Why earn an aircraft structures certificate? You know you want to work with your hands, you love troubleshooting, and you’re thinking of a career that’s rewarding and will take you places. UFV’s 10-month Aircraft Structures Technician program can jump-start you into a challenging, high-tech career in the aerospace industry.
The program is offered in our Aerospace Centre at the Abbotsford International Airport. This certificate program is Transport Canada approved and will give you a thorough introduction to the aircraft repair and maintenance trade. Working and learning at a busy airport location will give you a taste of real-life experience and also help you make connections with potential employers.
What type of career can I expect? As a successful aircraft structures technician grad, you will repair and overhaul aircraft. Some of your tasks might include manufacturing, modifying and repairing sheet metal parts, structures, skins, and panels to exacting tolerances, and using and interpreting manufacturers’ structural repair manuals. Once you complete the certificate program, you will be qualified to start your career as an aircraft structures apprentice and, since time spent in this program is worth 11 months credit, you can then go on to earn your Aircraft Maintenance Engineer “S” licence.
The aerospace-related industry has been identified by the City of Abbotsford as one of the key growth engines for the local economy. The Industry Training Authority predicts that the aerospace industry will require some 4,000 new trades and technical workers within five years, including structural technicians.
Why take the program at UFV? Our Aerospace Centre is a great example of a hands-on training opportunity and industry partnership. We’re particularly proud that our students get to train right at the Abbotsford International Airport in our specially designed facility. Of course, some lessons involve a desk, while others take you onto the shop floor where you will work on aircraft structures. There’s no better way to learn.
The Aircraft Structures program introduces you to the fundamentals of aircraft structural maintenance and repair. Everything from basic hand tools to carbon fibre is included in this program. You will work on shop projects as well as real-life damage scenarios on actual aircraft. Once you’ve completed the program, you will be prepared for:
Repair and overhaul of fixed-wing aircraft
Rotary wing (helicopter) repair and overhaul
Aircraft parts manufacturing
Composite component fabrication and repair
Aircraft structures assembly and modification
There’s no doubt that as a student, you will benefit from the experience of one-on-one contact with knowledgeable instructors in the department, and the opportunity to gain hands-on, applied experience throughout the program. Our Aircraft Structures Technician program is Transport Canada-approved basic training.
What kind of courses will I take? The program is comprised of 42 weeks of in-class instruction. You must show that you understand the theory introduced in the program by successfully completing a written test for each unit and then applying it to an acceptable level of practical skills as assigned in that unit. You must complete all requirements with a minimum of 70 percent or better.
You will be working with the help of learning packages that will give step-by-step instructions. The learning materials may include printed worksheets, videos, display boards, lab manuals, instructions, demonstrations, and/or lectures. Practical hands-on training is a large part of the learning environment. As much as possible, study-lab and shop instruction are patterned after “on-the-job” situations.
What do I need to get in? You need to have a B.C. secondary school graduation (Grade 12) or equivalent. We also require a math and English comprehension entrance exam, which is a standard test for all trade programs at UFV. You’ll then be asked to attend a personal interview where your suitability and interest in the aerospace industry will be discussed and assessed. You should also be in good physical condition and have no fear of heights. A current criminal record search document may be required. A medical statement from a qualified physician may be required at any time before you start the program, or during your studies. You will be notified by a UFV official if and when that statement is required.
How much will it cost? You should budget about $115.01 a week for program fees, which includes tuition fees plus 10 per cent of the tuition for ancillary fees. You should also plan on spending about $1,500 for basic hand tools, $260 for required textbooks, and $300 for appropriate working apparel. We require a deposit (currently $200) to be paid when you register, which typically takes place one or two months before the start of each semester.
The balance of your fees must be paid by the end of the second week of the semester. In addition, each semester you will be required to pay a $30 Student Union Society membership fee, a $35 SUS Building fee, a $4.50 Cascade student newspaper fee, a $3 radio station fee and a $40 U-Pass fee. A Health and Dental fee ($160 for 2010/11) is charged annually each fall semester to students to provide extended medical and dental insurance. You can check with the Student Union Society or at www.IHaveAPlan.ca for details.
It’s also worth a visit to the UFV financial aid and awards office, which facilitates the disbursement each year of approximately $12 million in federal and provincial student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, and awards to UFV students. A helpful budget planning worksheet is available online at www.ufv.ca/fineaid/budget.
Anything else I need to know? UFV’s Aircraft Structures Technician program is offered at the Aerospace Centre at 30645 Firecat Avenue, at the Abbotsford Airport. It is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Our program runs for 42 consecutive weeks, which are broken into 14-week modules.
The Aircraft Structures program requires continuous attendance through all three modules to complete the program. You will be expected to attend classes five days a week. Transport Canada stipulates that no more than five per cent of any module can be missed due to absenteeism. Students who fail to meet the attendance requirements may be subject to a failing grade or academic warning. If you fail a required course in any module, you must repeat the entire module (this is a Transport Canada Regulation). To repeat a module, you must consult your instructor for next seat availability.
Is there an upgrading policy? Yes. The definition of an upgrader is a student who joins a class for 13 weeks or less to repeat or complete a specific course. This might suit you if you’ve attended training at UFV before, or you now wish to enhance your skills by attending one of the courses that deals specifically with sheet metal or composite repair.
The Aircraft Structures Technician modules are organized so that upgraders have easy access to training at various times during the year. Acceptance by Transport Canada for completion of a single module is assessed on an individual basis. You should know, however, that upgraders who want to attend the Sheet Metal Repair or Composite Material Repair courses must provide testimony from their employer or from an aircraft maintenance engineer identifying that as an upgrader, they hold the prerequisite knowledge of Transport Canada regulations, safety, tooling, and basic aircraft operation.
I’m interested. What do I do next? Check out UFV’s online calendar at www.ufv.ca/calendar. From there you can download an application form and submit it, along with the $45 application fee, to any UCFV Admissions and Records office or centre. You can also transmit it through the Internet at www.pas.bc.ca. If you’re currently in Grade 12, you can apply now, but we require a statement from your school counsellor or principal indicating that you are likely to meet graduation requirements by June, and this must be presented at the time of your entrance exam appointment.
You will be notified of your entrance exam date by staff at the UFV Trades & Technology Centre and there is no fee for writing these exams. If you have not been contacted within two weeks of submitting your application, please call us at 1-888-504-7441 local 5402. Before classes start, you’ll be called and given all the registration procedures. If we can’t reach you after three attempts, you’ll be removed from the waitlist.
When should I apply? Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year. Qualified applicants are considered for the next intake in which there is space.
Can I speak with someone about my options? We want to hear from you! If you’re unsure of your direction, contact Student Services at 1-888-504-7441 to arrange a tour, attend a "Becoming a Student" info session, connect with an educational advisor, or arrange for career counselling. You can also contact the Trades & Technology centre directly at 604-847-5448 or email email@example.com