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Aircraft Structure Technician

Aircraft structure technicians produce, maintain and repair components on aircraft as well as the hull and frame. They work with sheet metal and bonded and non-metallic composite material.

  • Avg. Salary $72,313.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.49
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 1,600
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Aircraft Structural Engineers

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Aircraft Mechanics (7315.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Aircraft Mechanics and Aircraft Inspectors (H415) 
  • 2011 NOC: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors (7315) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

60%
60%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Aircraft Structure Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Aircraft Mechanics
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to reassemble, adjust and test engine operations to conform with specifications

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to troubleshoot aircraft structural, mechanical and hydraulic systems to identify problems, and to adjust and repair systems according to specifications, technical drawings, manuals and established procedures

METHODICAL

Interest in installing and modifying aircraft engines, mechanical, hydraulic, flight control, fuel and pneumatic systems; in performing and documenting routine maintenance; and in ordering and maintaining inventory of parts and supplies

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Aircraft structure technicians:

  • inspect metal and composite aircraft structures
  • assess damage from corrosion and fatigue
  • read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings and repair manuals
  • fix, replace and change sheet metal and composite parts, skins and panels to meet precise demands
  • fasten parts, skins and panels to aircraft structures
  • make holding fixtures or jigs as needed (for proper alignment when making, fixing or installing parts)
  • apply coatings that guard against corrosion.

They may also:

  • make, fix and change fluid lines and fittings
  • fix and replace plastic windows and lenses
  • fix fabric surfaces and wood structures.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Aircraft structure technicians work in hangars or shops. Sometimes they work outdoors on airport ramps. They may be exposed to harsh weather, fumes or other hazards. They need to use safety equipment and wear safety clothing. Their work area may be noisy. At times, they may need to be in awkward positions or on scaffolds. They use hoists to move large, heavy objects. Working quickly while observing safety standards can be stressful.

Aircraft structure technicians work shifts. They may need to work evenings or nights, when aircraft are not in use.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Aircraft structure technicians need to possess:

  • good eyesight and hearing
  • good eye-hand and muscle co-ordination
  • an ability to work at heights
  • an ability to be accurate and detail-oriented
  • fitness and agility (for reaching, climbing and heavy lifting)
  • an ability to interpret and follow written or blueprint instructions
  • an ability to understand regulations
  • an ability to be well organized
  • an ability to management time well.

They should enjoy using tools, equipment and machinery. Their tasks require precise work. They should also enjoy analyzing information and solving problems. They should have an organized approach to their work.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Aircraft structure technicians must be high school graduates. They must also have related post-secondary education approved by Transport Canada. Many companies provide ongoing training to help employees upgrade and update their qualifications. For example, technicians can train to become licensed aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs). Engineers certify that the work done on aircrafts meets all standards.

Transport Canada issues 5 different AME licences. Each has sub-groups. Training, experience and exam requirements vary. In general, applicants must:

  • be at least 21 years of age
  • provide proof of citizenship
  • read and answer exam questions in English or French, without help.

With an AME—Category S (Structure) licence, an engineer can certify structural work. Engineers can only certify the types of aircraft they have been trained for. To qualify, applicants must:

  • complete a structure training course approved by Transport Canada
  • write an air regulations exam
  • have 3 years of maintenance experience (with 12 months  appropriate to the group the AME endorses).

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Aircraft structure technicians may work for:

  • air carriers
  • aircraft repair and overhaul companies
  • flight training schools
  • aeronautical product manufacturers
  • component shops.

Aircraft structure technicians must supply their own hand tools. The employer usually provides special tools and equipment.

Employers may favour employees who are willing to move.

Some technicians advance to become supervisors or managers. Others work as quality control inspectors or sales reps for aeronautical products.

Aircraft structure technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7315: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Salaries for aircraft structure technicians depend on factors such as location, business size, and the type and quality of equipment and aircraft.

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $34.62 $25.06 $23.00
Overall $23.25 $45.00 $35.49 $36.06
Top $29.00 $86.54 $48.90 $45.50

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Transportation and Warehousing
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

49%
49%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

60%
60%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

Vacancy Rate

3%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Mechanics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Aviation
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace (CCAA) website: www.avaerocouncil.ca

Transport Canada website: www.tc.gc.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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