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Job Description

An Aerospace Engineer applies scientific and technological principles to research, design, development, maintenance and test performance of civil and military aircraft, missiles, weapons systems, satellites and space vehicles. They also work on the different components that make up these aircraft and systems.

Entry Requirements

You'll usually need an HNC, HND, foundation degree, or degree in aerospace engineering, avionics, or a related subject, like:

  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • manufacturing or product engineering
  • physics or applied physics
  • software engineering or mathematics

The Association of Aerospace Universities has more information about courses.

You could also start as an aerospace engineering technician apprentice with an airline operator, airline manufacturer or engineering company. You'd then continue your training up to degree level.

You'll usually start on a company's training scheme, and work towards your engineering licence, known as a Part 66, and issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). With a license, you can work as a qualified engineer.

Careers in Aerospace has information on careers in aerospace engineering.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could specialise in a particular field like:

  • aerodynamics
  • fuel efficiency
  • space technology
  • investigating air accidents

You could also move up to become a project manager or consultant aerospace engineer.

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • A strong technical knowledge
  • Creativity and innovation to develop new designs
  • Able to use advanced mathematical methods to assist in design and problem solving
  • Attention to detail and methodical approach to work
  • Self motivated
  • Organised
  • A passion for aviation.

Starting Salary

£20,000 to £28,000

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