The principle role of an electrician working in the aviation industry is to inspect, maintain and repair any electrical problems that arise with a fleet of aircraft. Each component in an aircraft, such as landing gear, ignition systems, and lighting, are run by electrical systems. This makes the job of an aircraft electrician varied and sometimes complex. They will be trained to install and maintain theses systems unique to the industry.
Much of the time of an aviation electrician is spent monitoring and maintaining systems, such as weather radar technology, radio communications systems, and flight control tools. Other responsibilities might include:
- Installing, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing components in accordance with testing, engineering, maintenance and installation directives;
- Diagnosing malfunctions;
- Soldering wires;
- Cleaning electrical components;
- Keeping maintenance records.
School subjects and university degrees suited to a career as an aviation electrician include chemistry, maths, physics, electronics, and computing. Some airlines or aircraft manufacturers may offer specialist on-the-job training, so researching employers and what they can offer you is important. You may need certain certificates or qualifications before you apply.
Jobs in this field will often require several years previous experience of electrical repair and modification, and sometimes experience specific to the aviation industry is also asked for. There’s often a need to be familiar with specific maintenance and repair manuals, and the ability to read and interpret blueprints, drawings, and schematics.
The skills needed to excel in this profession include an enthusiasm for hard work, determination and the ability to concentrate on tricky technical issues for an extended period of time. It’s also a hands-on job, so a certain amount of coordination is required. Good judgement is a prerequisite in this career. It is advisable to maintain a good level of fitness for this role as you may be required to perform repetitive movements, work overhead, or in cramped spaces.
The average salary for an aircraft electrician in the UK, according to our data from 2018, is £42,103.