Career Profile: Aviation Inspector
An aviation inspector is responsible for making sure that an aircraft is ready to fly. He or she performs safety checks, testing and carefully inspects all components of a plane before it is cleared for takeoff. Any repairs or maintenance work is also checked by an aviation inspector, who will report any damage or request further repairs if necessary. He or she is ultimately one of the last lines of defense in preventing aircraft malfunctions and accidents.
A typical day for an aviation inspector is focused on inspecting aircrafts. There are several safety regulations that a plane must pass in order to be allowed to fly and aviation inspectors ensure aircrafts pass these measures. Much of an inspector’s responsibility lies in diagnosing mechanical issues and providing a recommendation for repairs. He or she may also observe an aircraft’s inflight performance as well as the pilot’s ability to fly with respect to flight regulations. If an inspector believes changes should be made to flight regulations, he or she is expected to make recommendations for amendments to the board of flight safety.
If aviation inspection is a career that interests you, it’s best to get on the right track as soon as you can. In high school the best courses to take are physics, computer science, algebra and geometry. Technology and mechanic courses are also good options. Even if you decide aviation inspection isn’t for you, these courses will give you a good start in any other STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) career you might want to pursue.
After high school there are a few different options available to you. A Bachelor’s degree in engineering followed by vocational training specific to aviation inspection and maintenance will give you a good educational base to begin your career. In some cases, going right to the vocational training from high school may also be an option. Most inspectors start out as aircraft mechanics which is likely to require a 2-4 year degree.
There are some basic skills that every aviation inspector should possess. Interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively communicate with different kinds of people is essential. Problem solving, thinking critically, mechanical aptitude and a keen eye for detail are also crucial skills to cultivate. As the job title suggests, aviation inspection relies heavily on the inspection aspect. Well-developed skills of observation are paramount.
Most aviation inspectors make anywhere from $40,000- 60,000 a year.
For anyone with mechanical talent, keen observation skills and knack for staying organized, ‘aviation inspector’ is a career path worth considering.