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

[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 skills, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, 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 lot 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 

Preferred qualifications

  • Certification applicable to an inspector 
  • 2+ years of experience as an inspector or related field

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an 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

Typical work environment

Inspectors spend most of their time on worksites, making sure there aren’t any irregularities and examining the overall worksite. When they aren’t on the job site, they are in an office doing reports, arranging schedules for inspections, and entering data into a database. There can be times when you need to do some physical work like using a ladder, some weightlifting, and standing for long periods of time. Most inspectors work full time and sometimes on the weekends. 

Typical hours

The typical work hours for an aircraft inspector are from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Available certifications

Though not every employer will require you to have a certification as an inspector, it can certainly help your chances of getting a job. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

  • The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). This certification helps improve your overall knowledge as an inspector. For example, some of the courses include teaching you 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 helps promote 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.

Career path

This position requires an associate degree, but employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and experience repairing aircraft. Aircraft inspectors will typically advance to enroll in graduate programs, allowing them to train Aviation Mechanics and other inspectors. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 47-4011

2020 Employment129,300
Projected Employment in 2030125,600
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 3% decline
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift3,800 decline

According to the website Mainblades, one trend that will affect aircraft inspectors is the growing use of drones for aircraft inspections. Another trend is the rise of robotics — robots can inspect components that are otherwise difficult for humans to access. 

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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