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Bridging the gap between aerospace and civil engineering?

I am interested in both careers. Is there a way to link them together? #career #aerospace #civil


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Andrew’s Answer

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Hello WIlliam T.,


Yes, you can link civil engineering and aerospace careers. I. among many others (men and women), are living examples of it.


I am a civil engineer and work for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA is a U.S. federal government agency. Basically, I do various civil engineering functions (quality control, quality control, project management, design, cost estimating, etc.) for construction projects for FAA buildings, other facilities, and systems at airports and other locations. Some examples of these include, but are not limited to: Air Traffic Control Towers, radar and communications towers, office buildings, airfield roads, airfield landing and navigational systems, and underground utilities.


Besides the FAA, there are both state and regional governments that hire civil engineers to support and operate (engineering, maintenance, repair, and construction) of various airports in their jurisdictions.


Also, beyond federal, state, and regional government employers, many private firms (Parsons, Lockheed Martin, and many more) provide employment opportunities for civil engineers that want to work on aviation/airport projects. Often, these private firms have contracts with government agencies (or large airline companies) to do civil engineering work for them.


The FAA occasionally has internship programs for college students interested in working in the aerospace/aviation industry.


I hope this information helps you in your current aspirations in civil engineering and the aerospace industry!


Thanks man Sourov S.

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Bill’s Answer

Hello William,

In addition to aviation careers that cover aerospace and civil engineering, you may consider a military career or investigating job opportunities with national space agencies.

Military branches of all kinds now use space as a theater of operations, and their requirements change constantly as world events evolve. Military bases of operations require civil engineering, and many specialized space-related missions require knowledge of aerospace as well. If you enlist, you can inquire as to what the most pressing needs currently are and try to get into the field that most appeals to you. You get "free" technical training provided by the agency here in the USA. Even if it later on turns out you really do not like the career field they signed you up for, it is possible to then choose another field and get re-trained for that. (This has happened with both my son and daughter who enlisted in the US Air Force.) Advice: Always be consistent in doing the best you can at completing your assignments and you may become known as someone who is very capable and dependable - that will open new career doors for you.

Many space agencies such as NASA in the US may ponsor internships or work/study opportunitiesthat give you hands-on experience while in college. Choose a college that has a strong engineering school and inquire about coop/part-time/intern offerings. The same can be said for the many contractors that support NASA. Thes opportunities may come and go rapidly as world events and funding dictate, so do not just look once, keep checking.

Bill recommends the following next steps:

Check websites for military branches - all of them - and NASA.
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Find out who are the big contractors (look for contract award announcements for military branches or NASA) who provide aerospace + civil engineering support and go to their websites.
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Visit universities with strong engineering schools and ask about intern/coop/part-time work arrangements thay may have in place that meet your needs.
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If you know any adults in either field, see if you can discuss your interests with them. Most will be very eager to have you join their career field.
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Consider joining engineering professional societies as a student (lower dues for students) so you can network with people already in those fields (publications, local chapter meetings, conventions, etc.) . I was a member of the IEEE for many years.
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