A career as an Aeronautical Engineer is a very challenging yet rewarding career. Aeronautical Engineers use both mental and physical processes to complete their work. This includes the use and knowledge of computer systems but also hands-on tools to be used on physical aircraft. Hand-held tools often include those similar to what is used in the automobile industry. Tools include wrenches, drills, screwdrivers, and lifts but they also include specialized equipment specific to a job working with aircraft.
A bachelor's degree in Aeronautic/Mechanical Engineering is required but a master's is preferred. A certification of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Engineering Representative (DER) in Structures and/or Systems is often required as well. Systems and structural development and maintenance of aircraft is the primary focus of a career as an Aeronautical Engineer.
The working environment for this career includes both indoor and outdoor work so variety is a compliment to this career. One will not become bored with sitting in an office day-in and day-out. Environments include offices, computer rooms, hangars, and outdoors when aircraft are parked outside. Aeronautical Engineers are constantly working with other people including other engineers, mechanics, supervisors and FAA authorities so they are rarely working alone. There are a wide range of companies in which one in this field may work for. The most notable company names for this career include Lockheed-Martin and Boeing. Companies vary from private to military.
An Aeronautical Engineer is a position that may be required to work at anytime around the clock. Those who are early in their career may work a night shift for example, but with seniority comes the option to choose day work or night work. Some engineers may be on-call as well. There is always something to be done as an Aeronautical Engineer so the job itself rarely shuts down even when a shift worker goes home. The most typical work shift would be a regular 9 AM to 5 PM, but as stated there may be shifts such as midnight to 9 AM as well.
Those who choose to pursue a career in Aeronautical Engineering will find their self working in a very challenging yet rewarding occupation. This job holds a significant amount of importance and a need for a high level of technical know-how. As a result Aeronautical Engineers are typically financially compensated very well and they often have a high sense of personal contribution and well-being. These are some of the perks of working in an important and well-respected field.
Aeronautical Engineer Tasks
- May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture.
- May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
- Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft.