Avjobs.com

Call us: 303-683-2322
M-F 9-5 MST

512
Registration Options View Career Directory Supplement Search Aviation Career Guide More Careers
Aircraft Accident Investigator Career Overview

Aircraft Accident Investigator Career Overview

Federal Government - National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) - Aircraft Accident Investigator

The National Transportation Safety Board accident investigators interview survivors and witnesses and examine aircraft parts, instruments, and engines. They also review maintenance and flight records to determine the probable cause of airplane accidents. Aviation related engineering, medical and/or operational experience is required for a variety of professional positions with this safety related organization. Travel and field work typify the investigator's position. Salary and experience rankings resemble those of the Department of Transportation.

Advertise here
Advertise hereAdvertise here

Position Description

An aviation accident investigator may also be called an air safety investigator. They investigate, study and report on airplane crashes to figure out how and why they happened. Aviation accident investigators cover a myriad of areas and try to discover the cause of accidents. This is done through various means including interviewing survivors, reviewing and analyzing flight and maintenance records, studying human performance issues and operations, examining engines, systems, instruments and other airplane parts, Including operations, flight recorders, structures, cabin safety, aircraft performance (engineering), airports, air traffic services, and power plant (engines). to try and figure out what caused an accident.

The NTSB defines an accident as an "occurrence" which is associated with operating an aircraft between the time people board an aircraft with the intention of flying and when people get off. This also applies when a person is killed or is seriously injured and there is substantial damage to the aircraft.

An interesting alternative to working in the private sector is a career in government. Many highly responsible aviation positions are to be found in the FAA and other Federal agencies. In addition, state and local government agencies are involved in aviation.

Among its many functions in aviation, the FAA is responsible for controlling the movement of aircraft throughout the nation, establishing and maintaining electronic navigation aids, licensing pilots and aircraft mechanics, and certifying the airworthiness of aircraft.

A major source of aviation careers lies in jobs with federal, state and local government agencies.

Civil aviation careers in the Federal Government for men and women are found within the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration; the Civil Aeronautics Board; and a growing number of other Federal departments and agencies. All of these aviation jobs come under the Federal Civil Service, and wage scales are determined by Congress, which, from time to time, adjusts the pay levels to bring them in line with comparable jobs in private business and industry. Salaries for Federal Civil Service employees are established into two chief categories: General Schedule (for those employees who perform administrative, managerial, technical, clerical and professional jobs and who are paid on an annual basis) and the Federal Wage System (for those employees who perform jobs associated with the trades and crafts and who are paid wages on an hourly basis).

Most Federal Civil Service employees in the aviation field are covered by the General Schedule and their salaries vary according to their grade level (GS-1 through GS-18). Within each of the grades provided in the General Schedule, provision is made for periodic pay increases based on an acceptable level of performance. With an acceptable level of competence, the waiting period of advancement to steps two, three and four is one year, steps five, six and seven is two years, steps eight, nine and ten is three years.

Forty hours constitutes a normal work-week. Additional payment (called premium pay) is made for shift work involving duty between 6 o'clock p.m. and 6 o'clock a.m. and for work during Sundays and holidays. Merit promotions are awarded under provisions of a Civil Service approved merit promotion plan.

Most federal employees under Civil Service participate in a liberal retirement plan. Employees earn from 13 to 26 days of paid annual vacation, depending upon the length of service, and 13 days of paid sick leave each year. Health insurance, low-cost group life insurance, credit union service, and compensation and medical care for injury on the job are other benefits offered.

The largest number of aviation jobs found within the Federal Government (outside the Department of Defense) is with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the Department of Transportation. The FAA, with a total of approximately 47,000 employees, is charged with the administration and enforcement of all federal air regulations to insure the safety of air transportation. The FAA also promotes, guides and assists the development of a national system of civil airports. The FAA provides pilots with flight information and air traffic control services from flight planning to landing.

Working Conditions

A major portion of the work an accident investigator does will be at the accident scene. The average working day is eight hours, but during an accident investigation, hours may stretch up to 15 hours. Typically, NTSB accident investigators are "on call" 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and travel to all corners of the world to investigate significant accidents. Because of the nature of accidents, assignments are given on short notice and may involve working unusual hours for long periods of time. Accident sites can be set in remote areas with rugged terrain, and can be in a variety of physically challenging conditions including swamps, deserts, or mountains. Travel to the accident site may require strenuous walking, hiking and climbing in adverse topographic, weather, and atmospheric conditions. Once at the accident scene, you must be able to physically maneuver around the accident site, which may include climbing in and out of various parts of the wreckage. Since assignments can pose hazards to your health, you may be required to wear and operate appropriate personal protective equipment. You are required to carry all necessary equipment, tools and instruments to document all findings as you may photograph, video tape, make measurements and take notes while at the accident scene. NTSB accident investigators interview survivors and witnesses and examine aircraft parts, instruments, and engines. They also review maintenance and flight records to determine the probable cause of airplane accidents. Travel and field work typify the investigator's position.

Senior level responsibilities might include managing all phases of airline accident investigations and supervising and controlling the investigative team, representatives of the FAA, the airframe and engine manufacturer, pilot and flight attendant unions, etc. Comprehensive reports will be prepared and presented, often in front of public officials.

Accident investigators working for the FAA identity safety deficiencies and unsafe conditions They analyze accident data and other safety data to identify safety issues and trends.

The NTSB is responsible for investigating aviation accidents in the United States and its territories. By law, the NTSB determines the accident’s “probable cause” and makes recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future. At the beginning of an investigation, the Safety Board invites certain organizations that can contribute technical support – such as the aircraft operator and manufacturer and affiliate unions – to participate as “parties” to the investigation. Because major accidents are rare, there is often little continuity among the individuals sent by organizations to be party representatives. This often results in confusion during an already stressful time.

Typical Requirements and/or Experience

Entry level accident investigator positions are difficult to get into. Investigative experience as an insurance adjuster or piloting a plane in law enforcement is helpful. Entry Level or trainees typically must have one year of specialized experience demonstrating knowledge of civilian aircraft design, manufacture and maintenance operations or civilian aircraft operational requirements, practices and procedures. This experience may include work as a pilot for scheduled air carrier, A&P Mechanic or certified flight instructor. Possession of a valid commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating. Possession of a current first or second class Airman's Medical Certificate.

Requirements of higher level positions may include experience as an entry level or broad knowledge of aviation accident investigations, practices, procedures, and techniques. Specialized experience may also include that of a flight safety officer, flight operations supervisor, aircraft maintenance supervisor, designated pilot examiner, flight instruction supervisor, or flight test pilot. Typically accident investigators must have a high school diploma as well as specialized training in their area of transportation. A college degree is not always required however, most accident investigators possess a vocational or community college diploma. Military experience, degrees in engineering, and law, and military accident investigation schools are helpful.

Your skill-set should include strong written and communication skills, inquisitive, ability to empathize and know your audience, analyze and write because you have to get it all down on paper. factual data collection, and public speaking is a plus.

Qualification requirements at the NTSB include: Accident investigators need to be in good physical shape to meet the requirements of the job. Must have excellent organizational and technical writing skills, and ability to effectively speak and write English. The information taken from the accident scene must be assembled and or organized into logical factual and analytical reports. You must also be able to make effective oral presentations about your findings upon request. A valid state driver's license and have the ability to qualify for a US Government issued travel charge card. Aviation related engineering, medical and/or operational experience is required for a variety of professional positions with this safety related organization.

Education

Typically accident investigators must have a high school diploma as well as specialized training in their area of transportation. A college degree is not always required however, most accident investigators possess a vocational or community college diploma.

Marital Status

Married and unmarried men and women, with or without children are eligible. Persons who are widowed or divorced, also are eligible.

It is the policy of most aviation companies to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Most aviation companies are strongly committed to this policy, and believe in the concept and spirit of the United States law.

Most aviation companies are committed to assuring that:

All recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, and other employment related programs are provided fairly to all persons on an equal opportunity basis without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law;

Employment decisions are based on the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action;

All personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, training, and participation in social and recreational programs are administered without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law, and;

Employees and applicants will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have exercised any right protected by law.

Most aviation companies believe in and practice equal opportunity and affirmative action. All employees are responsible for supporting the concept of equal opportunity and affirmative action and assisting the company in meeting its objectives.

Most aviation companies maintain Affirmative Action Plans for minorities, women, disabled persons and veterans.

EEOC has jurisdiction of the prohibitions against employment discrimination codified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) enforce the prohibitions against federal employment discrimination codified in the CSRA. The OSC will defer those bases of discrimination under EEOC's jurisdiction to the respective federal agency and its EEO process. The CSRA also prohibits employment discrimination in the federal government based on marital status, political affiliation and conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee, none of which are within EEOC's jurisdiction. Moreover, the law defines ten other prohibited personnel practices in the federal government, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the OSC and the MSPB. See Prohibited Personnel Practices at http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm.

Additional information may also be found on the the EEOC web site located at http://www.eeoc.gov/

Wages and Benefits

Most Federal Civil Service employees in the aviation field are covered by the General Schedule and their salaries vary according to their grade level (GS-1 through GS-18). Within each of the grades provided in the General Schedule, provision is made for periodic pay increases based on an acceptable level of performance. With an acceptable level of competence, the waiting period of advancement to steps two, three and four is one year, steps five, six and seven is two years, steps eight, nine and ten is three years. Trainees are paid while learning their jobs.Salary and experience rankings resemble those of the Department of Transportation.

Salaries generally start out around $21,000-$29,600 per year. According to the NTSB, salaries top out at approximately 102,000.

Salaries and benefits can vary. For an updated look at salaries in the aviation industry, view the Avjobs.com Salary Report.

Where the jobs are and who hires

If you're considering work as an accident investigator, you will be employed by a Federal agency such as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or by insurance companies. Within the FAA, the Office of Accident Investigation (AAI) is the principal organization which investigates aviation accidents. There are many job opportunities within the FAA's accident investigative teams. While the NTSB has jurisdiction, the FAA participates in the NTSB's investigation to learn what prevention actions is should initiate to prevent a recurrence of similar accidents. They have a common objective of promoting safety in aviation and preventing aircraft accidents. The NTSB is mandated by Congress and investigates aviation accidents.

Whether your changing jobs or changing careers, you have come to the right place.  At Avjobs.com, We help People Get Jobs!  Avjobs.com is the number one resource for job seekers who are looking for a career in the aviation and aerospace industry.  Along with our fresh list of current industry openings, we provide the tools and resources to perform a successful job search and give you an advantage over your competition.  In today's job market, that's more important than ever.

Avjobs.com does the legwork for you!
Know who is hiring and where
Easily create a resume with our Resume Builder
Receive quality, maximum exposure among industry employers
Review interview tips & questions
Create your own target market campaign using AVSearch
Actively search our fresh list of job openings
Market yourself to 6500+ employers
Maximized your hiring potential using the Career Guide
Review our Aviation Glossary, Acronyms & Alphabet, and list Airport Codes
Read industry news & updates
Apply quickly with our One Click Application service
Become the featured Resume of the Week

These tools are essential to your job search strategy.  Maximize your career options and stay on top of your job search with Avjobs.com.

Click here to get started!

Outlook for the Future

Through 2012, the BLS expects slower than average growth in this and related fields.

Training

Some universities, such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, offer co-op programs, which are a good way to get your foot in the door with the NTSB.

To locate educational facilities with programs related to this position, search Avjobs Aviation School Directory. The Avjobs Aviation School Directory makes researching and finding an aviation college, university, flight school or professional training facility simple.

Miscellaneous

Additional resources you may find helpful include:

Federal Aviation Administration 800 Independence Ave. S.W. Washington, DC 20591

National Transportation Safety Board 490 L'Enfant Plaza S.W. Washington, DC 20594

Aviation International News 214 Franklin Ave. Midland Park, NJ 07432

Many other Federal agencies play important roles in aviation. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for example, is responsible for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Numerous Federal departments, bureaus, and agencies operate aircraft to carry on their work more effectively. For example, the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior uses airplanes to conduct wildlife censuses; the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service uses aircraft to check on aerial forest-spraying contracted to commercial operators or to oversee forest fire fighting procedures; the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice utilizes aircraft to detect people entering the United States illegally.

Many other federal government departments, bureaus and agencies operate aircraft to carry on their work more effectively. For example, the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior uses airplanes to make wildlife census; the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service uses aircraft to check on aerial forest spraying contracted to commercial operators or to oversee forest fire-fighting procedures; the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice uses aircraft to detect people entering the U.S. illegally; and the U.S. Coast Guard operates aircraft for search and rescue purposes. Although pilot and mechanic jobs within these agencies are comparatively few in number, they are mentioned to complete the full picture of aviation career opportunities within the Federal Civil Service.

Pilots for these federal government agencies fly air-craft to transport office staff members and supplies, perform aerial surveys, make wildlife census, etc. as required by their particular government office. They fly in single or multi-engine aircraft during day or night, as required, and over all kinds of terrain in all kinds of flyable weather.

The jobs are based throughout the country wherever the department operations require. Pilots must have from 1,200 to 2,500 flying hours experience, including extended cross-country flights over land and/or water during which they perform their own navigating. They must be able to pass a First Class or a Second Class FAA physical examination every six or twelve months, respectively. The annual salary ranges from GS-9 to GS-12, depending upon experience and educational background.

Get Job Updates (it's free) Get Job Updates (it's free)

Enter your email to get FREE job updates.

Aviation Jobs - Apply Online TodayAviation Jobs - Apply Online Today!

Chief Pilot/Pilot/Co-Pilot Job Vacancies
Part 91 Operations, MD-87 Aircraft Apply & Join our Team Today!

Executive Jet Charter Trainee Text Jobs
Long Island Residents Please Apply! Now Hiring!

Yoh Aviation is Now Hiring!
Aircraft Structural Mechanics/Assemblers Hourly Rate+Per Diem+Travel Allowance

G200 Captain, Bedford MA
Be G200 type rated-3000 TT & 1500 Multi Must reside within 1.5 Hours of Bedford

Aircraft Sheet Metal Mechanic, Dothan AL
Perform Maintenance & Heavy Checks Small Company - Big Capabilities

Aircraft Sales Person, Tracy CA
Now Hiring! Apply Now! Knowledge of Turbo Props and Small Jets

Aircraft Mechanic, Holland MI
Tulip City Air Service, Holland MI Great Benefits - Apply Today

General Manager, Kansas City MO
Exciting Management Opportunity Full Benefits! Apply Today!

Aircraft Maintenance Tech, Ft Lauderdale
We're Hiring-We'd love to hear from you! 5 yrs corporate aircraft exp-A&P License

Aircraft Conservator, Owls Head ME
Oversee & maintain museum’s aircraft IA License, comm pilot, class II medical

Advertise hereAdvertise here

Related Federal Government Careers

Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) Career OverviewAirport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)
Air Route Traffic Control Center Career OverviewAir Route Traffic Control Center
Flight Service Station Career OverviewFlight Service Station
GS-5/15 Career OverviewGS-5/15
Operations Career OverviewOperations
Airworthiness Career OverviewAirworthiness
Manufacturing Career OverviewManufacturing
Federal Aviation Career OverviewFederal Aviation
Airspace System Inspection 2 Career OverviewAirspace System Inspection 2
Federal Aviation Engineering Career OverviewFederal Aviation Engineering
FAA Engineering Aid or Technician Career OverviewFAA Engineering Aid or Technician
Maintenance and Mechanic Career OverviewMaintenance and Mechanic
Civil Aeronautics Board Career OverviewCivil Aeronautics Board
Aircraft Accident Investigator Career OverviewAircraft Accident Investigator
Meteorologist and Meteorological Technician Career OverviewMeteorologist and Meteorological Technician
Airspace System Inspection Career OverviewAirspace System Inspection
FAA Flight Test Pilot Career OverviewFAA Flight Test Pilot
Military Aviation Career OverviewMilitary Aviation
Civilian Aviation Career OverviewCivilian Aviation

Preferences

Aviation Career Guide

Learn more

Get Hired FASTER!

Take Charge of Your Career Today! Avjobs Applicant Discount Programs.
Register for an applicant subscription, send in your documentation and receive up to twelve (12) months of free service on us! See or discount programs and 6 month guarantee.

Recent Blog Posts

2014 Oct 16  

20 things that aviation employers consider

2014 Oct 01  

Aviation & Aerospace Jobs Available

2014 Aug 07  

Aviation Mnemonics

2014 Jul 29  

How Employers Notify Applicants About Interviews

2014 Jul 17  

Air Serv Prepares for Boarding

2014 Jul 15  

Join Us for Pub Night- This Friday!

2014 Jul 07  

Aviation Career Guide

2014 Jun 16  

How to Edit Your Resume and Increase Your Odds of Getting Hired

2014 Jun 06  

Captains and First Officers Needed Immediately

2014 Apr 30  

New Editing Tool Makes Updating Your Resume Even Easier

View all

  • Aviation Jobs BlogAviation Jobs, Career Overviews, Job Search Aviation & Aerospace Jobs Available If you're looking to find a job in aviation or just looking for a career change and want to join this dynamic industry, you've come to the right place! The aviation industry offers a variety of occupations and opportunities available including careers with airlines...
  • Aviation Jobs BlogCareer Overviews Aviation Career Guide This Comprehensive (8.5 x 11 - 167 pg.) Guide Includes: Career Types Education Requirements Who Employs Complete Job Descriptions Job Outlook Salary and Benefit Information Tips on writing Dynamic Resumes and Cover Letters and Interview Techniques that get you...
  • Aviation Jobs BlogCareer Overviews Aviation Opportunities Aviation Career Overviews Aviation offers many varied exciting and rewarding opportunities. Entry level positions with an airline, cover a wide variety of operations and duties. Most of these positions involve extensive customer service contact requiring strong...
  • Aviation JobPost your Resume on Avjobs.com Post your Resume on Avjobs.com Post your resume on Avjobs.com and let employers find you. Write an Aviation Specific Resume Online! In today's competitive aviation job market, a well-written...
  • Aviation JobManagement Mro Production Manager Mro Production Manager Hayden, ID Our Growing, Premiere, Third-Party Maintenance Mro Is Looking For An Experienced Aircraft Maintenance Professional...
  • Aviation JobAirport Fixed Based Operations General Manager Fixed Based Operations General Manager Los Angeles, CA New Owner Is Looking For An Experienced P and l Manager To Oversee A Fixed Based Operation...
  • Aviation JobAp Mechanic A & P Line Mechanic A & P Line Mechanic Oahu, HI $$$$$$ Sign-On Bonus $$$$$$ Primary Job Function A and p Line Mechanics Maintain Company Aircraft In Accordance...

Aircraft Accident Investigator Career Overview

Aircraft Accident Investigator Career Overview

Aircraft Accident Investigator Career Overview

Aircraft Accident Investigator Career Overview

Follow Us
Share
Permalink to this pagePermalink to this page

Site Map | | RSS Feeds | | | Contact Us

® Avjobs, Inc. © Copyright 1988-2014 - All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Sales and Refunds | Privacy Policy | Security Statement


  Push 2 Check