How To Become An Aerospace Engineer

Filed in Articles by on 29th January 2022

Before someone can choose a career route in life, they must first gain a general understanding of what it includes. Aerospace Engineering is a discipline of architecture found in the engineering business. An Aerospace Engineer is a person who creates and tests aircraft and spaceship prototypes. They may also assess the work of other engineers to ensure that it adheres to ethical, safety, and environmental guidelines. And in this article, we will be discussing tips on how to become an Aerospace Engineer and job opportunities in the field of Aerospace engineering.

The position requires a high level of attention to detail and strong numeracy and IT skills. Aerospace engineers typically do the following:

1. Designing:

The engineers who work in this field direct and coordinate the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft and aerospace products. Marketable and service planes and choppers, as well as a remotely piloted airliner and satellites, are all possible specializations.

2. Evaluation:

Aerospace engineers evaluate designs to see that the products meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental regulations. This involves the ability to determine if the proposed projects will result in safe operations that meet the defined goals. Aerospace Engineers frequently supervise the construction process as well, ensuring that all deadlines are reached. An engineer in this field needs to assess proposals for projects to determine if they are technically and financially feasible.

3. Development:

New technology for aviation, defense systems, and spacecraft could be developed by aerospace engineers. They specialize in aerodynamic fluid flow, structural design, guidance, navigation, control, instrumentation, communication, robotics, propulsion, and combustion. They are responsible for developing acceptance criteria for design methods, quality standards, support after delivery, and completion dates while ensuring that projects meet quality averages.

4. Study:

They are involved with studying the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction materials. Aerospace engineers frequently specialize in one or more of the following disciplines: aerodynamics, thermodynamics, materials, celestial mechanics, flight mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, and guidance and control systems. A typical subspecialty for them is usually in one of these two types of engineering: aeronautical or astronautical. Whichever field they may specialize in, inspecting malfunctioning or damaged products to identify sources of problems and possible solutions is a necessary skill set.

5. Operation:

Typically an Aerospace Engineer specializes on either aeronautical or astronautical design, which will determine whether they work with aircraft or spacecraft. Astronautical engineers work with the science and technology of spacecraft and how they perform inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere. This includes work on CubeSats and other small satellites, as well as standard big satellites. When developing airplanes and spacecraft, aeronautical and astronautical engineers must deal with a variety of environmental and operational difficulties.

The two professions, however, have a lot of overlap because they both rely on fundamental physics concepts. Because the provisions of different programs fluctuate, the popularity of various fields varies from center to center. Examining different human spaceflight experiences, data suggest that there are few aeronautical engineers and almost no astronautical engineers. Now that we understand what aerospace engineering is all about, the next question that comes to mind is this:

 

What Does It Take To Become An Aerospace Engineer?

1. Education:

As the first step in most engineering fields, one must first be interested in aviation and science before the need to consider pursuing a B.Tech can arise. When such a person is clear about their interest, they can head to a Master’s in a specialization. This is because an aerospace engineer works in a variety of sectors, including research, testing, and production, as well as maintenance. Overseeing and controlling these processes may be required after having more experience in the field. During the design and construction process, aerospace engineers frequently interact with other engineers or construction specialists. Several ways have been explored to get into this role. You can apply for this position by:

  • A university-level program
  • Taking a college course
  • Apprenticeships are a great way to learn new skills.
  • Getting ready for this role
  • Directly Applying

You can also do a foundation degree, higher national diploma, or degree in aerospace engineering, avionics, or a related subject like:

  1. Electrical or electronic engineering
  2. Mechanical engineering
  3. Manufacturing or product engineering
  4.  Physics or applied physics
  5. Software engineering or mathematics

For entry requirements, you’ll usually need:

  • At least, 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma.
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths.

2. Skillset:

In the actual world, a bachelor’s degree in engineering isn’t really valuable, but the skills are. You are hired by aerospace/space companies because you have proved your capacity to solve problems and acquire technical information. You’re not afraid of numbers, and you think of things in terms of systems. As a necessity, an aspirant must first be a person who is passionate about technical expertise and concerned about safety.

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, creativity and the ability to consider other points of view, average communication skills, speed and precision, a sense of responsibility, and the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines are all required of such a person. Some individuals set out to the university as aerospace engineers in a program that is largely aeronautical in emphasis.

In the long or short run, they can decide to change to engineering physics, as it occurs in most cases. The useful skills they discovered don’t change in that shift. Possible changes may involve taking fewer aerodynamics classes and more electrical engineering classes. Funny enough, when it is time for a design project, a person who decides to build an ultralight aircraft may change to an orbiter and probe for the planet Neptune.

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2. Course Consideration

Some jobs require a high level of specialization, thus having specific courses in your toolkit might be beneficial and even necessary. For example, if you apply for a job as a rocket engineer in a space corporation, having the extra semester or two of aerodynamics that the aeronautical emphasis provides will be helpful. As a result, you must pick which specific career interests you the most, and then research job postings to see what skills they claim they require for that position. Strong mathematics and mechanics expertise will be used as a bonus.

3. Appretenship

You could do an engineering higher or degree apprenticeship. Applicable internships for functioning in the aerospace industry include:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Electromechanical engineer
  • Materials science technologist
  • Materials process engineer
  • Power and propulsion gas turbine engineer

You’d combine on-the-job training with academic study at an accredited university. For entry requirements, you’ll usually be at least 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. You may be able to join a company as an engineering technician and do training on the job to qualify as an engineer.

4. Direct Application

You can apply for jobs directly if you’ve got qualifications and experience, for example from working in mechanical, electrical or electronics engineering.

 

Salary For Aerospace Engineers

There are lots of questions surrounding the salary packages of an Aerospace Engineer. It might interest you to know that in 2020, this category of professionals held about 61,400 jobs. The largest employers of aerospace engineers were aerospace product and parts manufacturing with an estimate of 33%. Other divisions like engineering services covered 18%, Federal government, excluding postal service—17%, Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing regulated 9% while research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences oversaw 8%.

Salaries for these sets of people vary in different parts of the world. But since Europe and the USA are the two biggest markets, we’ll take our analysis from rough statistics for these two. Engineers receive a basic salary of $118,610 yearly. The lowest 10% make around $72,770 yearly, while the highest 10% earned an average of $171,220. Managerial positions often result in a higher pay grade. If you hold a Master’s degree and work in a respectable company in Europe, your beginning income will be around 35k-45k Euros per year.

If you work in research, you may expect to earn roughly 25–35 thousand Euros per year. In the USA, salaries are more dependent on your skill set and how well you negotiate during your interview. For a Ph.D. student, you can earn an average of between 18k to 30k USD annually, depending on the specialty or discipline. Typical working hours a week could be between 37 – 40, and it is possible to work evenings or weekends occasionally.

Aerospace engineers work for aerospace components manufacturers the majority of the time, with a lesser fraction working for private research centers and engineering organizations. They earn a high salary per month so that Aerospace engineers can live a luxurious lifestyle. In India, Aerospace Engineering job salary varies from organization candidate working.

  • Engineering Salary for the freshers’ candidate ranges from INR 15,000 to 20,000 per month based on the skill set of the candidate.
  • Within a span of 3 to 4 years, and Aerospace Engineer earns INR 30,000 per month.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) average Aerospace Engineering salary per month scale is above INR 40,000.
  • National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL)’s basic average Aerospace Engineering salary per month is above INR 30,000.
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) average basic Aerospace Engineering job salary per month ranges from 46,000 to 76,000.
  • The monthly wage for Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) employees in India ranges from INR 39,000 to 67,000 depending on the grade.

Salary can be received in a variety of other industries where planes are built, developed, and manufactured. There are many occupations in this sector, but the skill set must be compatible. Aside from securing the job, it usually comes down to where you are, how many years of experience you have, and how well you use your skillset. If an aerospace engineer has management and people skills, the ability to perform project management and control budgets becomes huge leverage for him.

 

Job Opportunities For Aerospace Engineers:

Aerospace engineers work full-time on regular schedules. However, managing larger projects can require overtime hours, especially if the project is a major engineering or design project. Getting a job in this field, a basic requirement is a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. High school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take courses in chemistry, physics, advanced math, computer programming, and computer languages.

Because current aircraft design necessitates the use of sophisticated computer equipment and software design tools, modeling, and simulations for tests, assessment, and training, aerospace engineers now spend more time in an office environment than in the past. Some fields of Study for Aerospace technology positions to look out for in this space might include:

  • Aerospace engineering technician.
  •  Astronomer
  • Airline pilot
  • Electrical engineer
  • Air accident investigator.
  • Astrophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ceramic Engineering
  • Ceramics
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Earth and Planetary Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Mathematics, Applied or Pure
  • Mechanics, Applied or Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Metallurgy
  • Meteorology
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering Physics
  • Oceanography
  • Optical Engineering
  • Physics, Applied or Engineering
  • Space Science
  • Structural Engineering
  • Welding Engineering
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However, before considering a job in this field, it is necessary to run the following assessment:

  1.  Find out what skills you’ll use in any above-mentioned roles or what you’ll do.
  2. Unearth the day-to-day tasks you’ll do in this role.
  3. Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.
  4. Survey existing vacancies.
  5. Locate internships, courses, and employment accessible near you.
  6. Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

If it’s your dream to work with NASA, You need a good education and you need to stick out somehow. Volunteering for community programs can help, as will getting a summer internship at any of these NASA facilities while you are still in school:

  • NASA Goddard in Maryland,
  • NASA LaRC in Newport News VA.
  • The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena CA.

Any of the other installations would be relatively beneficial. One very important thing to remember is that when NASA has a position open, they send out a broad notice and accept applications from all over the world. A great suggestion would be to get a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and graduate near the top of your class. NASA has laid off a lot of people after they quit operating the space shuttle, so those people probably would be first on the list to get jobs.

NASA won’t hire an engineer if there is no requirement for one. If there is such a requirement, they will hire an available person known to them that, in their considered opinion, most closely meets the requirements. The procedure is not Rocket Science. On NASA’s website, there are particular educational requirements for becoming a NASA Engineer. Internships and other opportunities for long-term employment are also available at the agency, including those for aspiring engineers.

 

Tips on Becoming An Aerospace Engineer For NASA

Because the educational requirements are so stringent, you should supplement your undergraduate studies with disciplines relevant to the Aerospace Technology (AST) specialty for which you will be applying. On the NASA website, each AST specialty has an “Appropriate Fields of Study” category. These tips will guide you through becoming An Aerospace Engineer For NASA.

1. Research:

Learn about the different opportunities with NASA: When you think of NASA, your first thought is probably of astronauts; If going to space doesn’t appeal to you, you might still be able to find a rewarding job with NASA. The following are just a few of the professionals who work for NASA:

  • Medical doctors, nurses, and mental health care professionals.
  • Researchers, engineers, geologists, microbiologists, and physicists.
  • Writers, human resource specialists, and communications professionals.
  • Computer programmers and IT specialists.

2. Identify Your Academic Talent:

If you want to work with NASA, it’s a good idea to start thinking about what you’re strong at as soon as possible. This will help you begin to formulate an idea of the position at NASA that would be the best fit for you. If everyone in physics class wants to be your lab partner, for example, you might want to consider a future job in applied physics with NASA.

3. Identify Your Passion and Interests:

Even if you’re good at something—like math or chemistry, for example—a career at NASA will be intense, as will the course of study you’ll have to go through to qualify. You should aim to choose a career path in which you will excel as well as be passionate.

4. Be Clear About Your Course of Study:

If you want to work for NASA as an astronaut, engineer, or scientist, you should pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)-focused degree. You should also figure out as soon as possible whether your ultimate dream career with NASA will necessitate graduate school. This could have an impact on where you go to school and what subjects you study as an undergraduate. You’ll need to be dedicated to your studies and ensure that you not only earn the required grades but also that you master the topic.

5. Choose The Right School:

If you’re still in high school and are reading this, then you’re doing the right thing by planning your path to NASA early on. Take the time to research colleges and universities that have strong STEM programs, and get into the very best one that you can.

6. Research The Resumes of NASA Employees:

One of the best ways to figure out how to get where you want to go is to see how others have done it. Pay attention to where they went for their undergraduate and graduate educations, see if they mention having completed any internships or fellowships, etc.

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7. Study Broadly:

While you will almost certainly be concentrating on STEM topics, don’t overlook the humanities. Studying philosophy, history, and/or ethics, for example, could be advantageous. You’ll learn how to read and analyze complex texts, improve your problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, and consider crucial moral issues in depth. All of this will be useful in your future NASA work. Applicants for the position of aerospace engineer must be able to commit to the following:

  • Work with a holistic mindset to develop and troubleshoot all phases of hardware development, integration, implementation, analysis, and evaluations
  • Provide highly technical expertise and guidance to non-engineers in solving complex engineering problems
  • Perform modeling and prediction using statistical tools computational analyses, and creativity.
  • Develop standards and guidelines for tasks, which use the hardware in question

 

Syllabus For Aerospace Engineering

Under diploma, B.tech and M.tech, there are a series of academic patterns that have been put in place to help the aspirants in their career path.

1. Syllabus For Diploma in Aerospace Engineering

  • Aircraft instrumentation system
  • CAR (civil aviation regulation)
  • Aircraft maintenance and practice
  • Aircraft system
  • Aircraft structure
  • Avionics and aircraft radio system
  • Aircraft structures servicing lab
  • Maintenance management
  • C- Programming lab
  • Avionics lab
  • Aircraft system servicing lab
  • Project work (working model)
  • Aircraft electrical system
  • Aircraft instrument system lab
  • Aircraft materials
  • Applied mathematics
  • Applied science
  • Basic aerodynamics
  • Basic computer skills lab
  • Basic electrical and electronic engineering
  • Basic electrical and electronic engineering labs
  • Basic workshop practicals
  • Computer-aided engineering graphics
  • Engineering graphics (conventional)
  • English communication
  • Fluid mech and pneumatics lab
  • Industrial visit
  • ISAP lab
  • Jet engine lab
  • Jet engine theory
  • Materials testing (NDT) process lab
  • Organizational management
  • Piston engine lab
  • Piston engine theory
  • Fluid mech and pneumatics aircraft inspection and documentation

2. Syllabus For B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering

  • Semester 1
  • Engineering Mathematics I
  • Engineering Physics
  • Engineering Chemistry and Environmental Studies
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering Graphics
  • Basic Civil Engineering
  • Basic Mechanical Engineering
  • Basic Electrical Engineering
  • Basic Electronics Engineering & Information Technology
  • Mechanical Workshop
  • Electrical and Civil Workshop

Semester 2

  • Engineering Mathematics II
  • Economics and Communication Skills
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Basic Thermodynamics
  • Elements of Aeronautics
  • Basic Strength of Materials
  • Basic Strength of Materials Lab
  • Fluid Mechanics Lab

Semester 3

  • Engineering Mathematics II
  • Economics and Communication Skills
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Basic Thermodynamics
  • Elements of Aeronautics
  • Basic Strength of Materials
  • Basic Strength of Materials Lab
  • Fluid Mechanics Lab

Semester 4

  • Engineering Mathematics III
  • Gas Dynamics
  • Propulsion I
  • Aerodynamics I
  • Aircraft Structure I
  • Electrical Technology and Machines
  • Structures Lab
  • Propulsion Lab

Semester 5

  • Engineering Mathematics IV
  • Principle of Management
  • Computer of Programming
  • Flight Dynamics I
  • Aerodynamics II
  • Propulsion II
  • Wind Tunnel Lab
  • Propulsion Lab II

Semester 6

  • Avionics
  • Experimental Aerodynamics
  • Aircraft Structure II
  • Heat Transfer
  • Theory of Vibration
  • Elective I
  • Heat Engines Lab
  • Aero Engines lab

Semester 7

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Experimental Stress Analysis
  • Aircraft Design
  • Flight Dynamics II
  • Aircraft System and Instrumentation
  • Elective II
  • Experimental Stress Analysis Lab
  • Vibration Lab
  • Seminar
  • Project

Semester 8

  • Rocket Missiles
  • Introduction to space technology
  • Air Transportation and Aircraft maintenance
  • Elective III
  • Elective IV
  • Aerodynamics Lab
  • Project
  • Viva Voce

3. Syllabus For M.Tech in Aerospace Engineering

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Space Technology
  • Engineering Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics++
  • Elements of Gas Dynamics & Propulsion++
  • Airplane and Aerospace Structures++
  • Laboratory I
  • PG Elective

Semester 2

  • Laboratory II (Str. Lab)
  • Aerodynamic Design
  • Elective I
  • Elective II
  • Elective III
  • Elective IV

Semester 3

  • Project
  • Structural Design
  • Elective V
  • Elective VI

 

Conclusion

The job demand for Aerospace Engineers is expected to increase by 8% between 2020 and 2030. Over a year, an Aerospace Engineer will be exposed to a maximum of 50 job openings. As aircraft will continue to be essential for national defense, rising awareness of environmental safety will necessitate the reorganization of programs to improve fuel efficiency. Aerospace engineers will be able to meet the obstacles that their profession entails if they have the necessary qualifications and experience.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be An Aerospace Engineer?

A basic requirement is a bachelor’s degree in engineering or related fields. An aspirant can consider pursuing a B.Tech and afterward head to a Master’s in a specialization.

What Is The Average Time It Takes To Become An Aerospace Engineer?

Studying for a B.tech in aerospace engineering can take up to 4 years consisting of 8 semesters. If you consider heading towards M.tech, it will take approximately 2 years and 4 semesters.

How Do You Go About Becoming An Aerospace Engineer?

  • You should aim to choose a career path in which you will excel as well as be passionate.
  • You’ll need to be dedicated to your studies and ensure that you not only earn the required grades but also that you master the topics.
  • Make necessary surveys about existing vacancies.
  • Locate internships, courses, and employment accessible near you.

Is It Hard To Become An Aerospace Engineer?

With passion, patience, and consistent conscious efforts, anything including becoming an aerospace engineer can be attained.

How Much Does An Aerospace Engineer Earn As A Salary?

Aside from securing the job, it usually comes down to where you are, how many years of experience you have, and how well you use your skillset. Engineers receive a basic salary of $118,610 yearly. The lowest 10% make around $72,770 yearly, while the highest 10% earned an average of $171,220.

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