Aircraft Assembler

Occupation Information table
Overview: Airplane assemblers fit and install aircraft skins, frames, controls, and other systems. Some assemblers work on the basic structure or frame of the airplane. Others work on one of the many subassemblies of the airplane, such as the flaps or rigging. Other assemblers install wiring and cables.

Aircraft assemblers refer to bluprints as they work. They inspect and measure parts prior to assembly. They may cut, grind, or trim parts to fit properly. They lay out, align, and fit structural metal parts to form the wings, body, and tail of the airplane. They bolt, weld, rivet, or chemically bond parts together. At the same time, other assemblers are building the subassembly sections, such as the landing gear and flaps. Joining these sections requires drilling, bolting, and clamping units together. Assemblers may cut, file, drill, and ream metal, plastic, and rubber sections to prepare them for fastening. Assemblers use tools such as drills, wrenches, and rivet guns.

Duties: Align and fit structural assemblies manually, or signal crane operators to position assemblies for joining. Assemble prefabricated parts to form subassemblies. Assemble, install, and connect parts, fittings, and assemblies on aircraft, using layout tools, hand tools, power tools, and fasteners such as bolts, screws, rivets, and clamps. Position and align subassemblies in jigs or fixtures, using measuring instruments and following blueprint lines and index points. Cut, trim, file, bend, and smooth parts, and verify sizes and fitting tolerances in order to ensure proper fit and clearance of parts. Read and interpret blueprints, illustrations, and specifications to determine layouts, sequences of operations, or identities and relationships of parts. Align, fit, assemble, connect, or install system components, using jigs, fixtures, measuring instruments, hand tools, or power tools. Join structural assemblies, such as wings, tails, or fuselage. Layout and mark reference points and locations for installation of parts or components, using jigs, templates, or measuring and marking instruments. Adjust, repair, rework, or replace parts and assemblies to eliminate malfunctions and to ensure proper operation.
Degree(s): A.A.S. Electronic Engineering Technology 
A.A.S. Telecommunications Technology 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to decline by 2% or more from 2018 to 2028. For comparison, the average growth rate for all occupations over the same time period is projected to be 5% to 8%.
Green: Green Career
Education Level: The typical training required for this career is generally a High School Degree or GED Certificate.
Additional Training/Education: Aircraft Assemblers learn their skills at a professional technical school or a two-year college. Aeronautical and aerospace engineering technology programs are good preparation for this occupation. Many skills are learned through on the job training.
Recommended Skills:
  • Identifying the most appropriate equipment and tools needed to get a job done.
  • Installing equipment, machines, wiring, etc. according to a set of specifications.
  • Performing routine maintenance and/or repairs on equipment using the appropriate tools.
  • Using your hands to operated fine instruments and precision tools.
  • Watching gauges and any other types of indicators to make sure equipment is running properly.
  • Operating equipment and machinery.
  • Inspecting and testing products or services to assure they meet the desired specifications.
  • Analyzing the symptoms of a problem and deciding what actions should be taken to resolve the problem.
Recommended Values:
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.