What Does An Aircraft Electrician Do?

An aircraft electrician specializes in installing and repairing electrical systems in an aircraft, ensuring quality and efficiency. Their responsibilities typically include running diagnostic tests and examinations, troubleshooting problems, replacing and fixing components, understanding diagrams, and keeping records. There are also instances where they must solder wires, climb up high places, and perform regular maintenance checks. Moreover, an aircraft electrician typically works in a team setting, which requires an active communication line for an efficient and safe workflow.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real aircraft electrician resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Work from SRM, TRM, AMM, EO and various other aircraft documentation to accomplish repair objectives.
  • Carry a secret security clearance.
  • Comply with Cessna and FAA specs.
  • Set up and mark wires per FAA specifications.
  • Maintain security clearance for work on aircraft arm with nuclear and conventional weapons.
  • Inspect work for quality defects as well as prevent FOD mishaps -Report unsafe work conditions/actions to supervisors
  • Install, test, repair, and maintain electrical and armament systems and components on AH-64D.
  • Certify each inspection include an examination of work area for sources of foreign object debris (FOD).
  • Repair and/or replace wiring, switches, capacitors, resistors, relay panels, gauges, trailing wire antennas and actuators.
  • Experience in troubleshooting defective structural and layout plans for repairs and modifications.
Aircraft Electrician Traits
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Dexterity describes being skilled in using your hands when it comes to physical activity.
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.

Aircraft Electrician Overview

Between the years 2018 and 2028, aircraft electrician jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become an aircraft electrician?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of aircraft electrician opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 4,700.

An aircraft electrician annual salary averages $54,958, which breaks down to $26.42 an hour. However, aircraft electricians can earn anywhere from upwards of $38,000 to $78,000 a year. This means that the top-earning aircraft electricians make $40,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become an aircraft electrician, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a systems mechanic, helicopter mechanic, jet engine mechanic, and hydraulic mechanic.

Aircraft Electrician Jobs You Might Like

Aircraft Electrician Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 25% of Aircraft Electricians are proficient in Electrical Systems, Hazardous Materials, and Special Tools. They’re also known for soft skills such as Detail oriented, Dexterity, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Aircraft Electricians that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Electrical Systems, 25%

    Maintained oxygen, air conditioning, cabin pressurization, pneumatic systems, fire extinguishing, electrical systems and associated components.

  • Hazardous Materials, 13%

    Track shipping of damaged parts to back shops, and knowing transportation regulations and transportation systems for hazardous materials.

  • Special Tools, 8%

    Performed limited maintenance operational checks and assisted in diagnosis and troubleshooting aircraft subsystems using special tools and equipment as required.

  • Clearance, 8%

    Maintained a valid SECRET level security clearance.

  • Diagnose Malfunctions, 7%

    Diagnose malfunctions and recommend corrective action.

  • Repair Parts, 6%

    Ensured adequate stock quantities of repair parts, supplies and technical publications were available.

Most aircraft electricians list "electrical systems," "hazardous materials," and "special tools" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important aircraft electrician responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for an aircraft electrician to have happens to be detail oriented. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "mechanics and technicians need to adjust airplane parts to exact specifications" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that aircraft electricians can use detail oriented to "ensured attention to detail, fod awareness. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling aircraft electrician duties is dexterity. According to a aircraft electrician resume, "mechanics and technicians need to coordinate the movement of their fingers and hands in order to grasp, manipulate, or assemble parts." Here's an example of how aircraft electricians are able to utilize dexterity: "followed all prescribed and written safety procedures when using forklift or other lifting devices to move aircraft components. "
  • See the full list of aircraft electrician skills.

    We've found that 29.9% of aircraft electricians have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 4.3% earned their master's degrees before becoming an aircraft electrician. While it's true that some aircraft electricians have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every three aircraft electricians did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those aircraft electricians who do attend college, typically earn either a electrical engineering degree or a aviation degree. Less commonly earned degrees for aircraft electricians include a electrical engineering technology degree or a electrical and power transmission installers degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become an aircraft electrician. We've found that most aircraft electrician resumes include experience from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Airbus Helicopters. Of recent, Lockheed Martin had 4 positions open for aircraft electricians. Meanwhile, there are 3 job openings at Northrop Grumman and 1 at Airbus Helicopters.

    View more details on aircraft electrician salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious aircraft electricians are:

      What Systems Mechanics Do

      A systems mechanic specializes in repairing and maintaining systems, ensuring machines operate smoothly and efficiently. Although the extent of their responsibilities varies upon their company or place of employment, it typically includes meeting with clients to identify their needs, inspecting machinery, troubleshooting problems, replacing and fixing wirings, and recommending other services when necessary. They may also install and assemble equipment, establish guidelines, and replenish fluid such as oil and gas. Moreover, there are instances when a systems mechanic works in a team setting, which requires an active communication line for a safe and successful workflow.

      In this section, we compare the average aircraft electrician annual salary with that of a systems mechanic. Typically, systems mechanics earn a $1,910 higher salary than aircraft electricians earn annually.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between aircraft electricians and systems mechanics are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like electrical systems, hazardous materials, and special tools.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. An aircraft electrician responsibility is more likely to require skills like "diagnose malfunctions," "repair parts," "troubleshoot," and "aircraft parts." Whereas a systems mechanic requires skills like "preventive maintenance," "trouble shooting," "safety rules," and "electronic equipment." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Systems mechanics tend to make the most money in the government industry by averaging a salary of $51,990. In contrast, aircraft electricians make the biggest average salary of $64,263 in the manufacturing industry.

      On average, systems mechanics reach similar levels of education than aircraft electricians. Systems mechanics are 0.5% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Helicopter Mechanic?

      A helicopter mechanic is tasked with making sure all a helicopter's parts are good and working well. They thoroughly inspect and ensure that the helicopter and other aircraft meet standard regulations and are fit for flight. A helicopter mechanic is well versed in mechanics and has excellent problem-solving and computer skills. They repair and maintain both civilian and military helicopters. They may work at airfields or runways.

      Next up, we have the helicopter mechanic profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to an aircraft electrician annual salary. In fact, helicopter mechanics salary difference is $1,852 higher than the salary of aircraft electricians per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Aircraft electricians and helicopter mechanics both include similar skills like "electrical systems," "hazardous materials," and "special tools" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, aircraft electrician responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "clearance," "diagnose malfunctions," "repair parts," and "troubleshoot." Meanwhile, a helicopter mechanic might be skilled in areas such as "helicopter," "preventive maintenance," "gear boxes," and "maintenance tasks." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      Helicopter mechanics may earn a higher salary than aircraft electricians, but helicopter mechanics earn the most pay in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $57,968. On the other side of things, aircraft electricians receive higher paychecks in the manufacturing industry where they earn an average of $64,263.

      In general, helicopter mechanics study at similar levels of education than aircraft electricians. They're 0.7% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Jet Engine Mechanic Compares

      The jet engine mechanic profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of aircraft electricians. The difference in salaries is jet engine mechanics making $2,166 lower than aircraft electricians.

      While looking through the resumes of several aircraft electricians and jet engine mechanics we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "electrical systems," "hazardous materials," and "special tools," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from aircraft electricians resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "diagnose malfunctions," "repair parts," "hand tools," and "troubleshoot." But a jet engine mechanic might have skills like "aerospace," "safe maintenance practices," "engine maintenance," and "preventive maintenance."

      When it comes to education, jet engine mechanics tend to earn similar education levels than aircraft electricians. In fact, they're 1.7% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Hydraulic Mechanic

      Hydraulic mechanics tend to earn a lower pay than aircraft electricians by about $14,251 per year.

      According to resumes from both aircraft electricians and hydraulic mechanics, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "electrical systems," "hazardous materials," and "special tools. "

      Each job requires different skills like "diagnose malfunctions," "repair parts," "troubleshoot," and "environmental systems," which might show up on an aircraft electrician resume. Whereas hydraulic mechanic might include skills like "heavy equipment," "preventive maintenance," "trouble shooting," and "ppe."

      Hydraulic mechanics reach similar levels of education when compared to aircraft electricians. The difference is that they're 0.2% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.8% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.