An aircrew member will perform a wide variety of pre-, in-, and post-flight duties that are meant to complete combat, search and rescue, transport or reconnaissance missions. The position consists of operating many different aircraft communications, detection equipment and weapons and defensive systems components.
- Conduct satellite linkages
- Calculate and insert passenger, cargo, fuel and special equipment weight and balance data
- Perform cargo and personnel drops during missions
- Inspect onboard equipment, aircraft weapons and defensive systems
- Execute aircraft safety and emergency protocols
- Interrupt enemy communications capabilities when necessary
- Complete repairs to internal equipment and tools before, during or after missions
- Enrol in additional training sessions throughout the year
- Participate in briefings and de-briefings related to missions
- Do your job in high-stress and volatile environments in the air or on the ground
Skills and qualities
With the US government increasing its defence spending, and other nations following suit, the job outlook for many opportunities in the armed forces looks healthy for the next decade. The military is always searching for entry-level and professional positions to refill members who climb through the ranks, leave the service or retire. Although there are plenty of jobs available for qualified individuals, you might notice a fluctuation. When the economy is doing well, it is harder for the military to meet its recruitment quotas – and vice versa.
On a rota
An aircrew member can anticipate a hectic schedule that could begin at 50 hours and climb as high as 60 or even 70 hours per week. You do maintain a full-time schedule, but your hours are usually on a rotation, which could include nights, weekends and holidays. Not all your time is spent in the air, however. A lot of duties related to the job is also completed at a desk or in a station.
The working environment could be described as busy since you are doing everything from repairing an aircraft communications system to performing in-flight inspections to ensure the plane is operating at full capacity. An aircrew member may have scheduled flights or may need to travel to another part of the country at a moment’s notice.
Annual salary estimates are based on data published on the Today's Military website.
Qualifications and training
To become an aircrew member, there is one of two things you can do; attain a military background in aviation or enrol in a university program to earn an aviation degree. Experts say a military background is preferable since you are given practical flight experience through advanced training in-flight systems. However, if you choose to attend university, then it is important to get a degree and obtain at least 250 flight hours from the topflight schools, including the United States Air Force Academy, the California Institute of Technology and the Moncton Flight College.
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022