Aerospace Engineer – Job Description

Aerospace engineers tend to work in one of three areas – testing, research and development, and maintenance and production.

Duties include developing specific avionic systems, creating more fuel-efficient parts or engines, data collection and analysis, drawing up project plans using computer software, running flight and ground tests on prototypes, writing reports and manuals and presenting findings to both managers and clients.

Some more experienced aerospace engineers diversify into air accident investigation.

A degree or BTEC HNC/HND in aeronautical or aerospace engineering, air transport engineering or avionics is the best way into a job, although employers might consider a person with a background in other engineering disciplines (such as software or mechanical), physics or mathematics.

Most entry-level engineers join a graduate training scheme and work towards a Civil Aviation Authority engineering licence.

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Other recommended resources:

Royal Aeronautical Society
A professional and learned society linking all those involved in aerospace engineering for knowledge exchange and professional and industry development. Membership gets you access to: library of information, continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and up-to-date news in regular newsletters and publications.

Institute of Mechanical Engineers
An organisation supporting and promoting advancements in mechanical engineering through a global network of engineers. They offer professional development through accreditation and qualification, with a sub-division dedicated to Aerospace Engineering.

Institute of Engineering and Technology
Offering chartered status within CPD, membership gets you access to training and networking opportunities in addition to research and a framework of personal career support.

Engineering Council
The UK regulatory body for engineering, the EC lists the national register of chartered individuals and sets the standards for work and qualifications. Their website holds a lot of information about improving your status within the industry as well as the latest policy updates and research, helping you stay abreast of a continually evolving environment.

UK Space Agency
The centre of UK space exploration, research and development. Their website offers a wealth of information about the work they do and how you can get involved, with funding opportunities for those who fancy pursuing the research side of engineering.

The space agency for the USA, this resource offers extensive information about space pursuits with a multimedia section that can remind you exactly why you fell in love with space. Great for keeping yourself updated on the current space understanding.

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
A forum for research publications, opinion, debate and knowledge exchange concerning all aspects of aerospace engineering.

European Aeronautics Science Network
An organisation that hosts, promotes, co-ordinates and discusses aeronautic research and innovation. They hold information about specific research interests and have links with universities across Europe.

The Skills Sector Council for the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors, these guys put you in touch with courses, qualifications and apprenticeship schemes.

Tomorrow’s Engineers
Still in school and interested in how you can get involved? Run by EngineeringUK, Tomorrow’s Engineers offer information, inspiration and the path from your school classroom to a job in the field.

WISE: Women in Science and Engineering
Aiming to promote science and engineering to women and address the current gender balance, WISE has a wealth of information and support for any women who want to get into the industry with apprenticeships, training and networking opportunities available.

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