Aircraft InspectorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

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, equipment failures, and review maintenance procedures to ensure the aircraft complies with federal safety regulations. 

Sample job description #1


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 set up, 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 a FAA Airframe licensed Aircraft, Avionics, or Structures Technician
  • Current FAA Airframe License required

Sample job description #2

Aircraft inspector job duties

  • Put safety first at all times, never compromise on safety for the obtainment of other objectives. Responsible for 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 to important regulatory and contractual requirements
  • Observe Safety policies and programs including work place 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 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

Sample job description #3

Position purpose

The Airworthiness Inspector physically inspects aircrafts, aircraft components, and reviews paperwork to ensure that workmanship meets acceptable standards of quality, and that customer aircrafts 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

Additional functions 

  • 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 assigne

Education and experience requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED required
  • Airframe and Powerplant License required
  • 4 years 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

Unique skills

  • Must have an Airframe and Powerplant License 

Other requirements

  • 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

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an aircraft inspector is $83,300 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$82,850$112,100
Los Angeles, California$93,450$126,450
Denver, Colorado$77,900$105,400
Washington, DC$94,900$128,350
Miami, Florida$77,550$104,900
Orlando, Florida$71,500$96,750
Tampa, Florida$72,200$97,700
Atlanta, Georgia$75,750$102,500
Chicago, Illinois$87,100$117,850
Boston, Massachusetts$94,150$127,400
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$75,050$101,550
New York City, New York$99,150$134,100
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$80,700$109,200
Dallas, Texas$78,600$106,350
Houston, Texas$77,900$105,400
Seattle, Washington$90,650$122,600
National Average$70,800$95,800

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?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Where do you see yourself in a few years?
  • What are some reasons permits can be rejected?
  • Do you have any certifications that can apply to being an inspector?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • Has there ever been a time when you had a permit rejected? Why? And how did you handle that situation?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • Would you consider yourself a team player?
  • On a scale of 1-10, what do you rate your computer skills?
  • Have you ever had a client be upset over something you did? How did you handle that situation?
  • Why are you leaving your current company?  
  • Can you tell us about your education?
  • What are your strongest skill sets?
  • Are you able to physically move stuff? Can you handle being on your feet for long periods of time?       
  • What tends to motivate you?
  • It is important as an inspector that you have great communication skills. How would you rate your verbal and written skills?

Aircraft Inspector Jobs in Ashburn

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