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Aircraft Structures Technician

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

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) 
  • 2016 NOC: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors (7315) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Aircraft Mechanics
2006 NOC : 7315.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Aircraft structures technicians:

  • Inspect metal and composite aircraft structures
  • Assess and repair damage due to corrosion, fatigue, or impact damage
  • 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, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Aircraft structures 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 be in awkward positions, work in tight spaces, or on scaffolds. They use hoists to move large, heavy objects. Working quickly while observing safety standards can be stressful.

Aircraft structures technicians work a variety of shifts. They may need to work days, evenings, nights, or holidays and weekends when aircraft are not in use.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Aircraft structures technicians need:

  • Good eyesight and hearing
  • Good eye-hand and muscle coordination
  • The ability to work at heights
  • The ability to be accurate and detail-oriented
  • Physically fitness and agility (for reaching, climbing, and heavy lifting)
  • The ability to interpret and follow written or blueprint instructions
  • An understanding of regulations
  • Organizational skills
  • Time-management skills
  • The ability to work in confined spaces

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

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
NOC code: 7315

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 21 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 03, 2021 and May 18, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Initiative
Troubleshoot aircraft structural, mechanical or hydraulic systems to identify problems and adjust and repair systems according to specifications, technical drawings, manuals and established procedures
Repair and overhaul aircraft structural, mechanical or hydraulic systems
Perform and document routine maintenance
Personal Suitability: Flexibility
Personal Suitability: Accurate
Personal Suitability: Excellent written communication
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary

Aircraft structures technicians must be high school graduates. They must have related post-secondary education approved by Transport Canada. Many companies provide ongoing training to help employees upgrade and update their qualifications.

Technicians can train to upgrade to licensed aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs). Engineers certify that the work done on aircraft meets 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 (Structures) licence, an engineer can certify structural work. To qualify, applicants must:

  • Complete a structure training course approved by Transport Canada
  • Write an air regulations exam
  • Have 3 years of related maintenance experience (with 12 months appropriate to the group the AME endorses)

Time spent in a related Transport Canada accredited trade school program may go towards completion of their AME maintenance rating apprenticeship.


Related Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Aircraft structures technicians may work for:

  • Air carriers
  • Aircraft repair and overhaul companies
  • Flight training schools
  • Aeronautical product manufacturers
  • Component shops
  • Approved maintenance organizations

Once in the field, aircraft structures technicians may often choose to specialize in repair of either sheet metal or composite materials. Most companies prefer employees who specialize in one of these materials. Aircraft structures technicians must supply their own hand tools. The employer usually provides specialized 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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 7315: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors occupational group, 78.2% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 7315: Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors

2016 NOC : 7315
Average Wage
$34.95
Per Hour
Average Salary
$75,784.00
Per Year
Average Hours
42.5
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7315 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


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 $18.50 $38.46 $28.75 $28.85
Overall $23.25 $42.67 $34.95 $35.00
Top $29.00 $60.00 $42.28 $39.23

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES
Transportation and Warehousing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

55%
55%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

40%
40%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

10%
10%

Vacancy Rate

4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Aviation
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Alberta Aviation Council website: www.albertaaviationcouncil.com/education

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

Transport Canada website: tc.gc.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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