What Does an Aircraft Inspector Do?
Aircraft inspectors are essential in making sure airplanes are working optimally. They are responsible for conducting preflight inspections, examining all equipment, and suggesting repairs to ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers and crew. They investigate accidents, and equipment failures, as well as review maintenance procedures to ensure the aircraft complies with federal safety regulations.
Someone in this position needs to have exceptionally high attention to detail and a sense of thoroughness as they will not only be responsible for determining airworthiness, but they will also need to comply with complex government standards.
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National Average Salary
Aircraft inspector 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 Inspector is:
Aircraft Inspector Job Descriptions
Creating the perfect job description is crucial when seeking an aircraft inspector. To aid in this process, we’ve gathered real-world examples that serve as valuable templates, giving you the best chance to attract top aviation talent to your team.
[Your company name] is searching for a candidate who is motivated and has an eye for detail. We are in need of an experienced and responsible candidate with great communication, analytical, interpersonal, and listening skills. An inspector is in charge of maintaining a safe and healthy work environment and making sure everyone is complying with the legal regulations. Other duties include doing reports, approving finished products, and entering the data accumulated. This position comes with a great deal of responsibility. You will need to be available to work full-time and any certifications are a plus.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Conduct flight test programs to test instruments, equipment, and systems
- Inspect all aspects of an aircraft for the safety and security of its passengers and crew
- Ensure adherence to standards and procedures with federal regulations
- Suggest the repair or replacement of aircraft equipment
- Determine the cause of air accidents
- Maintain records regarding inspections, repairs, and investigations
- Issue licenses to pilots
Education and experience
This position requires an associate degree, but employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and experience repairing aircraft.
Required skills and qualifications
- Strong written and verbal communication
- Excellent troubleshooting, problem-solving, and collaborative skills
- Extensive knowledge of machines and tools, including their design, uses, repair, and maintenance
- Deep comprehension of laws that govern the handling and maintenance of aircraft
- Keen attention to detail
- Certification applicable to an inspector
- 2+ years of experience as an inspector or related field
- Conduct all required inspections in accordance with the applicable Federal Aviation Regulations, manufacturer’s approved data, any customer’s approved program data, and the policies and procedures contained in this Inspection Procedures Manual
- Perform NDT test equipment setup, calibration, and inspection of airframe structures, components, and power plants
- Inspect various aircraft components, accept or reject work completed, and sign all items on the work order when work meets required standards
- Accept responsibility for entries in the aircraft maintenance flight logs which pertain to his/her inspections, as well as the airworthiness release
- Qualified to Level II in the following: Liquid Penetrate, Magnetic Particle, Eddy Current, Ultrasonic, and/or Radiographic inspection methods required
- Record the results of all inspections performed on the proper inspection forms used by the repair station in accordance with this Inspection Procedures Manual
- Be thoroughly familiar with the applicable Federal Aviation Regulations, specifications, tolerances, limits, inspection methods, techniques, and equipment used in their area of responsibility to determine the quality of the work performed and the airworthiness of the article.
- Maintain proficiency with various types of inspection aides used for the inspection of a particular item
- Ensure current specifications involving inspection tolerances, limits, and procedures recommended by the manufacturer of the product undergoing inspection and other forms of applicable inspection information are available for reference. Other examples of inspection information would be FAA Airworthiness Directives, manufacturer’s bulletins, approved customer data, and Federal Aviation Regulations
- Make final airworthiness determination prior to “Return of Service” on items they are authorized to inspect for any article maintained or altered by this repair station
- Reject any work or parts that have not been properly maintained or altered in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations, manufacturer’s approved data, customer-approved data, and the policies and procedures contained within this manual
- Support the company Safety Program
- High School Diploma/GED. Must be able to read, write, and speak English
- Requires 3 years experience as an FAA Airframe licensed Aircraft, Avionics, or Structures Technician
- A current FAA Airframe License required
- Put safety first at all times and never compromise on safety for the obtainment of other objectives. Responsible for the health and safety of themselves and coworkers
- Visual inspection of composite parts
- Dimensional measurements using calipers, micrometers, height gages, etc.
- Comparison and evaluation of certifications and supporting data to specifications
- Inspection of Aircraft parts to ensure compliance with important regulatory and contractual requirements
- Observe Safety policies and programs including workplace organization
- Confirm and approve incoming materials, in-process materials, and finished products using specifications, visual evaluation, property measurements, and other tests, as well as reject unacceptable materials
- Document inspection results by written reports and electronic data entry
- Maintain documents to ensure traceability of all materials and processes
- Input data into the database or SAP
- Proper use and documentation of measurement equipment
- Continuously improve job knowledge through training and individual work
- Accomplish Quality and Organization mission by completing work in a cooperative and helpful manner with open communication
- Support and engage in our AEC Quality System
- Good mechanical aptitude and use of basic hand and power tools
- Basic math skills
- Attention to detail
- Ability to understand and follow training materials, technical drawings, and work instructions
- Proper use of safety and personal protective equipment
- Basic computer skills (MS Excel, MS Word, SAP)
- Ability to communicate in English via written and spoken words
- Positive outlook and commitment to the Quality function as a service to all customers and an absolute commitment to Aircraft Safety
- High school graduate or equivalent
Relevant work experience
- Worked in a manufacturing environment
- Knowledge of QS 9000 & Aerospace AS9100 Quality Systems. Lean Manufacturing /Six Sigma methodology a plus
The Airworthiness Inspector physically inspects the aircraft, and its components, and reviews paperwork to ensure that workmanship meets acceptable standards of quality, and that customer aircraft are returned to service in an airworthy condition with all of the required documentation properly completed and filed.
Principal duties and responsibilities
- Responsible for all Quality Control inspections on aircraft/components in the Repair Station
- Completes inspections of aircraft, engine, and component repairs and alterations to ensure conformity to FAA approved/acceptable data
- Coordinates mechanical, electrical, and inspection requirements on the aircraft during maintenance or outfitting
- Keeps accurate, neat, and legible records of the work performed on aircraft/components
- Coordinates throughout assigned jobs with RTS to ensure accurate aircraft records are produced in a timely manner
- Conducts audits of maintenance documentation for accuracy and completion on all aircraft prior to approval for return to service
- Ensures aircraft/components are airworthy prior to any flight activities
- Mentors technicians on effective documentation
- Communicates with management as required to identify work assignments and delivery schedules
- Continually monitors repair station compliance with FAR Part 145 and the FAA-accepted site Repair Station and Quality Control Manual
- Completes FAA required. conformity inspections and compiles certification data for presentation to the FAA for approval
- In support of aircraft certification and final phase testing, may include flight tests on aircraft as required
- Perform other duties as assigned
Education and experience requirements
- High School Diploma or GED required
- Airframe and Powerplant License required
- 4 years of aircraft experience on large/mid-size aircraft
- Proficient in the utilization of Federal Aviation Regulations, FAA forms, and documents
- Proficient in blueprint reading and interpretation, shop mathematics, and QC Procedures
- Must have an Airframe and Powerplant License
- Strong written and verbal communication skills. Must be able to prioritize tasks
- Strong computer skills
- Must be able to work all shifts
- Able to climb ladders and stairs, work in small restricted areas and lift up to 40 lbs
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) – This certification helps improve the candidate’s overall knowledge as an inspector. For example, some of the courses include teaching them how to perform residential electrical inspections, exterior inspections, and deck inspections.
- The ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) – ASHI stands for American Society of Home Inspectors. This certification supports promotion of healthy home practices. It helps with improving and maintaining a strong inspection business.
- Construction Inspector Certification Program – This certification covers a range of standards when it comes to construction. Courses include mechanical codes, electrical codes, structural inspections, and legal issues in construction inspection.
How to Hire an Aircraft Inspector
There are a number of initial considerations when hiring an aircraft inspector:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to successfully source and recruit for this role?
- Complexity: Does your project require a senior professional, or is a mid- or junior-level inspector sufficient?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or a permanent requirement?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effort effectively?
- Urgency: How time-sensitive is this need? What happens if it remains unfilled?
- Headcount: Do you have room on your team for a new W2 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. We recommend the following options when hiring an aircraft inspector:
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 inspector:
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 skills would you say are needed to be successful as an inspector?
- What made you decide to become an inspector?
- What is your favorite part of being an inspector? What would you say your least favorite part of the job is?
- What techniques do you apply to make sure and find any irregularities or malfunctions?
- What are some reasons permits can be rejected?
- Do you have any certifications that can apply to being an inspector?
- Has there ever been a time when you had a permit rejected? Why? And how did you handle that situation?
- Would you consider yourself a team player?
- On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your computer skills?
- Can you tell us about your education?
- What are your strongest skill sets?
- What tends to motivate you?
- How would you rate both your verbal and written skills?