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Occupational Profile

Aircraft Structure Technician

Aircraft structure technicians produce, maintain and repair the sheet metal, bonded and non-metallic composite material and components on aircraft.

  • Avg. Salary $69,971.00
  • Avg. Wage $33.82
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Airplane Mechanic, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

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
NOC & Interest Codes
The Aircraft Structure Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Aircraft Mechanics
NOC code: 7315.1
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 Dec 14, 2016

In general, aircraft structure technicians:

  • inspect metal and composite aircraft structures
  • assess corrosion and fatigue damage
  • read and interpret aircraft blueprints, technical drawings and repair manuals
  • repair, replace and modify sheet metal and composite parts, skins and panels to exacting tolerances
  • fasten parts, skins and panels to aircraft structures
  • fabricate holding fixtures or jigs as required to maintain proper alignment when making, repairing or installing parts 
  • apply coatings that protect against corrosion.

They also may:

  • fabricate, repair and modify fluid lines and fittings
  • repair and replace plastic windows and lenses
  • repair fabric surfaces and wood structures.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Aircraft structure technicians work primarily indoors in hangars or shops. Sometimes, they may be required to work outdoors on airport ramps. They may be exposed to fumes or other hazards requiring the use of safety equipment or clothing, or work in noisy environments, in uncomfortable positions or on scaffolds. They also may be required to lift items weighing up to 20 kilograms or use hoists to move larger, heavier objects. Having to work quickly and observe safety standards at the same time can be stressful.

Aircraft structure technicians work shifts that may include evenings or nights when aircraft are not in use.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Aircraft structure technicians need the following personal characteristics:

  • good eyesight and hearing
  • good eye-hand and muscle co-ordination
  • the ability to work at heights
  • the desire and ability to be careful and accurate to the smallest detail
  • the physical fitness and agility required for reaching, climbing and heavy lifting
  • the ability to select, interpret and follow instructions provided in written or blueprint form, and to interpret regulations
  • good organizational and time management skills.

They should enjoy using tools, equipment and machinery to perform tasks requiring precision, analyzing information and troubleshooting problems, and having organized methods for their work.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Aircraft structure technicians are high school graduates who have related post-secondary education approved by Transport Canada. Many companies provide ongoing compulsory and voluntary training courses to help employees upgrade and update their qualifications to become licensed aircraft maintenance engineers.

All maintenance on aircraft must be certified by licensed aircraft maintenance engineers. AME licences are issued by Transport Canada in different categories and are further divided into specific groups (endorsements) within each category. Training, experience and examination requirements vary with each licence category and group but, in general, applicants for licensing must be:

  • at least 21 years of age
  • able to provide proof of citizenship
  • able to read and answer examination questions in English or French, without assistance.

An AME - Category S (Structure) licence authorizes aircraft maintenance engineers to certify structural work on the type of structures for which they are trained. To qualify, applicants must:

  • successfully complete a Transport Canada approved or accepted structure training course
  • write an air regulations exam 
  • have three years of maintenance experience with twelve months appropriate to the group for which the AME is endorsed.


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.

Aircraft structure technicians are required to supply their own hand tools. Specialized tools and equipment usually are supplied by the employer.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Aircraft structure technicians may be employed by:

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

A willingness to relocate is an employment advantage.

Experienced aircraft structure technicians may become licensed aircraft maintenance engineers and advance to supervisory and management positions. Some aircraft structure technicians are employed as quality control inspectors or sales representatives 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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • 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 Dec 14, 2016

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

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
NOC code: 7315

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 $15.00 $31.25 $22.17 $24.04
Overall $27.00 $51.92 $33.82 $32.02
Top $33.65 $72.12 $42.92 $41.00

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
Transportation and Warehousing
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

60%
60%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

7%
7%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

N/A

2015 Vacancy Rate

N/A
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 Dec 14, 2016

Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council (CAMC) website: www.camc.ca

Careers in Transportation website: www.transpocity.ca

Transport Canada website: www.tc.gc.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Sep 01, 2009. 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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