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If you become an Aerospace Engineer, are you assigned to a specific type of craft, or do the types of crafts differ for each project?

I am in 10th grade looking at potential careers. I have many thoughts going through my head on what occupation I want to go to college for. I really like those big jets, I think they are fascinating. Hope to one day pursue a career in enjoy. #aerospace #engineer

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Joseph’s Answer

I don't have first-hand knowledge, but I work in a similar highly regulated and technical industry, and we quite often have ex-aerospace people join us. From what I've gathered from conversations with them, they are more likely to specialise in a type of system or area, rather than specialising in types of craft.
For examples; you might specialise in engines; or maybe hydraulic systems; or if you're good with electronics and computers, then avionics; or if you get good at computational fluid dynamics, maybe aerodynamics and flight surfaces.

I'd also say a lot of companies work under a project based framework. You'll have project teams formed to work on a particular part of the job, and then when that's finished, the team might be split up and start different projects depending on what's needed for the next project.

For someone working on (for example) engines, you might find yourself working on one project for airliner engines, then another for a helicopter; or something like that.

Of course, there will be some companies that have specialists in types of craft, so I wouldn't rule out it working that way for you. Particularly as you get more experience and knowledge, you tend to gradually specialise more throughout your career; I'm sure some will even be specialists in a particular model of aircraft. I'd say it's probably the exception rather than the rule, though.

I'd also say keep an open mind to the project approach - it means there's always something new coming along, and you never get bored working on the same thing.

I would concur with the comments above and as a graduate from Texas A&M with an MS in Aerospace Engineering you will be exposed to all aspects of the aerospace industry during your degree plan. If Aerospace is still the career field of choice you will likely figure out what you like most during your course work. We had classes on design, propulsion, fluid dynamics etc. Jamie Wallace

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rene’s Answer

I have worked for almost 30 years at Boeing. I have worked on many different airplanes on different projects. Some people prefer sameness, so they work on the same airplane. I like to learn about different airplanes, so I request work on them.

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Aldo’s Answer

Remember always each aircraft has his own program of maintenance in accordance with the frame from his construction and hours of cycles, flight, structural, etc... Now, you have an a program for each specific airplane approved for the Aviation authority of the place which the aircraft is flying or operating, is very important to consider the frame of the program to be managed and the control of budget properly too, you need to consider that the aviation is passion and passion is sacrificed, I'm 49 years working in the aviation field and I know very well this beautiful career, thank you to asked me and the best to you in your dreams.

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Robert’s Answer

Great question Zackary! Aerospace is a very exciting field where you have the ability to work on a variety of different projects. In an aerospace engineering career, you are not limited to working on a single type of aircraft/spacecraft. In college and in industry, you will be exposed to a variety of disciplines such as structures, propulsion, aerodynamics, systems engineering, etc., and develop skills which will be applicable on a variety of different programs building different products. As previously stated, a lot of companies are moving towards a project-based framework where engineers support multiple different programs. In industry, you will most likely specialize in a particular discipline within aerospace, but that will not limit your ability to work on different aircraft or spacecraft.

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Tony’s Answer

It depends what you're planing on specializing in. Aerospace is a broad filled so you could be working anywhere from structural analysis to Missile testing, I'd suggest that you dig abit deeper and see what interests you the most, it'll make your decision so much easier