Are you the type of person that is very responsible and pays attention to even the smallest details as you work?
Then you may be a perfect fit to take up a career as a Navy Parachute Rigger.
Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman are tasked with maintaining parachutes and other survival gear that are essential for the safety of the Navy personnel that count on them.
Here are some of the duties that are required of a Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman:
- Inspect, maintain and repair survival equipment, flight gear, and high-altitude protective clothing (such as anti-gravity suits)
- Operate, adjust, maintain and repair heavy capacity sewing machines
- Repair, pack and rig several different styles of parachutes
- Troubleshoot, repair, and test oxygen systems, oxygen regulators and liquid oxygen converters that have been removed from aircraft.
- Operate and maintain carbon dioxide transfer and recharge equipment
- Equip and pack lifesaving rafts
- Be able to manufacture various types of fabric work and webbing assemblies that will be used to repair all different types of survival equipment
- Supervise the operation of and maintain parachute lofts and other survival equipment work centers
- Conduct scheduled and random inspections of survival equipment
Being a Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman is a demanding job that requires extreme precision but it can also be rewarding and fun at the same time.
Related Article – Navy Operations Specialist (OS): Career Details
Check out these YouTube videos if you want a little more detail about what an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman does:
Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Requirements and Qualifications
Here is what it takes to qualify to start training to become an enlisted Aircrew Survival Equipmentman in the US Navy.
- High School Diploma
- Minimum combined ASVAB Score of 185 on Verbal Expression, Auto and Shop Information, Arithmetic Reasoning and Math Knowledge.
- Minimum combined ASVAB Score of 140 on Auto and Shop Information, Assembling Objects, and Math Knowledge.
- Be between the ages of 17 and 34 unless in possession of a waiver
- Not required to be a United States Citizen
- Normal color perception is required
- Possess good manual dexterity skills
- Successful completion of 8 weeks of Navy Basic Recruit Training held at Great Lakes Naval Training Center which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, close to Chicago. (Not required of those with prior military experience or training)
- Depending on their duty assignment, may be required to complete a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) that will allow that enlisted person to obtain a Secret level or higher security clearance
Training and Career Path to Become an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman
Here are the training requirements that must be completed before any Seaman can be considered a competent Aircrew Survival Equipmentman.
Navy Technical Training Information
The Class “A” Technical School for Aircrew Survival Equipmentman training takes place at the Navy Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida.
This course lasts slightly longer than 3 months.
During this period a Seaman is taught the fundamentals of what it takes to perform his or her duties as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman.
On the Job Training
At their first duty assignment, a Seaman recruit can expect to go through an extensive on the job training regimen.
The length of this training period will depend on how quickly a Seaman shows proficiency at handling the basic duties that are required of an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman.
How Much Are Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Paid?
Aircrew Survival Equipmentman pay is based on an enlisted member’s current rank and the amount of time they have spent in the military.
An Aircrew Survival Equipmentman that has no prior military experience will start out at the pay grade of Seaman Recruit (E-1).
Those that have job applicable skills or schooling may start out with the initial rank of Seaman Apprentice (E-2) or Seaman (E-3).
Here is the current pay table for Navy enlisted based on rank and time in service:
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2019 Pay (monthly)|
|E-4||Petty Officer Third Class||PO3||$2,195|
|E-5||Petty Officer Second Class||PO2||$2,394|
|E-6||Petty Officer First Class||PO1||$2,613|
|E-7||Chief Petty Officer||CPO||$3,021|
|E-8||Senior Chief Petty Officer||SCPO||$4,345|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer||MCPO||$5,308|
|E-9||Command Master Chief Petty Officer||CMDCM||$5,429|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Navy||MCPON||$5,580|
Advancement through the Seamen ranks (E-1 to E-3) is done simply by time in grade.
To become a non-commissioned officer in the Navy (E-4 and above), a Seaman will need to achieve a good test score that is combined with their current time in grade to advance to the next rank.
Miscellaneous Pay, Allowances, and Incentives
Here are some other pay additions that may be given due to a Seaman’s current location or specific job assignment.
- Housing allowance for those that live off base (BAH)
- Subsistence allowance (Food – BAS)
- Temporary duty pay
- Hazardous duty pay
- Sea duty pay (Separation pay)
- 100% paid healthcare
- Tuition reimbursement
Related Article: BAH Calculator (and 6 Common Questions About BAH)
What’s Life Like as a Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman?
There is a wide variety of working environments that an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman may be asked to perform their assigned tasks in.
This can be assigned to a ship, a naval air station or attached to a specific Navy air squadron.
With each type of assignment come somewhat different lifestyles.
Those assigned to ships or navy air squadrons will be gone from home for long periods of time and this may make it difficult for those Aircrew Survival Equipmentman that have Families.
For those that want to see the world, this is a great navy career to choose.
An Aircrew Survival Equipmentman can expect to spend at least half of their time on active duty assigned to shipboard duty or assigned to a Navy air squadron that rotates out to sea on a regular basis.
Work settings involve everything from spacious facilities when working on a base to much smaller confines when working on a ship.
In peacetime, all Navy active-duty personnel are allowed shore leave, weekly days off, and 30 days of paid leave each year.
Here is what some enlisted members who served as a US Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman had to say about their experiences on the website Indeed.com:
Those who like to travel and did not mind some long working days at times seemed to enjoy their time spent as an Aircrew Survival Equipmentman.
Navy Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Civilian Career Opportunities
Although there are not an abundance of jobs in the civilian world that can use the skills of an Ex-Navy Survival Equipmentman, there certainly are some decent paying civilian alternatives that come with this type of Navy training.
Here are some examples of civilian companies that hire Ex-Navy Survival Equipmentman:
- Complete Parachute Solutions, Inc. – Coolidge, AZ
- TRAX International – Dyess AFB, TX
- PAE Government Services Inc. – Fallon, NV
- TRAX Test Services – Yuma Proving Ground, AZ
- Airborne Systems – Santa Ana, CA
- Lockheed Martin Corporation – San Diego, CA
- Augustine Consulting Inc. – Fort Bragg, NC
- S&K Global Solutions – Kāne‘ohe Bay, HI
- Kay and Associates – Camp Pendleton, CA
- Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. – Niceville, FL
There is also a shortage of people that know how to pack parachutes and maintain aircraft safety equipment in the military too.
So many times these jobs are given out to civilian contractors.
Related Article: 9 Common Private Military Contractor Jobs (and 3 uncommon ones)
That means there are opportunities for Ex-Navy Survival Equipmentman to work for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Air Force Reserve in government contracting positions.
If an Ex-Navy Survival Equipmentman worked in a capacity where they were given a Secret or better security clearance, that security clearance has value and may lead to even more civilian employment opportunities.