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How do I find a job as an aircraft engineer?

How do I find a job as an aircraft engineer?

Working to ensure absolute levels of safety on each and every plane you touch, a job as an aircraft engineer is fantastic for mathematically-minded techheads with a passion for getting it right, first time, every time.

Working to ensure absolute levels of safety on each and every plane you touch, a job as an aircraft engineer is fantastic for mathematically-minded techheads with a passion for getting it right, first time, every time.

Qualifying as an aviation engineer

To work as an aviation engineer, you'll need a fair amount of further education. There is a certain amount of flexibility in what you can study but it's got to be there. Assuming you're going the traditional route, you'll need a B.Sc. in Aircraft Engineering. Often, an MA is helpful too; not least because it allows you to specialise. Moreover, if your first degree was in something similar but not directly related to engineering, the MA will certainly make you eligible. To get onto a B.Sc., you'll need around 280 UCAS points, which equates to 3 A Levels at B grade. If this isn't an option for you, it is possible to enter at a lower career level with, say, an HND, or to secure an apprenticeship with an aerospace company.

Personal qualities and skills sets

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It's fair to say that meticulous care and precision are key for this kind of work. Whether you are designing, building or maintaining components and aircraft, there really is no room for error. Mistakes may merely muck up meteorological readings or some other simple aeronautical usage but they also may have more dramatic consequences too. This job is the real deal. So, along with care and precision, you need to have mathematical and scientific agility, a very strong ability to problem-solve, and the people skills to work well in teams, no matter how stressful the situation gets. Knowledge of CAD and CAM systems will help you along too, as will project management.

Typical day-to-day work

As we mentioned above, a large part of this is designing, building and maintaining aeronautical craft. However, your daily grind may also require you to run testing programmes and collect test data, carry out research to improve safety and efficiency, develop new and improved avionic systems and write technical reports. You'll be doing this in a variety of places - aeronautical companies, airports, offices and production hangars are all possible.

Salaries and career progression

Aerospace engineering salaries are commensurate with the seriousness of this role. Starting salaries are said to be around £20K-£26K (USD$32+), further experience moves you into the £28K-£40K (USD$45+), bracket and senior leadership roles can net you between £45K and £65K (USD$73+) a year. If you become an incorporated engineer or a chartered engineer, this will also contribute to your pay packet. Interested parties may move into training and lecturing, management roles or even sales. If you decide to give up the gig altogether, your experience and qualifications are usable in the energy, chemical and automotive industries too.

Finding a job now

So, if you're certain you can treat this role with the respect and care it mandates, and you're ready to earn some seriously good money, visit our job search page now to find the right job for you. Related links are on this page.

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