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The aeronautical or aerospace industry is one of the largest industries in the UK. Not only do those in the industry design aircrafts, they also make stuff for use in space. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the one sending cars into space!
The aeronautical industry designs products for use by private and military clients. Consequently, the industry offers a lot of different challenges and are always looking for young people with fresh approaches. Roles include piloting, engineering and sales, so there’s a lot of opportunity in aeronautics.
Generally, the aeronautical industry requires individuals with strong degrees in aerospace or aeronautical engineering. Additionally, much of the work will involve computer modelling rather than hands-on aircraft building. Pilots in the aeronautical industry tend to be trained as astronauts, so require a stronger knowledge of physics and maths than a typical pilot might. They may require 1000 or more hours of flight experience or a PhD in a scientific field.
All this extra training, however, sees that you will receive a large salary. An average aeronautical engineer will earn £32,000 a year, while an astronaut will earn anywhere between £40,000 - £80,000 a year.
Various companies offer work experience in the industry that can help you decide if a career in aeronautics is right for you. The nature of this work experience will depend on the specific area of aeronautics you’re interested in. Companies like Rolls-Royce offer work placements for school leavers and graduates.
A key component of aeronautics is military and weapon production, so the industry is hugely sensitive to shifts in global politics. Much of the work can be quite dangerous due to the involvement of volatile substances and chemicals.