The FAA employs engineers in a wide range of specialty areas to design, invent and innovate technology, structures and processes, and to find practical solutions to current and future aviation needs. Below are examples of some of the engineering opportunities within the FAA.
- Aerospace engineers design aircraft, satellites and space vehicles.
- Mechanical engineers design integral aircraft systems, such as power and energy systems and aerospace products.
- Chemical engineers process raw materials to convert them into aircraft parts, fuel types used in aircraft, and flammable or explosive compounds or properties related to aircraft under pressure.
- Civil engineers design and construct runway terminals and their infrastructure, such as roads and buildings.
- Electrical engineers design electronic systems, such as electrical circuits, telecommunications, generators and motors.
- Electronics engineers work with electronic circuits, focusing on electromagnetic or acoustical wave energy for purposes such as communication, measurement and navigation.
- Software engineers design applications to make aircraft and air travel faster, more affordable and/or easier to maintain.
FAA Engineers are required to successfully complete a full four-year professional engineering curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree, or higher, in engineering at an accredited college or university. A combination of appropriate college-level education, training and/or technical experience may also be considered.
As an electronics technician with FAA, you will install and maintain electronic equipment and lighting aids for aviation navigation facilities and services to ensure a reliable, safe and smooth flow of air traffic. You'll work on service equipment throughout our airports, air traffic control towers, automated flight service stations, and air route traffic control centers – even in open fields or on remote mountain tops (some of which are 100-200 miles away, so you'll need to be able to drive there). Your responsibilities will include:
- Working with radar, communications, computers, navigational aids, airport lighting aids and electrical/mechanical support for facilities on and off airports within National Airspace System (NAS).
- Performing periodic and corrective maintenance (inspection/analysis/adjustments), troubleshooting, repair and replacement of malfunctioning equipment, and certification.
- Maintaining the electronics at FAA facilities.
- Assisting with design, development and evaluation of new electronic equipment for the NAS.
- Travel, if required, throughout a large geographic region of the country installing new electronic equipment at a wide range of facilities and remote locations.
Qualifications and Training
These positions require successful completion of two years of study above high school that include at least 12 semester hours in engineering, physical science, technology or mathematics. At least half of those hours must be in electronics courses.
One year of work experience, with at least six months specialized work experience (e.g., technician, instructor, inspector or mechanic — civilian or military).
How We Do It
Ensuring the safety and efficiency of air travel requires a workforce skilled in developing and operating the most advanced next-generation technology available.