Air Safety / Aviation Accident Investigator


An Air Safety Investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates the causes of aircraft accidents. NTSB investigators often work as a team with other government agencies and emergency personnel during the course of an investigation. An Air Safety Investigator determines the facts of a case and draws conclusions based on the evidence. When the investigation is completed, the NTSB investigator is responsible for writing detailed reports of the findings. The Air Safety Investigator often makes safety recommendations based on his or her conclusions from the investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) often acts on these recommendations and makes new or improved rules and regulations.


NTSB investigators often have to work under stressful conditions that are sometimes made worse by the circumstances of the case, especially if fatalities were involved. Air Safety Investigators have to be sensitive to the victims and their families without compromising the investigation. Because they work with other agencies and individuals, Air Safety Investigators must be able to work as a team.


Applicants must be United States citizens. Those hired usually work under a one year’s probationary period. One year’s work experience investigating aircraft accidents or incidents is required. At minimum, a valid Commercial Pilot Certificate with instrument rating, or equivalent military rating is required. A valid and current first or second class medical certificate is required, as is possession of ASEL and AMEL ratings. A minimum number of Pilot in Command flight hours is required for both single and multiengine planes, usually 1,000 and 1,500 respectively.


The NTSB will provide additional training on the job.


Schedules vary, depending on the investigation, but some travel will be required which will include overnight stays away from home.

Salary and Benefits

NTSB employees qualify for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. Life insurance is provided, as is vacation and sick leave as well as paid holidays.

$38,175.00 – $85,578.00

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