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Helping you find a career as an Aerospace engineer

An aerospace engineer is an expert in robotics, aerodynamics, thermodynamics and mechanics who contribute to the research, creation and production of:

  • Helicopters

  • Rockets

  • Military and commercial aircraft

  • Space exploration craft

Aerospace engineers also develop, maintain and test the performance of aircrafts, satellites, weapons systems and missiles.

What does an Aerospace engineer do?
Due to the specialised nature of the industry, daily duties of an aerospace engineer can vary. However, a typical day will include:

  • Conducting research on production materials used for constructing aircrafts

  • Analysing the structural integrity of an aircraft

  • Coordinating flight tests

  • Supervising the construction of airframes and the installation of engines, instruments and other equipment

  • Programming

  • Constructing reports

  • Contributing to the design of computer systems

  • Monitoring performance

  • Maintaining aircrafts for full operation including making regular inspections, maintenance, repairs and servicing

  • Interpreting data

  • Designing guidance systems for missiles

  • Investigating aircraft accidents

  • Designing control panels for fighter jets

  • Maintenance of vehicles

  • Testing
What skills and interests should an Aerospace engineer have?
  • Computing

  • Mathematics

  • Creative flair to contribute to the development of designs

  • Analytical skills

  • A methodical approach to work

  • Team work

  • A passion for aviation, aircraft and flight technology

  • Strong ability to work to deadlines

  • Be self-motivated

  • Knowledge of aerospace systems and manufacturing

  • Problem solving
What hours does an Aerospace engineer typically do?
Typically aerospace engineers are required to work 9am–5pm. However, extra hours may be required to complete projects to tight deadlines, attend to urgent repairs or an emergency investigation.
What environment is an Aerospace engineer based in?
Aerospace engineers can work in offices, aeronautical labs and factory production sites.
How much does an Aerospace engineer travel?
Travel to other industry organisations to undertake testing on aircrafts may be required. You would also need to be on site at an aircraft accident, if that ever happened.
How much does an Aerospace engineer get paid?
An aerospace engineer intern can earn between £17,000 and £19,000 per annum.

Starting salaries are between £22,000 and £28,000, rising to between £28,000 and £40,000 with experience. Those with a master’s degree or a research qualification can expect a starting salary at the upper end of these scales.

Senior engineers can expect a salary of £45,000-£60,000+.
Perks & benefits
Aerospace engineers are some of the first people in the world who get to work with new, innovative technologies that are used on satellites and aircrafts.
What qualifications does an Aerospace engineer need?
A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering is required, and a master’s degree is usually required for work within engineering and research.

Experienced Aerospace Engineers may also have a Professional Engineer (PE) license.
Useful subjects to study at school & university
Computer Engineering
Physics/applied Physics
Production/Manufacturing Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Further reading

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