More and more aircraft are now built with composite structures and specialist technicians are increasingly required by airlines. These engineers build composite parts of aircraft, and maintain and repair them. Unlike working with aluminum, working with composites is an aviation-specific process. Most composite jobs advertised will be within aerospace companies and organisations.
 
The day to day responsibilities of composite technician include:
  • working with new aircraft parts
  • using oven processes and vacuum techniques
  • performing repairs to components with fibreglass, aramid, carbon fibre and other advanced carbon materials
 
Employers usually look for engineers with an engineering degree or higher education diploma. It will help to have knowledge of design techniques, principles of working with composites, and the ability to fabricate parts.
 
Composite engineers will need the required skills to understand precision technical plans and blueprints, use precision tools and accomplish the required repairs, either within a team on working alone. Being organised, and able to manage several projects at once will also be beneficial.
 
Employers usually expect composite engineers to have technical writing, project planning and presentation skills. They should also have IT skills such as use of Microsoft Office or shared document systems.
 
Senior composite engineers – those with eight to ten years experience – will need to have people management skills and the ability to manage projects and budgets.
 

 

Salary expectations

Some contract jobs advertised for the role of composite technician state payment by the hour – £15 to £40 per hour depending on experience.
 
For permanent roles, the salary for a junior composite technician will be around £27,000 to £30,000 pa. Senior engineers could have salaries upwards of £50,000 pa.
 
 

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