Career Definition for an Aviation Inspector
Aviation inspectors ensure the safety of aircraft; they examine the frame, engines and mechanical components of aircraft. Aviation inspectors repair and revamp mechanical systems in order to ensure that all of the equipment meets or exceeds safety standards. Understanding and following all safety guidelines is an absolute must for aviation inspectors. Additional duties include the preparation or examination of repair reports, recommendations on policy changes relating to the operation of aircraft and the investigation of accidents relating to aircraft in order to determine cause. Most aviation inspectors work for the Federal Aviation Administration; however, jobs are also available in the private sector.
|Education||Associate's degree, bachelor's degree, on-the-job experience|
|Job Skills||Knowledge of mechanics, engineering, and electronics|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$72,140 (transportation inspectors)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||6% (transportation inspectors)|
Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Nearly all aviation inspector career paths require an individual to have been trained through a vocational school in the field, earned an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field or have on-the-job experience. To qualify for a position with the Federal Aviation Administration, prospective aviation inspectors usually must have at least five years of experience in aircraft maintenance, especially on the mechanical end. However, a college degree in a field such as engineering or aeronautical science may be substituted for experience. For those individuals with a degree, diploma or certificate, a period of on-the-job training is usually required. Experience in a supervisory position is also recommended for aviation inspectors. According to O*Net Online in 2017, 61% of aviation inspectors hold a postsecondary certificate, and 18% hold an associate's degree.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the following skills are required for jobs as an aviation inspector:
- An understanding of mechanics, engineering and electronics
- A keen eye for detail
- Strong reading comprehension, writing abilities and public speaking skills
- Critical thinking, problem solving, deductive and inductive reasoning
Employment and Salary Outlook
The BLS reported that employment growth for all transportation inspectors to grow by an average amount of 6% from 2016-2026. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median average annual salary for transportation inspectors was reported as $72,140 for 2017.