Aircraft Electrician Career Profile

As an aircraft electrician, you have the responsibility of maintaining and repairing the electrical systems of an airplane. The electrical systems in the aircraft are the landing gears, selective cockpit instruments, ignition systems and other lighting systems. An aircraft electrician is responsible for all these systems. You would have to constantly inspect and maintain these systems.

Basic Job Description

You must have undergone a training program designed for an aircraft electrician. You also should have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license to work on airfields or airports. Some employers may demand a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license to work on non-military aircraft.

As an aircraft electrician, you would involved in activities such as these: 

  • Troubleshooting the wiring of the electrical systems of the aircraft. You would have to repair, remove, modify or install the wiring, as per the requirements.
  • Assembling and routing the cables and wires on the aircraft or the weapon systems (if working on military/fighter aircraft).
  • Installing connectors on cables in the aircraft.
  • Using hand tools and test equipments for testing purposes.
  • Understanding and studying the electrical diagrams and schematics of newly inducted aircraft.
  • Accomplishing the tasks assigned to you in accordance with the safety procedures and military specifications. You would have to refer to the standard and technical manuals in order to complete the task.
  • Performing the documentation of the work completed. This has to be done on the aircraft forms or in phase books.

Working Conditions

The majority of the time, you would be looking after the maintenance of the electrical systems of the aircraft, and you would have to comply with the safety requirements set up by the "Standard Operating Manual." The work and protective steps taken to perform it may expose you to moderate discomforts:

  • You would be exposed to elements like heat, cold, wind and very high levels of noise.
  • You would also be exposed to dust, dirt, grease, oil and other fluids that might be leaking from other components of the aircraft.
  • You might have to wear protective equipment like helmets, communication systems, safety glasses, ear mufflers and mechanic suits, which cause lot of discomfort when worn.  

This job demands a lot of physical and mental exertion. Thus, a high level of physical and mental fitness along with good eyesight and eye-hand coordination is necessary.

Salary and Work Hours

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2009, the average salary of an aircraft electrician ranges from $42,000 to $75,000 per annum. This depends greatly on an individual's years of work experience in the specific field. Aircraft electricians are expected to work for 40 to 45 hours per week. Civilian companies need aircraft electricians on several different shifts; thus, work on weekends or at other times outside normal business hours is common.  

Advancement Opportunities

The federal government's armed service provides job opportunities for aircraft electricians. Various aircraft manufacturers, aircraft maintenance companies and commercial airlines also offer jobs. You can get more information on aircraft electrician jobs on http://www.aviationemployment.com.

The federal government offers many incentives and benefits to its employees. These incentives are in the form of health insurance, life insurance, retirement programs and many more.