According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in aerospace engineering firms should grow by about 11% over the next ten years. This is good news for those seeking careers as aerospace engineers or aerospace consultants. If you're pursuing either one of those careers, you'll need to know what's involved in aerospace engineers and consultants education and training.
Whether you're setting out to join the ranks of defense contractors or turning your sights to aerospace consultancy, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, you can choose to enroll in a technical school or college, get into an apprenticeship program or even join the Armed Forces to gain aerospace engineers and consultants education and training:
- Obtain a formal degree to become an aerospace engineer or consultant.
- Combine academics and experience offered by technical schools and universities as part of aerospace engineers and consultants education and training.
- Look for aerospace engineering firms offering apprenticeships or internships.
Get a two- or four-year degree for aerospace engineers and consultantsThe U.S. Department of Labor also states that at least a bachelor's degree is required for nearly all entry-level positions in aerospace engineering. For those serious about a career as an aerospace consultant or engineer, getting a degree is inarguably a must and is the first step in aerospace engineers and consultants education and training.
University of Michigan offers undergraduate and graduate programs in aerospace engineering. The State University of New York at Buffalo not only has undergraduate and graduate studies in aerospace engineering, also offers an internship for seniors in the Bachelor's of Science program and the chance for independent study in mechanical engineering.
Learn to be an aerospace engineer or aerospace consultant inside and outside the classroomWhile a formal degree is essential for careers in the aerospace engineering and consulting fields, hands-on experience can be invaluable training. Many technical colleges and universities provide work experience along with their aerospace engineering academic programs.
Virginia Tech not only hosts classes that develop skills needed for both aerospace engineers and consultants, but also offers an elective Career Services Co-op/Internship Program as a chance to work with expert designers as part of a year-long senior project. The University of Cincinnati has an extensive aerospace engineering program that provides state-of-the-art computer facilities and labs, and a co-op program that gives invaluable work experience to engineering students.
Take any opportunity to apprentice at an aerospace engineering firm or aerospace consulting firmPossibly nothing could prepare you more for a career in the aerospace field than hands-on training with existing aerospace engineering firms or aerospace consulting firms. Many of these firms provide the apprenticeship opportunities. Consider such an apprenticeship as a valuable component of your aerospace engineers and consultants education and training.
In 2008, a $3 million apprenticeship program was initiated for jobs in the aerospace industry, including a program at Boeing. Packer Engineering is an aerospace engineering consultant firm that offers 15 to 25 high school and college students jobs through an annual apprenticeship program.
- Join the Army, Navy or Air Force and sign up for training that will prepare you for a career as an aerospace engineer or aerospace consultant.