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What are the benefits and drawbacks of an Aerospace Engineer

I might be interested in pursuing an aerospace engineering job #aerospace-engineering #engineering #aeronautics


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Catherine’s Answer

Aerospace covers so many areas and a huge number of applications. Studying aerospace gives you an good level of detail in aerodynamics, mechanics, math, materials science, systems, software, fluid dynamics etc etc. Once you've studied these areas you have a great understanding to decide if you want to specialize in a specific area, or use your knowledge in a more general role.

My 11 year career in the Air Force has focussed more on engineering management. This has allowed me to problem solve and bring people together across the specializations for aircraft maintenance operations and lead my team towards the bigger picture.

In addition to this, one of my particular roles specialized in propulsion projects to manage the safety, capability and reliability of a fleet of 300 jet engines. As you can see from the two examples, a big advantage for me is variation from role to role. The experience I have gained is very diverse which keeps me motivated and has allowed me to adapt my skillset in a huge range of environments, providing a great platform of experience to build on.

From a motivation perspective, it's a very exciting industry to be part of. To see the outcome of your work take flight is very special.

In my experience, you hold a lot of responsibility across the field of aerospace engineering and this can be early on in your career. This can initially seem daunting, but when you have put the effort in to learn, it is challenging yet rewarding and empowering, and really develops you as an individual. You are a decision maker who can use evidence to back up your thought process.


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John’s Answer

Aerospace is definitely a fun and challenging career with a wide array of specialty fields. I too have a degree in Aerospace Engineering and specialized in propulsions systems for many years. I've worked on jets, satellites, and manned space flight applications. The thrill of seeing a first flight or a space launch is almost indescribable when you've had a hand in making it happen. As time goes on, you'll find many chances to further in your own field of specialty, move to another technical area of interest, or go into management. One downside is that opportunities in aerospace tend to come and go in cycles, as aircraft and space contracts typically follow the economy and jobs are dependent on those contracts. The recent resurgence in spaceflight hopefully means that things will continue to improvement. Even if there is a downturn, a solid engineering education will help you can move between roles and even industries easier than you might think. Many of the skills you develop as an Aero E will serve you well if you want to move into different role not just in the propulsions, aerodynamics, structures, avionics, or other Aero fields, but to design, test, production/manufacturing, quality, or reliability roles and in any other industry that needs engineers. Get the education you need to move into the field you want, but don't worry about being stuck there forever. Know that if you're successful, you can continue to grow in that or many other fields over time.

Good luck!

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John’s Answer

Aerospace is definitely a fun and challenging career with a wide array of specialty fields. I too have a degree in Aerospace Engineering and specialized in propulsions systems for many years. I've worked on jets, satellites, and manned space flight applications. The thrill of seeing a first flight or a space launch is almost indescribable when you've had a hand in making it happen. As time goes on, you'll find many chances to further in your own field of specialty, move to another technical area of interest, or go into management. One downside is that opportunities in aerospace tend to come and go in cycles, as aircraft and space contracts typically follow the economy and jobs are dependent on those contracts. The recent resurgence in spaceflight hopefully means that things will continue to improvement. Even if there is a downturn, a solid engineering education will help you can move between roles and even industries easier than you might think. Many of the skills you develop as an Aero E will serve you well if you want to move into different role not just in the propulsions, aerodynamics, structures, avionics, or other Aero fields, but to design, test, production/manufacturing, quality, or reliability roles and in any other industry that needs engineers. Get the education you need to move into the field you want, but don't worry about being stuck there forever. Know that if you're successful, you can continue to grow in that or many other fields over time.

Good luck!

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