Aerospace Engineering vs Operations Technician : Differences & Similarities

As much as these two are both in the engineering field, they have their differences and similarities. Until those are clearly outlined, people will continue to mistake one for the other. Therefore, you will be walked through what makes aerospace engineers and operation technicians. This is to enable you to make the right career choice for yourself. This article explores the difference between aerospace engineering and operations technician.

These two professions are rewarding and unique in their different ways. So, the decision of knowing which career to opt for is solely your choice to make.

Below is the table of content.

Who Is An Aerospace Engineer?

Aerospace engineering deals with the designs of satellites, missiles, spacecraft, etc. So, an aerospace engineer takes the designing of the things mentioned above upon himself. He also ensures that these products meet the standards.

Aerospace engineers may also develop new technologies for use in flights, and security systems, including rockets.

It is not unusual for Aerospace Engineers to supervise the building process, ensuring proper deadlines are met. An aerospace engineer concentrates on either aeronautical or astronautical design, which will define whether they work with aircraft or spacecraft.

Who Is An Operations Technician?

An operations technician is an integral member of a shift team who controls and manages the equipment of work units, also working in collaboration with engineering and construction teams.

Their main responsibilities are to maintain factory uprightness and ensure guaranteed availability of supplies to customers. They do this by tracing mechanical problems and performing sustenance to reduce rig recess. 

Accredited Aerospace Engineering Schools in South Carolina

What Are Similarities Between An Aerospace Engineer and Operations Technician?

The aerospace engineering and operations technician perform almost the same kind of duties but in cases where the aerospace engineer isn’t around to oversee the maintenance of faulty parts in an aircraft, the operations technician comes in.

What Is The Difference Between Aerospace Engineering And Operations Technicians?

The difference between these two is the fact that it is the operations technician who builds what the aerospace engineer designs. At the same time, the aerospace engineer designs anything about spacecraft, missiles, aircraft, and the rest of them according to engineering standards.

Let’s look at the disparities in the following areas.

  • Job/Duties
  • Education
  • Job Outlook
  • Pay

Aerospace Engineering Vs. Operations Technician

Duties Of an Aerospace Engineer

An aerospace engineer makes designs of satellites, missiles, spacecraft, etc., ensuring that they meet engineering standards. So, apart from this, below are some of the responsibilities an aerospace engineer should carry out.

  • Taking record of data from assemblies
  • Testing parts
  • Monitoring quality control with installed systems in the aircraft, missile, or spacecraft

Aerospace engineers, however, specialize in multi-faceted printing because of the continued rise of technology in this field.

Job Duties Of An Operations Technician

The basic responsibilities of the operations technician are to sustain factory uprightness and ensure a trustworthy supply to customers. This is achieved by rectifying mechanical problems and executing sustenance to tackle recess.

Also, some of their common job responsibilities include:

  • Accountability for the day-to-day supervision of pipeline operations activities
  • Rectifying any production irregularities that may occur
  • Starting and stopping production facilities
  • Carrying out routine and first-line maintenance as needed
  • Collecting information, arranging and tracking permit applications
  • Achieving integrity and performance well tests
  • Filing various monthly, quarterly, and annual reports about production
  • Partaking in team troubleshooting of equipment and processes
  • Directing pigging operations
  • Continually monitoring safety system status
  • Communicating with supervisors about all activities relating to operations
  • Forming part of the emergency response team
  • Detailing risks and incidents to the appropriate personnel
  • Maintaining equipment history and all other relevant records

Aerospace Engineering vs. Aeronautical Engineering: Salary, Similarities, Difference & Job Outlook

Education Requirements

Requirements Needed To Venture Into Aerospace Engineering?

While you are expected to possess at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the aerospace engineering field, some university programs seem to have made things a lot easier for you by allowing you to acquire both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in a 5-year program.

Remember that the Accreditation Board duly recognizes all aerospace engineering programs for Engineering and Technology (ABET). More so, with the variance of requirements by states, more advanced aerospace engineering programs requires that you possess work experience and pass performance on both the basics of engineering and the professional engineering exam.

Obtaining a managerial position in Aerospace Engineering often demands boundless work experience and trailing a senior Aerospace Engineer.

Requirements for Operations Technicians

If you want to become an operations technician, you should take math, science, and drafting classes, if possible. Courses that develop your skills are also needed. It is also expedient that you have a basic understanding of computers and programs to invent products for the aerospace engineer to design.

You can also attend a vocational-technical school where you receive a diploma upon completing your program. The Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET takes cognizance of programs that include college algebra, trigonometry, and basic science courses.

Aerospace Engineering Vs. Operations Technician – Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of aerospace engineering and operations technicians is proposed to grow by 4% from 2018 to 2028.

This is way faster than the average for all occupations.

Aerospace Engineering Vs. Operations Technician – Salary

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average annual wage for aerospace engineers is $116,500, while the average yearly salary for operations technicians in the US, as projected by Glassdoor, is $52,625.

What are the Best Aerospace Engineering Schools?

Below is a list of some schools that offer the best aerospace engineering programs in the US.

  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University-West Lafayette
  • University of Texas-Austin
  • Texas A&M University-College Station
  • University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland-College Park
  • Stanford University

What are the Best Schools For Operations Technicians?

Below is an outline of schools that guides operations technicians’ best

  • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
  • Eastern Florida State College
  • Clinton Essex Warren Washington BOCES

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary for aerospace engineers and operations technicians?

The average annual salary for aerospace engineers is $116,500, while the average yearly salary for operations technicians is $52,625.

What is the difference between aerospace engineering and operations technicians?

The difference is that the aerospace engineer designs missiles, spacecraft, and satellites while the operations technician controls and manages the equipment of work units, also working in collaboration with engineering and construction teams.

To what specifications are the missiles, spacecraft, and satellites designed?

They are designed according to engineering standards


The major factor that will help you actualize your dreams in any of these careers is knowing your strength and goals. I hope this article on Aerospace engineering vs. operations technicians guides you through your decision-making process.  



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