An aircraft electrician is a professional who installs, repairs, troubleshoots, or otherwise maintains electrical systems in any variety of aircraft. He or she may work on commercial aircraft, private aircraft, or even military aircraft, though the aircraft electrician will usually need to be a member of the military in order to work on military craft. A high school diploma or an equivalent qualification will be necessary in order to become an electrician for aircraft, and in-depth job training will also be required. The electrician will need to have a basic understanding of computers and the use of various types of machinery that relate to the field of electronics.
Many types of electrical systems exist on various types of aircraft, and the aircraft electrician will need to know how to repair and maintain most, if not all, of these systems. Generally, the electrician will need to undergo training in order to understand the most basic concepts regarding electrical systems, and then more training to work on more complex systems that may be specific to certain aircraft. This training is usually offered by employers, though if the aircraft electrician works in a military setting, he or she will receive training from that branch of the military.
When an aircraft is built, the aircraft electrician will play a key role in the construction process to ensure all electrical systems work properly. Much of the wiring for electrical systems will run throughout the body of the aircraft, which means the electrician will often need to be present throughout the entire construction process. Once all components are in place, the aircraft electrician will need to test the systems, make adjustments, troubleshoot any potential problems, and ensure all electrical systems are shielded from potential damage both during the remainder of the construction process and during normal operation of the aircraft.
After the craft has been built and is in use, an aircraft electrician will be necessary in order to troubleshoot and diagnose problems that may arise within an electrical system. This may mean using diagnostic equipment and computers, and it may also mean physically modifying the aircraft to access wiring and other components. On larger aircraft, it is likely that the electrician will work as part of a team alongside other electricians to properly diagnose and repair electrical systems. Some electricians are even highly specialized, meaning they may only work on one or two components exclusively, so he or she will work with other electricians to ensure the proper operation of aircraft systems as a whole.