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9 Different Types of Jobs for Aeronautical Engineering

A scenic photo of a large jet engine at the airport.

The journey to be an aeronautical engineer often begins while in high school. Aeronautical engineering degrees require students to have taken advanced maths, physics, computer programming, and chemistry.

It can be anxiety-inducing to reach the end of your education journey and not have a clear idea of where you will be working. Aeronautical engineers are in high demand worldwide, and you can choose between careers with aircraft manufacturers, research positions, and even motorsports.

Aeronautical engineers can work in multiple roles, but it is advantageous to specialize in a specific field. It is further beneficial to tailor your CV to the company you are applying to, but don’t lie about your education or abilities. You can boost your skills as much as possible by completing further qualifications in distinct areas of aeronautical engineering.

  • Airlines
  • NASA
  • Government
  • Aircraft Manufacturers
  • Maintenance Repair
  • Flying Clubs
  • Aeronautical laboratories
  • Racing Car Designer
  • Entrepreneurship

There are several fields for aeronautical engineers to choose between, and it is a growing industry. You will need a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering, but it is best to pursue further education and achieve a master’s degree. Aeronautical engineers aren’t only limited to working in aircraft industries, and there are several career paths you can choose.

Airlines

Aerial view of airport preparation of airplane before departure.

Airlines are a popular career path for aeronautical engineers, and they will always be in demand. Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Emirates are some of the most promising corporations you can start your careers with. Working with airlines exposes aeronautical engineers to the career they have prepared for, and often airlines offer their employees exceptional benefits such as discounted flights.

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You will further be working in an exciting industry and solving complex problems. There won’t be a dull day if this is your chosen career path.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic’s engineering team works out of Heathrow Hangar, and they are responsible for keeping Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft in exceptional condition. Engineers working at Virgin Atlantic must undergo intensive training to ensure that they are qualified to work with their partners and understand their aircraft. Virgin Atlantic offers graduate schemes and is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). You can also complete summer internships and apply for several job positions.

Graduate job opportunities are constantly opening, and it is beneficial for you to keep alerts on to be the first to apply.

British Airways

British Airways has a reputation as one of the safest airlines globally, and as such, its engineers need to be top of the class and well educated. As a result, engineers working at British Airways will have doors opened for them as they are known to be extensively trained and hard working. Aeronautical engineers at British Airways face interesting challenging that will grow their skills exponentially.

This enables you to find work in any other field should you wish to move up in the engineering world. You must be ready to explore your limits when you begin working at British Airways, which will advance your career and expand your skills.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa requires its engineers to be highly educated and hard-working. They value repairing damaged and worn parts over replacing them. As such, aeronautical engineers who work with Lufthansa must be able to fix their aircraft with absolute precision and come up with creative solutions.

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The engineers working at Lufthansa have found innovative repair solutions to avoid common issues from occurring from the same source. Lufthansa encourages the engineers who work for them to better their skills and propel themselves forward. Further, Lufthansa offers incredible salary packages and benefits to their employees.

Emirates

Emirates offers an aeronautical engineering program that covers the four key areas of aerospace vehicle design. These areas are structures, propulsion, flight stability and control, as well as aerodynamics. Emirate’s program is accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education: Higher Education Affairs as well as the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Students enrolled in this program are automatically offered a 6-month internship opportunity, and the top students receive compensation to cover their expenses. Working at Emirates enables you to move into any field you desire and will teach you valuable skills. There are several job opportunities available at Emirates if you are already qualified.

Employees at Emirates have coveted positions as they are well compensated for their work. Further, other corporations which have hired Emirates employees include Airbus, McLaren’s Aviation, and Dubai airports.

The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA)

Apollo 14 lunar module as it sat on the moon's fra mauro highlands.

Working at NASA is a dream job and something that might feel entirely out of reach as you will be fighting off thousands of other applicants. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be given a chance to work at NASA, and it’s essential that you showcase your skills to get an interview. Engineers at NASA work in a team and independently, and they are responsible for designing the future of air travel.

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It is also possible to find a job at NASA with an Associate of Science degree, and you can work as an intern while you are studying. All of NASA’s internships are paid. In addition, aeronautical engineers can work in several fields at NASA, and you won’t be restricted to purely aeronautical engineering.

Therefore, you will have your options available to you if your desired position is not available, and you can work your way to your dream position from inside NASA. Each employee in NASA is an integral part of their system and is vital to ensuring that NASA operates effectively. It would be best to keep in mind that you will need a bachelor’s degree from a highly reputable university.

Therefore, it is to your advantage to start investigating internship opportunities at NASA as early as possible. It is also essential to note that NASA only hires candidates with the highest qualifications and best grades. Having reputable references will be to your advantage if you are already working.

If you can, volunteering at NASA is further an excellent way to get your foot into the door. NASA pays its permanent employees well, and once you have worked at this top institution, you will always have doors open for you for any job you could want.

Government

A two engineers showing their water pipe system.

There is an abundance of government aeronautical engineering positions around the world. Working for your government allows you to find exceptional positions without relocating across the globe to find an exciting job opportunity.

One of the best places to find an aeronautical engineering job is through government-owned airlines. there are several fields that aeronautical engineers can work in for airlines – such as flight test engineers or aerospace stress engineers. Another path you can consider within the government sector is to work with your country’s military to develop aircraft technologies.

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Working for the military is an exciting sector as it is always moving and growing. Historically speaking, military operations have been the cornerstone of the advancement of technology. Military jobs do offer exceptional benefits and a stable salary, as well as this, militaries allow you to advance significantly within your field.

In addition, finding military jobs is often easier to do as there is an abundance of positions available, depending on where you live. Further, you can find military positions in countries you desire to live in, enabling you to work in countries where it would be more challenging to find an aeronautical engineering position in another sector. So, for example, you can work for the UK military in their aerospace sector.

Aeronautical Engineers in the military are responsible for research and designing military aircraft. They further play a crucial role in developing modern warfare technology and need to be able to learn skills exceptionally quickly. Working for the US military is an option to consider as your education will be paid for, and you can study aeronautical engineering while serving in the military.

This will enable you to transition into an aeronautical engineer position after achieving your degree if you have not yet been able to study. There are several other government aeronautical engineering positions, such as research positions and overseeing government projects. India’s government has several options for aeronautical engineers.

Defense Research and Development Organizations (DRDO)

The DRDO is an Indian government agency that recruits aeronautical engineers to work on futuristic aerospace projects. For example, one project that the DRDO is currently working on is unmanned aircrafts. Aeronautical engineers working at DRDO will be tasked with research, developing state-of-the-art technology, and overseeing classified projects.

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In addition, there are contests for students to enter to be given the opportunity to work with the DRDO. There are several opportunities at the DRDO for aeronautical engineers to explore when looking for a stable career to grow within.

Aircraft Manufacturers

A close-up photo of busy aircraft manufacture facility.

Aircraft manufacturers are perhaps one of the first areas in which aeronautical engineers think of working. Boeing and Airbus are among the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, and working with these corporations will enable you to grow within your field exponentially. Aeronautical engineers are tasked with designing aircrafts, finding solutions to complex problems, and overseeing a given project’s aerodynamics.

The role of an aeronautical engineer for aircraft manufacturers is crucial, and aircraft manufacturers recruit only the top engineers to work on their products. You will be rewarded with an excellent salary package and employment benefits if you are working with the top aircraft manufacturers. Further, this position will enable you to easily transition into various aircraft industries as you will have gained reputable experience.

You can work for both commercial and private aircraft manufacturers, and this sector is rapidly growing.

Boeing

Engineers at Boeing have options available to them. Boeing is a respectable corporation to work with, and landing a job here will open exceptional doors for you. Employees at Boeing are happy, paid high salaries, and receive several benefits.

Boeing is a favorable job as there are a lot of growth opportunities, and you will be guaranteed to expand your skillset. In addition, employees at Boeing are encouraged to have a healthy work-life balance and will have the pride of being a part of one of the largest aircraft manufacturing corporations in the world. However, the majority of Boeing manufacturing facilities are in the United States, and you may need to consider relocating if you do not already live in the United States.

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Working with Boeing will enable you to help propel the future of air travel forward.

Airbus

Airbus has several locations around the world with job positions for aeronautical engineers available. In addition, there are further internships, graduate, and apprenticeships opportunities available for aspiring aeronautical engineers to expand within. In addition to this, Airbus offers dual study positions across the world, which will enable you to transition into numerous permanent positions within Airbus.

You can also explore the option of achieving your Ph.D. through Airbus if you have obtained your master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. Airbus offers robust and exciting career opportunities, and you will be working with the latest aircraft technology. You will be involved in exceptional projects while earning a good salary and expanding yourself beyond your wildest dreams.

Working with Airbus is a highly coveted position.

Private Aircraft Manufacturers

Private aircraft manufacturers are a quickly growing industry, and there are plenty of opportunities for aeronautical engineers to take advantage of. You are likely to find an aeronautical engineer position with a private aircraft manufacturers worldwide, which makes this a favorable option if you do not want to relocate far away. Beechcraft, Bombardier, Gulfstream, and Dassault are popular private aircraft manufacturers where aeronautical engineers can find positions.

Maintenance Repair

Repair and maintenance of aircraft engine on the wing of the aircraft.

Aeronautical engineers who work in maintenance repair are responsible for maintaining and repairing aircrafts – which includes the structure, frames, software, and mechanical systems. Therefore, maintenance repair is a vital career for aeronautical engineers to work within. In order to find a position within the maintenance repair sector, you will need at least five years of training and experience behind your name.

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You can work within big corporations, such as aircraft manufacturers, or you can work for independent contractors. Working within maintenance repair requires you to be available on short notice for emergencies. You must be able to come up with creative solutions to maintain and repair damaged aircraft to avoid similar problems from occurring.

It is very hands-on work and requires you to be able to work for long hours. However, there are exceptional jobs available to people who want to be working in aeronautical engineering.

Flying Club

Flying club travel concept, airlines on the world map.

A flying club consists of members who are passionate about flying. Aeronautical engineers can work within a flying club to ensure that each of the aircrafts works efficiently and effectively and maintain and repair the aircrafts.

Flying clubs are a more nichè career path whereby experienced aeronautical engineers can work closely with private flying clubs to ensure their aircrafts are kept in top condition and help to design aerodynamic flight plans.

Flying clubs additionally provide flight training and flight planning facilities, which creates jobs for aeronautical engineers as they will be tasked with finding the best ways to carry out these tasks. There are countless flying clubs around the world, and they are in almost every big city. However, as flying clubs are smaller organizations, there are fewer positions available, and it is less likely for a graduate to find a favorable position within a flying club.

Despite this, aeronautical engineers can find extra work or be contracted to work with a flying club while maintaining another job.

Aeronautical Laboratories

A panoramic view of Langley research center.

Aeronautical laboratories are commonplace in most parts of the world. The top research universities have aeronautical laboratories, and there are commissioned to focus on developing the science of aeronautical engineering. Universities such as Stanford, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology all have aeronautical laboratories.

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These laboratories enable students to conduct research projects which provide them with working experience under the guidance of experienced engineers. Aeronautical laboratories have research positions available for graduates and people who have a passion for scientific enhancements. In addition, there are positions available to lecture and continue aeronautical engineering education to the next generation.

Aeronautical engineers working in aeronautical laboratories will be involved in highly coveted projects and will be exposed to the latest air travel technology. You will further have the space to develop new and innovative aircraft technologies. The field of aeronautical engineering relies on the latest developments to advance.

Therefore, working in aeronautical laboratories will enable you to advance your education while gaining highly renowned experience in the field you are passionate about. Further, working in an aeronautical laboratory will provide you with a steady salary as well as added employment benefits. In addition, the university that employs you will likely provide you and your family with tuition discounts.

Race Car Designer

Pit crew in red uniforms waiting to service a formula race car.

Working in the motorsport industry is probably not the first career choice you considered when pursuing aeronautical engineering. However, it is a viable and exciting option to consider. Aeronautical engineers can work with the top F1 teams to engineer their race cars.

Race cars interestingly work the same as airplanes but in reverse, which makes engineering and designing race cars an exciting opportunity for aeronautical engineers. Working closely in motorsports is a highly sought-after position, and this is a career that will boost your skillset exponentially. Aeronautical engineers help design the aerodynamics of a vehicle which will enhance the speed and strategy of the race car for an event.

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So if you have admired the F1, you can do so from inside your favorite team’s cockpit. Being a race car designer is a career that many would never even consider possible; however, aeronautical engineers are desired within the field. As a result, you will likely find an exciting position easier.

It is best if you already have aeronautical engineering experience, and you must be prepared for a stressful environment. Your work will be crucial to how well race cars are run, and you must therefore be confident in your abilities to maintain high-quality work.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and economic prosperity conceptul collage,

Experienced aeronautical engineers can open their own businesses, which enables them to earn more money and create more opportunities for aeronautical engineers. It is a popular choice for engineers who want to expand later in their careers. Aeronautical engineers will always be needed within society, and you can advance yourself to be able to work independently.

If you have come to a point where you are confident that you can work outside of an organization, you can offer your services to various industries. For example, you can start a business as an independent contractor who completes urgent repairs on aircrafts. This is easier to do if you have worked with reputable corporations that provided you with enough experience to work on aircraft without guidance.

The bounds are endless, and you can do just about anything you dream of. Being an entrepreneur is not a simple path, but it is a path that will allow you to live a life you never thought you could achieve. Initially, entrepreneurs must work extreme hours to launch their business.

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However, once your business is on its feet, you can employ people to do more of the work for you, and in the long run, you can build a highly profitable business. Being an engineer will train you to solve highly complex problems, which many entrepreneurs can’t do. It is a considerable risk walking away from a stable job to start your own venture, but it can be gratifying if you get it right.

The best way to do this is to identify a gap within the market – such as a position where corporations could instead outsource aeronautical engineering jobs than permanently hiring someone. The skills aeronautical engineers learn while working as an engineer will enable them to expand into almost any field. Engineers are highly sought after in every industry.

You won’t be limited to working in engineering for the entirety of your career if this isn’t something you desire.

In Conclusion

Aeronautical engineering is a highly sought-after career and is by no means an easy path. However, there are countless opportunities for aeronautical engineers to grow and expand within. Aeronautical engineers are highly respected, and they are the backbone of our air travel.

Deciding to be an aeronautical engineer often happens very early on in your life as it’s vital for you to be trained in the correct subjects to further your studies. It is highly recommended that you first look into internship positions to get your foot in the door to start your career. Aeronautical engineers genuinely have the world at their feet.

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