Arizona: The Forefront of Aerospace and Defense

Departments - Gaining Altitude

The Grand Canyon State’s supply chain includes more than 1,200 small, medium, and large-scale companies responsible for more than 54,000 direct jobs.

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February 26, 2020

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15 A&D industry/trade associations

54,084 employees

$89,265 average wages


Rankings

  • 2nd largest employment in guided missile, space vehicle manufacturing (13,176 jobs)
  • 3rd largest aviation maintenance industry economic activity ($4.12 billion)
  • 4th in the nation for aerospace manufacturing attractiveness
  • 5th largest employment in aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturing
  • 6th largest employment in aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO)
  • 8th largest employment in aviation, aerospace services
  • 11th largest U.S. exporter of A&D products ($2.72 billion)

Unmanned Aerial systems (UAS)

  • UAS research – The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • UAS degrees – Arizona State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Unmanned Vehicle University
  • AZSkyTech program – Test, deploy, and advance UAS technology, policy

U.S. military installations

  • Defense Contractor Complex (DCC), Yuma, supports defense contractors with secure space for technical testing
  • Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, hosts aerospace maintenance and regeneration, A-10, OA-10 training, support
  • Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista, offers 25,000ft2 UAS training facility with 10 simulators
  • Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, home to the 56th Fighter Wing, F-16, F-35A training

Academics

  • Arizona State University – 21,000 students in engineering programs, nearly 700 in aerospace engineering
  • The University of Arizona – More than 2,600 engineering students
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott – Undergraduate enrollment of 2,377
  • Northern Arizona University – Astrophysics, mechanical engineering, aerospace studies, adaptive research and materials, composites and optics programs
  • Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) – 202,000 students enrolled; automation, welding, advanced manufacturing programs
  • Western Maricopa Education Center – Offers high school students training for jobs in aircraft repair, maintenance
  • Pima Community College – Aviation technology associate degree; aircraft, airframe, powerplant mechanics, aircraft general mechanics, aircraft structural repair, avionics technician certificates
  • East Valley Institute of Technology – Prepares high school students for A&D careers through pilot systems, aviation, ground school, flight training