Job Family: Mechanic and Repair Technologists and Technicians Survival Equipment Specialists
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard  | National Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile  | 
Photo 1: Specialist checks fit of survival gear. Photo 2:
Equipment men inspect survival raft.

Bryan Greene
Occupation: Survival Equipment Specialists

I came to the Army right out of high school. My father was iin the Army and I always knew that I’d join. I thought that the military would provid…

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Short Description
Military personnel often have hazardous assignments. They depend on survival equipment to protect their lives in case of emergencies. Survival equipment specialists inspect, maintain, and repair survival equipment such as parachutes, aircraft life support equipment, and air-sea rescue equipment.


What They Do
Survival equipment specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Perform maintenance/repairs/riggings for aircraft and man-mounted systems including emergency parachutes, seat survival kits, life rafts, life preservers, anti-exposure assemblies
  • Pack parachutes for safe operation
  • Repair life rafts and load them with emergency provisions
  • Operate and maintain oxygen test stands, liquid oxygen convert test stands
  • Stock aircraft with fire extinguishers, flares, and survival provisions
  • Train crews in the use of survival equipment
  • Assemble, maintain and repair protective fabric components such as clothing and upholstery
  • Operate and maintain sewing machines including adjustment and lubrication

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include shop mechanics and science. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to do work requiring accuracy and attention to detail
  • Interest in working for the safety of others

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction, including practice in working with survival equipment. Further training occurs on the job and through additional courses. Course content typically includes:
  • Parachute rigging techniques
  • Repair of inflatable rafts and other survival equipment
  • Maintenance of oxygen equipment
  • Maintenance of air-sea rescue equipment

Work Environment
Survival equipment specialists in the military work in repair shops on land or aboard ships.


Civilian Counterparts
Civilian survival equipment specialists work for commercial airlines, parachute rigging and supply companies, survival equipment manufacturing firms, and some government agencies. They perform duties similar to military survival equipment specialists. Those that specialize in parachutes are called parachute riggers.

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