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Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Inspectors in Chicago, Illinois

For those living in the Chicago, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for aircraft inspectors. About 1,350 people are currently employed as aircraft inspectors in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to about 1,540 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for aircraft inspectors, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.4% over the next eight years. In general, aircraft inspectors inspect aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment to ensure conformance with Federal safety regulations.

The income of an aircraft inspector is about $25 hourly or $53,470 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $26 per hour or $55,250 per year on average. Incomes for aircraft inspectors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Air in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Air category nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as an aircraft inspector. The most common level of education for aircraft inspectors is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be an aircraft inspector if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Aircraft Inspector

Aircraft Inspector video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, aircraft inspectors inspect aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment to ensure conformance with Federal safety regulations.

Aircraft inspectors examine landing gear and exteriors of fuselage and engines for evidence of damage or corrosion and the need for repairs. They also examine aircraft access plates and doors for security. Equally important, aircraft inspectors have to examine new or modified aircraft to pinpoint damage or defects and to gauge airworthiness and conformance to standards, using checklists, hand tools, and test instruments. They are often called upon to examine maintenance records and flight logs to establish if service and maintenance checks and overhauls were performed at prescribed intervals. They are expected to examine work of aircraft mechanics performing maintenance or repair and overhaul of aircraft and aircraft mechanical systems to insure adherence to standards and procedures. Finally, aircraft inspectors recommend replacement or modification of aircraft equipment.

Every day, aircraft inspectors are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for aircraft inspectors to ready and maintain detailed repair and certification records and reports. They are often called upon to recommend changes in rules and regulations, on the basis of knowledge of operating conditions and other factors. They also start aircraft and observe gauges, meters, and other instruments to uncover evidence of malfunctions. They are sometimes expected to issue pilots' licenses to individuals meeting standards. Somewhat less frequently, aircraft inspectors are also expected to investigate air accidents and complaints to establish causes.

Aircraft inspectors sometimes are asked to investigate air accidents and complaints to establish causes. They also have to be able to conduct flight test programs to test equipment and systems under a variety of conditions, using both manual and automatic controls And finally, they sometimes have to analyze training programs and conduct oral and written examinations to insure the competency of persons operating and repairing aircraft equipment.

Like many other jobs, aircraft inspectors must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Air Cargo Supervisor. Direct ground crew in the loading, unloading, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage. Determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute aircraft center of gravity. May accompany aircraft as member of flight crew and monitor and handle cargo in flight, and assist and brief passengers on safety and emergency procedures.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Aircraft Inspector Training

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree program in Avionics Maintenance Technology/Technician.


Airmen Certification: Include the following areas:

  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Flight Engineers, Flight Navigators, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Control Tower Operators
  • 8610-1 (PDF) - Mechanic's Application for Inspection Authorization
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Mechanics, Repairman, and Parachute Riggers
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.