Air Force Aircraft Metals Technology (2A7X1)
Air Force

Air Force Aircraft Metals Technology (2A7X1): Career Details

Aircraft Metals Technology (2A7X1) specialist are the welders and fabricators of the Air Force.

They are responsible for repairing and creating essential aircraft parts.

These individuals advise, troubleshoot, repair, create and fit all aircraft parts to ensure the aircraft is in perfect working order.

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Education, Qualifications and Training

Air Force Aircraft Metals Technology specialist must meet the minimum qualifications.

This is an entry-level position in the Air Force, meaning no prior Military training or Officer training is required.

Education

A High School Diploma or GED is required. 

Individuals must meet the minimum Mechanical requirements on the ASVAB test.

Qualifications

Minimum qualifications include:

  • Must be at least 17 with parental consent or 18 without.
  • Cannot be older than 39
  • Must have normal depth perception
  • Have knowledge of metal repair and fabrication process

Training

Recruits will attend Basic Military Training for 8.5 weeks.

After basic training they will attend technical training at Sheppard Air Force Base for 67 days.

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Air Force Aircraft Metals Technology Job Duties

Metals Technology Specialist Air Force
Air Force Metals Technology specialist inspects landing gear components. Image: af.mil

It is the job function of the Aircraft Metals Technology specialist to weld, fabricate and custom-make metal components that are critical to a functioning aircraft.

Administrative Functions

Although this a labor intensive position, there are administrative duties that surround it.

The administrative duties include drawing, working sketches, making templates, consulting shop drawings and selecting materials.

Individuals must also write programs for machines, including computer numerical controlled metal working machines, using the manual and computer-aided manufacturing methods.

Airmen will check all completed components and compare them with drawings and specifications to check serviceability and compliance.

They will advise other individuals and related parties on the metal machining, designing, welding and production problems for aerospace weapon systems and support equipment.

Equipment

Aircraft Metals Technology specialist work with a variety of different equipment types.

They are in charge of maintaining all equipment, machinery and tools.

They will inspect the equipment, machinery and tools then log the inspection and findings. 

Any maintenance that is deemed required from the inspection will be completed by the specialist.

Any time maintenance on equipment is needed, the specialist will follow all lock out and tag out procedures to ensure safety is priority.

Running specialty equipment requires performing different metals technology shop calculations.

Calculations on equipment could include determining cutting speeds/settings, preheat/post-heat requirements and welding processes.

Basic Functions

Aircraft Metals Technology specialist are in charge of precision tool, component and assemblies being designed, welded, heat treated and machined.

To assist with their repair and metalworking operations, individuals will design, manufacture or modify special precision tools, fixtures and gauges.

They will weld, heat treat and solder metals.

Specialist will repair slots, cams, gears and keyways for aircraft components using both manual methods and computer numerical controlled metal working machines.

They will measure broken or worn parts using calibers, gauges and micrometers.

Specialist use precision grinding to remove any corrosive or poisonous deposits.

Aircraft Metals Technology specialist use precision measuring devices to check components for wear tolerance.

Any component parts that need replacing will be dissembled, repaired, fitted and re-assembled using machine screws, rivets, bolts and welding.

Airmen will then ensure all surface finishing specifications are met for all existing and repaired components.

Specialist follow all environmental standards to use and dispose of hazardous waste and materials.

What is the pay like for an Aircraft Metals Technology Specialist?

All airmen are paid the same based on rank and years of service.

Rank will be based on the education and experience you have.

You can use the table below to get a general idea of what the base pay is like in the Air Force.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviation2019 Pay (Monthly)
E-1Airman BasicAB$1,600
E-2AirmanAmn$1,793
airman first class smallE-3Airman First ClassA1C$2,005
E-4Senior AirmanSrA$2,311
E-5Staff SergeantSSgt$2,755
E-6Technical SergeantTSgt$3,168
E-7Master SergeantMSgt$4,021
E-8Senior Master SergeantSMSgt$5,017
E-9Chief Master SergeantCMSgt$6,448
command chief master sergeant insig smallE-9Command Chief Master SergeantCCM$6,448
chief master sergeant of the air force insigE-9Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air ForceCMSAF$6,448

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Benefits

All individuals, regardless of rank or position have access to benefits.

The benefits that are offered include:

  • Insurance: Free/low cost medical and dental; paid sick time; low cost life insurance
  • Housing: Allowance that varies depending on if you live on or off base.
  • Food: Monthly allowance in addition to access to tax-free department and grocery stores
  • Retirement: Generous plan offered after 20 years of service
  • Vacation: 30 days of paid vacation
  • Education: Up to 100% off tuition with the Air Force Tuition Assistance program, the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery Bill
  • Recreation: On-base recreational facilities, social events and youth activities

Job Reviews

Air Force Metals Technology specialist
Air Force Metals Technology specialist measures inconsistencies on a plastic mold. Image: jb.mil

This position is fast-paced and requires skill.

People who have previously held the position recommend it for the valuable skills you learn.

Positive job reviews include referring to great benefits, being paid to travel and clear expectations on your position.

Negative job reviews discuss the amount of rules/regulations, and the hours making it difficult to balance work and home life.

You can find a few reviews from people who have been in the specialist position below.

Air Force Aircraft Metals Technology
Image: Glassdoor
Air Force Metal Technology
Image: Glassdoor 

Civilian Job Opportunities

Aircraft Metals Technology positions allow individuals to gain experience in welding, repair and fabrication that can be used in civilian positions.

These specialist are more than just general maintenance technicians.

They have skill sets and discipline that would make them a valuable asset to any civilian employer.

Civilian Positions that relate to Aircraft Metals Technology specialist include:

  • Welding Engineer
  • Aircraft Welder
  • Precision, FAB and tooling
  • Mechanical Assembler
  • Tooling Fabricator
  • Aircraft Mechanic
  • Machinist

They pay for these positions will be based on the company that you work for and the level of the position.

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Summary

Air Force Aircraft Metals Technology specialist are responsible for troubleshooting, repairing, creating and fitting aircraft metal components.

These individuals have varying responsibilities and tasks surrounding welding and fabricating aircraft parts.

Specialist will write programs, maintain equipment and create custom pieces.

This is an entry-level position and those looking to pursue this job field should expect to be paid base amounts with benefits.

Most reviews from individuals in this position are happy they chose it.

They recommend it for the benefits and knowledge gained.

Negative reviews discuss the inability to create a family/work balance.

There are many civilian positions related to aircraft welding and fabrication that vary on pay and location.

Reference:

Air Force Aircraft Metals Technology

Air Force Benefits

Rob V.
Rob V.
Rob V. is the founder of OperationMilitaryKids.org. While he never actually served in the US Military, he has a passion for writing about military related topics. Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, he graduated from the New Jersey Institute Of Technology with an MBA in eCommerce. His hobbies include beach volleyball, target shooting, and lifting. Rob is also a commercially rated pilot with over 1,500 hours of flight time.

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