How to become an air accident investigator
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- applying directly
You'll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification in engineering or a related subject. Courses include:
- aerospace engineering
- aeronautical engineering
- electrical or electronic engineering
- mechanical engineering
You may be able to do a postgraduate course in safety and accident investigation, which covers air transport.
Some investigator roles look at the part played by human factors in an incident, and a degree and postgraduate qualification in psychology would be useful for these.
As well as a university qualification, you’ll need several years’ experience of working in aircraft engineering.
A pilot’s licence may also be required for some jobs, like an air accident operations inspector.
You'll usually need:
- 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You can apply directly to become an air accident investigator.
If you want to work as an operations inspector, managing an accident response team, you’ll need a pilot’s licence and flying experience.
To be an engineering investigator or flight data recorder inspector, you’ll need a relevant degree or postgraduate qualification and several years’ recent experience in aerospace engineering.
You can also take short courses in accident investigation techniques, which may help broaden your knowledge of the role and skills required.
You can find out more about how to become an investigator from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.