Aircraft Manufacturing Jobs to Consider

The aircraft manufacturing field is broad and includes many different types of jobs. It is also in high demand and can provide very good compensation and benefits. In this article, we will briefly look at and describe some of the diverse opportunities available in aircraft manufacturing.

Aircraft Production Workers

Production workers are the employees who do the actual physical construction of airplanes and related technologies. This is where the vast majority of aircraft manufacturing jobs are. Most production jobs are considered skilled trades, although there are many packing, storage and shipping jobs at aircraft plants that do not require extensive training. Production work is generally very physical, involving standing for long periods of time, handling tools, lifting weight up to 50 pounds and bending and stretching. It is definitely an advantage to be in good physical condition to perform this work.

Aircraft production work breaks down again into a number of categories. Here are just some of the sub-categories to consider:

  • Welding
  • Metal treatment and processing
  • Assembly, including riveting
  • Molding
  • Parts inspection
  • Equipment maintenance and repair

Each of these jobs can again be divided into specialized tasks. A high school education is necessary to be considered for these positions, and some kind of secondary education, such as vocational school, is highly encouraged. Salaries and benefits in aircraft production work are very good and better than for most manufacturing jobs.

Scientific and Technical Workers

Scientists, engineers and technicians are the workers who actively develop and design aircraft. They supply the vision and design that the production workers bring to life. These positions are often not as physically demanding as production work, but they require much more education and training. Many scientists and engineers started in production, "getting their hands dirty" with actual construction experience. Compensation for these positions is extremely good, and salaries can sometimes reach six figures.

Scientific and technical work again can sub-divide into a wide variety of specialties. Here are just some of the many varieties available:

  • Navigation and guidance system design
  • Aircraft structural design
  • Ergonomic design for crew and passengers
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering

Aircraft scientists and engineers are in very high demand and can find employment with private companies and the federal government. There are more available workers in these fields than available jobs, so competition is very keen. A college education and a graduate degree are often necessary; many aircraft engineers have doctorates. A background in computers is absolutely essential for these jobs. Experience in production is also needed. Very few scientists and technicians move into their positions without doing some work on the production floor.

(It is worth noting that the aircraft manufacturing industry also has need of administrative workers to help manage paperwork and information.)

Employment Prospects

The aircraft manufacturing industry is expected to grow in the next few years, leading to increased demand for workers. Aviation engineers and scientists in particular are expected to be needed. Business air travel is increasing, leading to demand for more aircraft. Sales of aircraft to foreign countries are also increasing, and military aircraft demand is expected to be steady. So the jobs are definitely out there! One great place to look for them is