Aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and other airborne objects.
An aerospace engineer will typically specialise in a particular field, such as aeronautical or astronautical design. This will determine whether they go on to work with aircraft or spacecraft.
Whether you’re designing parts of an aircraft or space shuttles, you could work in research and development, testing, or production and maintenance.
Whichever area you specialise in, it will be a very technical job, requiring a high level of knowledge and attention to detail. You must be able to understand and analyse technical plans. If there is a problem, you must be able to solve it using your expertise.
You will also need excellent numeracy, communication and IT skills.
To become an aerospace engineer, you will need a degree in engineering or aerospace engineering. You’ll also usually be expected to have an A level in Maths. Your degree will usually take around 3 to 4 years to complete. Students can usually choose to complete an additional 12 month work placement as part of the course.
To start an aerospace engineering degree, you usually need three A levels, including Maths and Physics. You may also be required to have five A-C grade GCSEs, including Maths, English and Science. Exact requirements will vary between universities.
An aerospace engineering degree will cover a range of fundamental topics such as engineering disciplines appropriate to the current and future aerospace industry and research area. This includes the mechanics, materials, fluids and sensors and control systems that provide a basis for materials, structures and avionics.
Once qualified, an aerospace engineer will have great career prospects; jobs can be acquired within airlines, the RAF, Corporate Research Companies, the Ministry of Defence, space programmes, and various other aviation companies.