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Become A Field Operations Technician

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Working As A Field Operations Technician

  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Field Operations Technician Do

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians operate and maintain equipment used in testing new aircraft and spacecraft. Increasingly, these workers are being required to program and run computer simulations that test new designs. Their work is critical in preventing the failure of key parts of new aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. They also help in the quality assurance, testing, and operation of advanced technology equipment used in producing aircraft and the systems that go into the aircraft.

Duties

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians typically do the following:

  • Meet with aerospace engineers to discuss details and implications of test procedures
  • Build and maintain test facilities for aircraft systems
  • Make and install parts and systems to be tested in test equipment
  • Operate and calibrate computer systems so that they comply with test requirements
  • Ensure that test procedures are performed smoothly and safely
  • Record data from test parts and assemblies
  • Install instruments in aircraft and spacecraft
  • Monitor and ensure quality in producing systems that go into the aircraft 

New aircraft designs undergo years of testing before they are put into service, because the failure of key parts during flight can be fatal. As part of the job, technicians often calibrate test equipment, such as wind tunnels, and determine the causes of equipment malfunctions. They also may program and run computer simulations that test the new designs.

Some aerospace engineering and operations technicians are beginning to specialize in three-dimensional printing, or additive manufacturing, as this technology becomes more common in the work they do.

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How To Become A Field Operations Technician

Many employers prefer to hire aerospace engineering and operations technicians who have earned an associate’s degree in engineering technology. Prospective technicians also may earn certificates or diplomas offered by vocational or technical schools. Some aerospace engineering and operations technicians must have security clearances to work on projects related to national defense. U.S. citizenship may be required for certain types and levels of clearances.

Education

High school students interested in becoming aerospace engineering and operations technicians should take classes in math, science, and, if available, drafting and computer skills. Courses that help students develop skills working with their hands also are valuable, because these technicians build what aerospace engineers design. In addition, technicians should have a basic understanding of computers and programs in order to model or simulate products.

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians typically need to earn an associate’s degree or a graduate certificate from a community college or vocational–technical school. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework and programs. Community colleges typically award an associate’s degree. Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary public institutions that emphasize training needed by local employers. Students who complete these programs typically receive a diploma or certificate.

The Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET accredits programs that include at least college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

Many vocational and community colleges offer cooperative programs with work experience built into the curriculum.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians receive instructions from aerospace engineers. Therefore, they must be able to understand and follow those instructions, as well as communicate any problems to their supervisors.

Critical-thinking skills. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians must be able to help aerospace engineers troubleshoot particular design issues. They must be able to help evaluate system capabilities, identify problems, formulate the right question, and then find the right answer.

Detail oriented. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians make and keep precise measurements needed by aerospace engineers. Consequently, they must make correct measurements and keep accurate records.

Interpersonal skills. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians must be able to take instructions and offer advice. The ability to work well with supervising engineers, other technicians, and mechanics is essential because technicians interact with people from other divisions, businesses, and governments.

Math skills. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians use the principles of mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting tasks in their work.

Mechanical skills. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians must be able to assist aerospace engineers by building what the engineers design. Mechanical skills are needed to help with the processes and directions required to move from design to production.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required for the job, certification is offered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Certification may be beneficial because it shows employers that a technician can carry out the theoretical designs of aerospace engineers.

Both companies and the FAA seek to ensure the highest standards for the safety of the aircraft. SpaceTEC, the National Science Foundation’s Center for Aerospace Technical Education, coordinates a nationwide program through community and technical colleges to help students prepare for certification.

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Field Operations Technician Career Paths

Field Operations Technician
Field Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Field Service Technician Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Field Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Foreman Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Project Engineer Senior Engineer
Staff Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Field Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Team Leader Maintenance Supervisor
Chief Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer Engineer
Radio Frequency Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Consultant Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineer Supervisor Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Consultant Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Specialist Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Team Leader Vice President
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Operator Maintenance Technician Electronics Technician
Senior Electronics Technician
7 Yearsyrs
Operator Consultant Senior Business Analyst
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operator Foreman Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Switch Technician Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Field Engineer
Lead Field Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Field Operations Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
System Technician 4.6 years
Field Technician 2.4 years
Junior Technician 1.7 years
Top Careers Before Field Operations Technician
Technician 10.6%
Driver 3.4%
Top Careers After Field Operations Technician
Technician 9.1%
Engineer 6.6%
Operator 5.0%
Supervisor 3.0%

Do you work as a Field Operations Technician?

Field Operations Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

83.7%

Female

9.1%

Unknown

7.2%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

18.3%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.4%

Carrier

21.1%

Swedish

5.3%

Portuguese

5.3%

Vietnamese

5.3%

French

5.3%

Greek

5.3%

Russian

5.3%
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Field Operations Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.7%

Community College of the Air Force

8.7%

Purdue University

6.5%

Texas A&M University

5.4%

Central Texas College

5.4%

ECPI University

4.3%

The Academy

4.3%

Temple University

4.3%

New Mexico State University

4.3%

Universal Technical Institute

3.3%

Auburn University

3.3%

National Career Institute

3.3%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.3%

Chemeketa Community College

3.3%

San Juan College

3.3%

San Antonio College

3.3%

Utah State University

3.3%

Stephen F Austin State University

3.3%

University of Wisconsin Extension

3.3%

Grantham University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

16.0%

Electrical Engineering

15.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

10.1%

Computer Science

7.2%

Information Technology

5.9%

Computer Networking

5.9%

General Studies

4.9%

Computer Information Systems

4.9%

Management

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.5%

Automotive Technology

3.2%

Project Management

3.2%

Biology

2.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.5%

Engineering

2.2%

Education

1.7%

Psychology

1.7%

Mechanical Engineering

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Computer Engineering Technology

1.7%
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Degrees

Other

36.3%

Bachelors

26.1%

Associate

21.6%

Masters

6.2%

Certificate

5.6%

Diploma

3.3%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Field Operations Technician

  1. Fiber Optic
  2. Trouble Shooting
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Installed, troubleshot, repaired and verified fiber optics systems & equipment along with documenting installation and building test packages.
  • Trouble shooting of Samsung Network Vision issues as well as replacement of equipment.
  • Provided excellent customer service including written and verbal communication with customers, internal departments and external parties.
  • Provided tier II support on CDMA and IDEN technologies for remote cell sites within a 30 mile range.
  • Provide technical support to users on operational or maintenance aspects of system equipment.

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