Trades and Technology
Aircraft Structures Technician certificate
Prepare for an in-demand career in the aircraft industry.
Looking for a trade that’s challenging, in-demand, linked to the Abbotsford economy, and portable throughout Canada? Then consider the Aircraft Structures Technician program, offered by UFV in facilities at the Abbotsford 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.
Structures technicians repair and overhaul aircraft. Tasks include manufacturing, modifying, and repairing sheet metal parts, structures, skins, and panels to exacting tolerances, and using and interpreting manufacturers’ structural repair manuals.
After completing the certificate program, you will be qualified to start your career as a structures apprentice and eventually become an “S”-licensed aircraft structures technician.
Aerospace-related industry has been identified by the City of Abbotsford as one of the key growth engines for the local economy. It is anticipated that the growth of aerospace-related enterprises will create spinoff demand in Abbotsford as companies locate near a skilled labour force.
The Industry Training Authority predicts that the aerospace industry will require up to 4,000 new trades and technical workers within five years, including structural technicians.
1. B.C. Secondary school graduation (Grade 12) or equivalent.
2. A math and English comprehension entrance exam (standard test for all trades programs at UFV).
3. Attend a personal interview, during which suitability for (and interest in) the aerospace industry will be discussed and assessed.
4. Applicants must be in good physical condition and have no fear of heights.
Note: A current criminal record search document may be required.
When to apply
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year.
Qualified applicants are considered for the next intake in which there is space.
See Continuous application
process for more information.
How to apply
1. Submit a UFV application form, along with the $45 application fee, to the Admissions & Records office. Applicants currently in Grade 12 may apply during their Grade 12 year. A statement from the school counsellor or principal, indicating that you are likely to meet graduation requirements by June, must be presented at the time of entrance exam appointment.
2. Applicants will be notified of entrance exam dates by the Trades &
Technology department. There is no fee for writing these exams. Applicants who
have not been contacted within two weeks of submission of their applications
should call 604-852-7377, ext. 101.
3. Prior to classes starting, applicants will be notified by telephone of the registration procedures. Applicants who cannot be reached by telephone after three attempts will be removed from the waitlist.
Basis for admission decision
Applicants who meet the entrance requirements will be admitted in order of
their application date. This date is set when an application, all required
documentation, and the application fee have been submitted.
Fees and other expenses
See the Fees and Other Costs section. You should also budget approximately $1,250 for basic hand tools, $260 for required textbooks, and $300 for appropriate working apparel.
A medical statement from a qualified physician may be required at any time before or during the program. Students will be notified by a UFV official if/when the statement is required.
The Aircraft Structures Technician program is offered at the UFV Aerospace Centre — 30645 Firecat Ave., at the Abbotsford Airport. It is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Classes are in session from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Dates & attendance requirements
The Aircraft Structures program starts in September and January and runs for 42 weeks consecutively. The 42 weeks are broken into 14-week modules.
The Aircraft Structures program requires continuous attendance through all three 14-week modules to complete all requirements for the program. Students will be expected to attend classes five days per week.
Transport Canada stipulates that no more than 5% 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.
See UFV Policy 340.03 (Academic Warning). and UFV Policy 310.03 (Attendance).
Students must complete all requirements with a minimum of 70% or better to receive a Credit (CR) grade in order to graduate.
In this 42-week program, new students start in September and January. All students are expected to complete each 14-week module consecutively.
Students must apply for graduation by completing a Request to Graduate form available at the
Aerospace Centre. We recommend this be done at the beginning of your final
Trades & Technology students who demonstrate unacceptable academic performance will be placed on Academic Warning.
• See UFV Policy 340.03 (Academic Warning)
Unacceptable academic performance may, at the discretion of the instructor, include poor attendance, slow progress in theory and practical tasks, and/or lack of satisfactory participation in class activities.
• See UFV Policy 310.02 (Attendance)
Trades & Technology students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner, and will be held responsible for their actions, whether acting alone or in group.
• See UFV Policy 310.12 (Student Conduct)
Student-initiated withdrawal (discontinuing)
If a student wishes not to continue or return for the next semester, the Trades Centre will advise Admissions & Records and initiate a withdrawal from the student’s current Trades program.
Required to withdraw (failed grades)
Failed grades may result in withdrawal from the program.
Required to withdraw (academic warning)
Students may be required to withdraw from a course or program for failing to comply with any of the following three policies.
• UFV Policy 340.03 (Academic Warning)
• UFV Policy 310.02 (Attendance)
• UFV Policy 310.12 (Student Conduct)
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 is a student who has attended training at UFV before, or who wishes to enhance their skills by attending one of the courses dealing specifically with sheet metal or composite repair.
The Aircraft Structures Technician modules are organized so upgraders have easy access to training at various times during the year. Acceptance by Transport Canada for completion of a single module would be assessed on an individual basis.
Note: Upgraders wishing 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 the student holds the prerequisite knowledge of Transport Canada regulations, safety, tooling and basic aircraft operation.
Students who begin a trades program, but withdraw before completing the program, may contact the department to request re-entry to the program provided their absence is less than two years. Re-entry is subject to space availability.
If you are absent more than two years you will be required to apply for re-admission.
• An Application for admission form and Application fee will be required.
• Trades & Technology entrance exams will need to be retaken.
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 will be working with the help of learning packages that will give step-by-step instructions. The learning materials may include printed worksheets, videotapes, display boards, lab manuals, instructions, demonstrations, and/or lectures.
Practical hands-on training is a large part of the classroom environment. As much as possible, study lab and shop instruction is patterned after “on-the-job” situations.
The list of modules are:
||Aircraft Terminology & Components
||Reference Material & Documentation
||Blueprint & Technical Drawings
||Tools & Equipment
||Sheet Metal Fabrication
Structures & Assembly
||Heat Treatment of Aluminum Alloys
||Prime and Paint Metal Parts & Assemblies
||Structural Damage Assessment
||Sheet Metal Repairs
||Fluid Lines & Conduits
||Windows & Lenses