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Career and Education Opportunities for Aircraft Inspectors in Elgin, Illinois

Aircraft inspector career and educational opportunities abound in Elgin, Illinois. There are currently 1,350 jobs for aircraft inspectors in Illinois and this is projected to grow 14% to about 1,540 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for aircraft inspectors are expected to grow by about 18.4%. Aircraft inspectors generally inspect aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment to ensure conformance with Federal safety regulations.

A person working as an aircraft inspector can expect to earn about $25 per hour or $53,470 annually on average in Illinois and about $26 hourly or $55,250 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Aircraft inspectors earn less than people working in the category of Air generally in Illinois and less than people in the Air category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be an aircraft inspector, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. Given that the most common education level 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 Elgin 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.
  • Airline Pilot. Pilot and navigate the flight of multi-engine aircraft in regularly scheduled service for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport rating and certification in specific aircraft type used.

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


Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.