Aircraft Assembler  What They Do

Just the Facts


Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging, and Systems Assemblers Career Video



Assembles, fits, fastens, and installs parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as tails, wings, fuselage, bulkheads, stabilizers, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, or heating and ventilating systems.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Assembles parts, fittings, or subassemblies on aircraft, using layout tools, hand tools, power tools, or fasteners, such as bolts, screws, rivets, or clamps.
  • Reads blueprints, illustrations, or specifications to determine layouts, sequences of operations, or identities or relationships of parts.
  • Attaches brackets, hinges, or clips to secure or support components or subassemblies, using bolts, screws, rivets, chemical bonding, or welding.
  • Adjusts, repairs, reworks, or replaces parts or assemblies to ensure proper operation.
  • Cuts, trims, files, bends, or smooths parts to ensure proper fit and clearance.
  • Inspects or tests installed units, parts, systems, or assemblies for fit, alignment, performance, defects, or compliance with standards, using measuring instruments or test equipment.
  • Layouts and marks reference points and locations for installation of parts or components, using jigs, templates, or measuring and marking instruments.
  • Fabricates parts needed for assembly or installation, using shop machinery or equipment.
  • Cleans, oils, or coats system components as necessary before assembly or attachment.
  • Assembles prefabricated parts to form subassemblies.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work
  • Rotating shift work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • A&P Technician (Airframe and Powerplant Technician) --
  • Aircraft Line Assembler --
  • Assembler --
  • Assembly Riveter --
  • Fabricator --
  • Helicopter Technician --
  • Sheet Metal Assembler and Riveter (SMAR) --
  • Sheet Metal Mechanic --
  • Structures Mechanic --
  • Structures Technician -- Repairs and overhauls aircraft, includes manufacturing, modifying and repairing sheet metal parts, structures, skins, and panels to exacting tolerances, and using and interpreting manufacturers’ structural repair manuals.