A career in the aerospace industry is the goal of many young engineers. Not only highly lucrative, the industry also offers the chance to work with cutting-edge technology, exciting new designs, and revolutionary new fuel systems. The industry is growing, and changing, thanks to the new engineers taking it to exciting new places.
Those who work in aerospace acquire a wide array of skills, including mechanical engineering, data analysis, and design, and can go on to work in other fields, or specialise in one area, becoming an expert over the course of their career.
If you’re thinking of getting a job in aerospace, here are just some of the great choices available.
While every job in aerospace is important, the mechanic has arguably the most important job of all. Aircraft mechanics are essential to ensuring that aircraft operate safely. They supervise, manage, and perform maintenance on the aircraft to ensure it meets the highest possible standards for safety and functionality, and perform inspections before and after flights. Without them, the plane doesn’t fly.
This is a practical job, with great levels of satisfaction. Every day millions of planes take off and land safely thanks to the hard work of aircraft mechanics.
Data analysts collect, analyse, and report data to help others in the industry understand what’s happening, and make evidence-based decisions that help improve designs, or move towards the goals of the team.
Analysts often have extensive knowledge of data modelling software and computer programming techniques that can help them in their day-to-day work.
Data analysis is an increasingly important aspect of virtually every industry, but especially in aerospace where precision is paramount. As such, analysts often specialise in a particular field, working in tandem with others to provide a complete picture of the project, and how it can be improved.
A drafter is an engineering professional who prepares technical drawings and plans using specialised software. These drawings allow engineers to build prototypes which can go on to become exciting new designs that change the industry, all stemming from that first drawing.
Drafters often specialise within a particular industry, and in aerospace there are often new designs or concepts to test. This is an excellent career option for those who want to make their mark on the industry by creating new designs, they also get to collaborate with engineers and other professionals, meaning you can build your network and get known in the industry.
These engineers analyse the materials used in construction, and evaluate their use for different parts, areas, and roles. They can work with steel, titanium, carbon fibre, and composite structures. Thanks to 3-D printing, they can even work with plastics.
They can create new components, or even create new composites that improve reliability or strength. They often spend much of their time researching materials, and new manufacturing processes.
Finally, one of the most important jobs in the industry is inspector and compliance officer. They’re responsible for ensuring everything is up to code, which is vital for safety. Their work helps protect the crew, the passengers, and also the engineers who work on the planes between flights.
They also train staff on new procedures and evaluate their performance.
It's important to choose a career that aligns with your professional interests, goals, and preferences. If you hate programming, consider a job that leans more towards the mechanical side, or if you know you want to be head of design, you’ll need to master various design software, as well as developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects, and the physics that impacts a plane during flight.
Any job in the aerospace industry requires many years of hard work and training, so having a passion for the career is important for helping you stay motivated through any challenges along the way.
Aerospace is a rewarding field, with some of the best engineers in the world choosing to dedicate their careers to the industry. Whether you’re looking to start a career, or change to something different, aerospace could be the right move for you.
Read more about how the aviation industry is shifting to a digital strategy, or read our aerospace and aviation trends report.