Army aircraft electricians 15F have training and hands-on experience performing electric diagnostics and repairs on military aircraft. This provides opportunities for a number of civilian careers, from working on civilian planes to pursuing education for an engineering degree. Below are a few possibilities.
|Job Title||Median Wage (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*||Applicable Military Skills/Traits|
|Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians||$60,270||5%||Experience working on aircraft|
|Electricians||$52,720||9%||Experience working with electrical systems on aircraft|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineers||$96,270||7%||Hands-on experience with electrical systems diagnosis and repair|
|Aerospace Engineers||$109,650||6%||Hands-on experience performing work on aircraft|
|Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers||$55,920||1%||Experience diagnosing and repairing electrical systems and assemblages|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Civilian Careers for Army 15F Veterans
Army 15F veterans, also known as aircraft electricians, may choose to continue to leverage their skills within the aviation industry as civilians. Alternately, they may decide to focus on electrical and electronics for a long-term goal. In both cases, their Army training and hands-on experience are likely to serve them well in advancing their careers.
Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians
Army 15F veterans bring a wealth of hands-on experience to a future role as a civilian aircraft and avionics equipment mechanic or technician. Their training as aircraft electricians gives them the skills to work on many types of aircraft, and they also have training in handling hazardous materials and fire suppression. These skills may give them an advantage in obtaining this position.
Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians service planes for private industry and government enterprises. They perform maintenance, diagnosis and repairs on aircraft. They need to be able to use diagnostic testing equipment, to follow repair manuals and read blueprints and schematics, and to properly record and report repairs completed. This position requires an associate's degree and certification by the FAA. The experience that 15F veterans gain in the military helps count toward the requirements for the FAA certification.
For veterans who want to work with electrical systems off the airfield and outside of the hangar, a career as an electrician may be a good choice. Knowledge of electrical principles as well as experience working with complex equipment could give 15F veterans an advantage.
Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical systems. This may be in private homes, businesses, schools, or factories. They work in almost every industry, from communications to power generation, and from retail to entertainment. Electricians need experience rather than formal training, and apprenticeships are common. Programs such as Helmets to Hardhats are available to help veterans find apprenticeships in trades like electrical work. Licensure is required for electricians in most states.
Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Some 15F veterans may have their sights set on obtaining a bachelor's degree and pursuing a professional career. For these veterans, electrical and electronics engineering could be an ideal career choice, since their experience working with electrical systems in complex equipment could make them better engineers in the long term.
Electrical and electronics engineers design and build new systems and devices. Electrical engineers generally work with systems, such as computer systems, telecommunications systems, navigational systems, and the like. Electronics engineers work with broadcast systems and devices like smartphones and GPS equipment.
Some aircraft specialists who are interested in earning a bachelor's to advance their careers may choose aerospace engineering. Real-world experience working on and repairing aircraft may prove to be good experience for designing planes, helicopters, and satellites, all of which have numerous electrical systems and components.
There are two broad branches in this field that have different focuses: aeronautical engineers work primarily with aircraft, while astronautical engineers work with spacecraft. In both cases, these engineers design, test, and build the crafts and related products. They also troubleshoot malfunctioning crafts and devise solutions.
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers
For Army 15F veterans who appreciate electronics but want to work in other industries, installation and repair careers could be a good fit. Veterans' experience working with aircraft and performing electrical work, repairs, diagnosis, and replacement should be a positive advantage in this career.
These workers install, diagnose, and repair electrical and electronic devices for many different industries. They may work in power generation, communications, transportation, or with computer networks. With such a wide range of potential employers, the type of work can vary tremendously, but many jobs are physically demanding and may require tasks to be done in the outdoors. Certifications may be required on particular parts and systems, but college education is not.