Aviation Safety Inspectors
Most aviation safety inspectors are employed by the federal government, with the majority working for the Department of Transportation, namely the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board. Other employers of aviation safety inspectors include consulting firms, insurance companies, and companies that specialize in aviation technology and industry. Some inspectors are self-employed and work as independent consultants. Aviation safety inspectors are classified under the general heading of transportation inspectors. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 29,990 transportation inspectors work in the United States. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), there are about 28,000 aviation inspectors employed in the United States.
Aviation safety inspectors are generally not hired unless they have experience in the field of aviation, for example, as a pilot or crew member, an air traffic controller, an aviation mechanic, an avionics technician, or a manufacturing position in the aviation industry. A combination of work experience in the field of aviation and education in areas such as air transportation, engineering, or aeronautics will count as sufficient experience in some cases. After gaining the necessary experience, those interested in becoming an aviation safety inspector should apply for a position. One of the largest employers of aviation safety inspectors, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), maintains referral lists of qualified applicants. Persons interested in being hired by the FAA as an aviation safety inspector should contact the FAA for an application. Applicants who are deemed qualified and eligible for employment are placed on referral lists for a period of one year. They are matched to any available job vacancies that fit their qualifications.
Aviation safety inspectors who demonstrate superior job skills may be promoted to positions with an increase in salary and greater responsibility. Those who exhibit managerial skills may advance to a supervisory position, such as section or branch chief. Inspectors with strong teaching and training skills may become instructors at the FAA Academy. Aviation safety inspectors who have a recognized level of expertise may opt to work for themselves as independent consultants.
Tips for Entry
Join Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO to increase your chances of landing a job and receiving fair pay for your work.
Contact the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to learn more about career opportunities in aviation inspection.
Visit https://www.usajobs.gov to apply for jobs.
Try to get as much experience in an aviation-related field to improve your chances of being hired as an inspector.