The specialist in this career field is responsible for sophisticated equipment and the testing of technologically advanced systems. The Specialty Code 2P0X1 is reserved for Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL) Specialist. The PMEL does the following tasks:
- Performs and manages repair, calibration, and modification of test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment (TMDE),
- Also, precision measurement equipment laboratory (PMEL) standards and automatic test equipment.
- Supervises the process and use of TMDE to perform voltage, current, power, impedance, frequency, microwave, temperature, physical-dimensional, and optical measurements.
- The ability to weigh or measure anything is the pride of the PMEL. The devices used in the PMEL can measure equipment to the nearest 1000th of an inch. It can also measure the weight of the ink on a piece of paper.
A working piece of machinery is the difference between mission success or failure and even more important life or death for the Airmen using the machinery or equipment. There are an infinite number of things that need to work perfectly. For instance, how the metal changes under pressure or heat must be known and this is discovered in the PMEL. The PMEL is responsible for calibrating radiowave frequencies and every machine in every phase of testing and maintenance. Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory specialists ensure that every piece of equipment used by the Air Force is in precise working order.
The Following list are some of the many duties and responsibilities of the PMEL Specialist in the Air Force:
- Inspects, aligns, troubleshoots, and repairs PMEL standards, common and weapon system peculiar TMDE.
- Inspects TMDE for preventive maintenance, cleanliness, and safety requirements.
- Performs equipment maintenance using theories of operation, block diagrams, schematics, logic trees, and software diagnostics.
- Isolates malfunctions to component level.
The PMEL also is responsible for calibrating and certifying TMDE to technical data specifications ensuring traceability to Air Force Reference Standards. Some of the details of this task are listed below:
- Records and reports maintenance data; prepares technical order improvement reports, special training requests, training quality reports, and modification proposals.
- Tracks equipment warranties.
- Provides training and manages technical order distributions.
- Handles, labels, and disposes of hazardous materials and waste according to environmental standards.
The PMEL also focuses on mission essential equipment and supports the Air Force Mission in the following ways:
- Plans, organizes, and coordinates mission support requirements.
- Collects and analyzes maintenance data and performs trend analysis.
- Identifies mission essential TMDE and its impact on workload.
- Coordinates lateral support, command certification, or contract services.
- Evaluates procedures for storage, inventory, and inspection of property.
- Provides training and assistance to TMDE users.
- Maintains PMEL automated management systems (PAMS).
The PMEL also save lives. By meticulously making sure equipment works properly, the PMEL also develops and evaluates workload plans, budget, and support agreements.
- Manages PMEL quality program (QP).
- Submits reports to higher headquarters, maintains a safe working environment
- Ensures laboratory certification
Knowledge is mandatory of: electrical, mechanical, physics, optics, and thermal principles, mathematics, and number systems. Being about to understand operating principles, use, care, and repair of TMDE and laboratory standards is critical work required of the PMEL. Understanding the analysis and interpretation of technical data, including block, schematic, wiring, and logic diagrams, troubleshooting techniques, metrology program, calibration traceability, metrology techniques, and laboratory practices. Thorough computer knowledge in software,computer operations principles, as well as the use of hand tools is required. Thorough training to learn the procedures for training, supply, maintenance data collection, QP, command certification, equipment scheduling, production, and materiel control as well as facility requirements, and support equipment management is part of the job as well.
Education for entry into this specialty, completion of high school or General Education Development equivalency is mandatory. Courses in electronics, physics, trigonometry, algebra, and technical or vocational training in electronics and instrumentation are desirable.
For award of AFSC 2P031, completion of a basic PMEL course is mandatory and is six months long with advanced training to maintain qualifications throughout the career of the Airman.
The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated:
2P051: Qualification in and possession of AFSC 2P031. Also, experience in functions such as troubleshooting, repairing, modifying, aligning, calibrating, and or certifying TMDE.
2P071: Qualification in and possession of AFSC 2P051. Also, experience in laboratory supervision and planning; advanced troubleshooting, repairing, modifying, and certifying complex TMDE.
2P091: Qualification in and possession of AFSC 2P071. Also, experience in establishing training programs and requirements; planning supply, facility, and budget requirements; managing the QP; establishing support agreements; and reimbursement procedures.
It is rare you will deploy as your job is in a laboratory.
Video of the PMEL Job and Airmen who work there.
Civilian Job Marketability
With a high marketability, the PMEL that is a Military trained calibration technician will be able to find high paying work. Many people retire from the Air Force PMEL and become civilian contractors doing the same job for more money and retirement benefits.Nearly every military base has a PMEL. Typically, there is a shortage of qualified PMEL specialists and labs often are looking for trained people or will invest in them to become trained. Training the next crop of PMEL in the civilian world is high paying work.