such as these:
- Designing of new products, whether components or the entirety of an engine.
- Manufacturing and assembling of various parts.
- Researching and providing solutions to complex problems of aircraft engineering.
- Maintaining the aircraft and ensuring the safety and its operation.
You would be working either indoors in the hangars or outdoors on the field. The tasks of research and design are performed in the laboratories. The assembly, fitting and testing of the aircraft has to be done in the production factory. You would be involved daily in activities such as these:
- The repair, replacement, assembly and installation of the parts of aircraft.
- Performing routine maintenance and filling in technical records.
- Performing routine and special inspections. Keeping a check on whether the standards are maintained.
- Acting as a supervisor for the aircraft maintenance workers.
- During the research and design phase, participating in test programs, recording data and resolving design issues.
- Diagnosing faults and taking remedial action. Tracking all the records of work undertaken.
Eligibility and Salary
You can become an aircraft engineer in a company through different routes. You can take a certificate course, gain work experience and then study for a degree. Some companies require an HGV (heavy goods vehicle) license, while some ask for prior mechanical experience.
You are expected to work 37 to 40 hours a week. However, working overtime or on weekends can also be required occasionally. The salaries for technicians range from $15,000 to $21,000 a year. A salary can be expected to rise to more than $45,000 with promotions. This can be achieved with experience and gaining higher qualifications.
A range of employers from small-scale to large aerospace manufacturers and operators provide aviation career opportunities. The armed forces, government agencies and regulatory authorities like the Civil Aviation Authority also hire engineers.
Many airline companies develop their own maintenance departments and training programs for these types of engineers. With experience and higher qualifications, you can gain an entry to higher-level jobs. You could also be given overseas opportunities or take a different avenue and work as an independent consultant.