What Does an Aircraft Electrician Do?
An aircraft electrician installs and repairs electrical wiring in an aircraft, including cutting and stripping wire and insulating electrical connections. They also service the electrical components. In addition, aircraft electricians run tests on equipment to locate issues and install needed replacement parts. This can include reassembling circuit boards, motor components, or other parts of a system.
Aircraft electrician candidates should know about computer hardware and software, as well as other electrical components such as circuit boards and processors. They should enjoy working with their hands, have experience using electronic testing equipment, and reading wiring diagrams and schematics. An aircraft electrician needs to be a critical thinker and analytical problem solver, as well as an organized person, to maintain equipment and service records.
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National Average Salary
Aircraft electrician salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Aircraft Electrician is:
Aircraft Electrician Job Descriptions
The first step in the search for an exceptional aircraft electrician is a well-crafted job description. Below we have multiple real-world examples to get you started and set the foundation for attracting the exact talent your team needs.
Air travel is used by thousands of people each day, and everyone expects the aircraft to be in top condition. Aircraft electricians play a key role as they inspect and repair aircrafts according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. An effective aircraft electrician will take pride in the quality of their workmanship and be able to work under difficult circumstances, such as on uneven surfaces, at heights, or where dust or fumes may be present.
[Your Company Name] is looking for someone with strength and stamina who can work alone or with a team and who can follow directions. You will need to be confident using personal protective equipment and have at least one year of experience in the field.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Monitor maintenance and inspection plans
- Repair and maintain electrical systems as needed
- Perform system testing to evaluate performance and functionality
- Maintain inventory control of electrical components and tools
- Recommend upgrades and modifications to improve system performance
Education and experience
- An associate’s degree in aviation maintenance technology
- Airframe and Powerplant License certificate from a program approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Required skills and qualifications
- Analytical, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills
- Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
- Mechanical aptitude and ability to understand wiring diagrams and schematics
- Strong hand-eye coordination and proficiency in using tools like soldering equipment
- High-level organization skills
- Working knowledge of military, commercial, or general aviation aircraft
- Reliability, communications skills, workmanship, and good judgment are essential traits
- Bachelor’s degree or 3+ years of experience
The Aircraft Electrician will be responsible for troubleshooting, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of carrier aircraft electrical systems and components. As ABC Company expands our program base this person may be tasked with other, new projects and in the development vehicles requiring the skills, knowledge, and abilities utilized on this current project.
- Ability to perform a variety of electrical trade functions such as the installation, fault isolation, maintenance, and repair of wiring and/or connectors, equipment for the generation, distribution, or utilization of aircraft systems’ electrical power
- Perform final functional and operational testing of the electrical systems
- Interpret technical data such as blueprints, wiring diagrams, and specifications to install and troubleshoot wiring installations.
- Complete all required installation records in an accurate and timely manner
- Other duties as determined/assigned by management
- Able to work in confined spaces or heights greater than 25 feet as required
- 3+ years of experience in aircraft electrical systems troubleshooting, fabrication, installation, and maintenance
- A strong understanding of the importance of FOD control and tool control
- Detail oriented
- Personnel safety mentality – not just work safely, but promote a culture of safety
- Honesty, responsibility, accuracy, integrity, and fulfillment of commitments
- Ability to problem solve and adapt quickly to changing priorities
- Ability to work independently, responsibly, and take the initiative
Education and experience
- 3+ years of experience in aircraft systems fabrication installation and maintenance preferred
This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail, top focus on quality, and excellent people skills.
- Electrical assembly and wire harness installation
- Checks, tests, and troubleshoots electrical systems for conformance to specifications and performs the repair, removal, and reinstallation of wiring as necessary
- Cuts wire to length, strips insulation from wire ends, and insulates connections with plastic sleeves
- Attaches wire or complicated electrical systems to fixtures and accessories such as transformers, instrument panels, and switchboards with fasteners (bolts, screws, or solder)
- May monitor and verify quality in accordance with statistical processes or other control procedures
- Able to obtain half & full face respirator certification
- Daily usage of manufacturing shop controls and systems
- Use of appropriate PPE when working on the shop floor
- Recommend and implement continuous improvement activities in production methods, equipment performance, and team effectiveness
- Minimum 2 years of electrical experience in an aerospace, automotive, military, manufacturing, and/or maintenance environment
- Must be able to perform moderately strenuous physical and repetitious work including bending, stooping, kneeling, lifting up to 25 pounds, and working overhead
- Must be able to access small confined spaces and work in an enclosed environment
- The ability to pass the Special Medical/Respiratory Exam
- Ability to obtain a DOD Secret Clearance and maintain program access
Work involves most of the following: installing or repairing any of a variety of electrical equipment such as generators, transformers, switchboards, controllers, circuit breakers, motors, heating units, conduit systems, or other transmission equipment; working from blueprints, drawings, layouts, or other specifications, locating and diagnosing trouble in the electrical system or equipment, working standard computations relating to load requirements of wiring or electrical equipment, and using a variety of electrician’s hand tools and measuring and testing instruments. In general, the work of the maintenance electrician requires rounded training and experience usually acquired through a formal apprenticeship or equivalent training and experience.
- Install and adjust equipment replacement parts to ensure optimal performance
- Set up and operate ground support and test equipment to perform functional flight tests of electrical and electronic systems
- Lay out installation of aircraft assemblies and systems, following documentation such as blueprints, manuals, and wiring diagrams
- Interpret and analyze flight test and performance data to diagnose malfunctions and systemic performance problems
- Coordinate work with engineers, technicians, and other aircraft maintenance personnel
- Maintain and inspect a wide array of equipment including Electrical and Electronic Components, Batteries, Inertial Navigation Units, Test Sets, Electronic Module Test Consoles and Aircraft Instruments, Night Vision Goggles, Generators, and Generator Power Distribution Equipment
- Proficient in troubleshooting procedures and displays critical thinking processes and deductive reasoning
- Able to demonstrate proficiency in schematic interpretation and electronics test equipment
- Present a courteous and professional demeanor when dealing with customers and co-workers
- Comply with Foreign Object Damage (FOD), Hazardous Waste Program, and positive, 100% accountability Tool Control Programs
- Comply with all established general and industrial safety rules and regulations as applicable to the contract, facility, and job assignment
- Perform other duties as assigned
- Previous aircraft electrical experience with US Navy P-3 aircraft is preferred
- Completion of U.S. aircraft electrician course
- Familiarity with the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program (NAMP) or equivalent
- High School diploma or equivalent and 6 years additional education and/or related experience
- A minimum of 2 years of documented aviation electrician experience is required. Previous aircraft electrical experience with US Navy, and/or FAA aircraft is preferred. OR Satisfactory completion of the U.S. Navy Aviation Electrician course
- Excellent time management skills and ability to multitask and prioritize work
- Ability to work any assigned shift and detachment duties as required
- Knowledge of and ability to administer a 100% tool accountability and control program
- Attention to detail and problem-solving skills
- Ability to handle sensitive information in a classified manner
- Ability to work a flexible work schedule that may include extended shifts, holidays, and weekends, and support on call status 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
- A current U.S. passport, accept a period of time away from the primary work location, and comply with mobility requirements
- Ability to obtain CBP Secret clearance
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Avionics Electronics Technician (AVN) – This course tests those who work with installing and repairing electronic equipment and accessories in aircrafts. Topics covered include antennas, network topologies and infrastructures, optical cabling, and test equipment and tools. The test costs around $80 and the passing score is 75% or higher. This certification must be renewed every four years and requires two years of work experience.
- Certified Environmental Professional: Environmental Operations – This prestigious certification is for candidates who want to further their careers in the environmental profession. It shows employers that they are someone with a history of excellence, knowledge, and experience. This is often awarded to someone who has a bachelor’s or more than nine years of experience. There is a mentor program available to applicants who would like to have a point of contact during their application process.
- Master Certified Electronics Technician (CETma) – This certification is available for aircraft technicians with six or more years of experience and is used to demonstrate proficiency to potential employers. A test score of 85% or higher is needed to be eligible for this certification. A renewal of the certification is required every year.
How to Hire an Aircraft Electrician
Consider the following when hiring an aircraft electrician:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. For hiring an aircraft electrician, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring an aircraft electrician:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What qualities does an excellent aircraft electrician have?
- Tell me about a time you had to work under difficult circumstances (such as bad weather, on a high scaffold, etc.). How did it go for you?
- What kinds of aircrafts have you worked on in the past?
- What do you like about working as an aircraft electrician?
- What do you dislike about working as an aircraft electrician?
- Can you tell me a time you removed defective equipment using hand tools and manual equipment?
- What part of maintenance training did you excel in?
- Tell me about a time where your actions didn’t line up with your core values.
- What is your ideal workspace environment?
- Are you able to work as part of a team?
- Can you describe how you read and interpret the manuals, service bulletins, and other documentation to determine the best method of repairing or replacing malfunctioning or damaged components?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
- Can you tell me how you know an aircraft is ready to fly based on FAA standards?
- Describe a time you received criticism from your supervisor. How did you respond to it?
- Where do you see your career heading in the next five years?