Being an aviation inspector can be a difficult career and requires an understanding of the mechanical aspects of an aircraft, as well as the internal electronics and the composite material from which the structure is likely made. With the lives of so many people in their hands, being an aviation inspector is a highly stressful job and although much of their experience is gained in a vocational setting, certification is also required from the respective aviation authority. A 2 or 4 year degree as an aircraft mechanic and further instruction at an FAA approved school is usually necessary.
While in high school, an aspiring safety inspector's field of study could include physics, computer science, algebra, geometry, algebra II, electronics, and mechanical drawing. These are helpful because they increase knowledge of some of the principles necessary to make aircraft repairs. Although he or she may become an aircraft mechanic through on the job training, most obtain a 2 or 4 year degree as an aircraft mechanic and government certification. Then, they attend one of the 170 FAA approved institutions where they engage in 1900 class hours within 18 - 24 months. There, they learn how to use the equipment and tools necessary for the job.
Occasionally, a degree in a field such as engineering can be substituted for the experience. Until they receive their FAA certificates, these prospective inspectors must be supervised by certified mechanics. It is recommended that an aspiring aviation inspector have five or more years of aircraft maintenance experience to qualify for the position. With continual advances in technology, they must periodically update their knowledge and skills to meet the current demands.