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Aerospace Engineering  
User currently offlineWasilenko From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3676 times:


I'm a 2nd year Aerospace Engineering Student! I currently live in Australia and at the end of this year I have to decide whether I should continue in this field or move to another one! I don't think that Australia offers many opportunities in Aerospace Engineering as most aircraft and etc. are imported!

What are the opportunities like in Europe and USA? How hard is it to get a job in this field?

Thank you!

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Hey Wasilenko,

It's great to speak with another engineering student. As my profile shows, I'm a mechanical engineering student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Many people question my decision to be a mechanical engineer instead of an aerospace engineer. However, I justify my decision because of the specificity of aerospace engineering. What happens if the aerospace industry takes a nose dive? Mechanical enginnering is much broader and thus, offers more job opportunities. I'm not telling you to stay or move out of aerospace but just consider what I've said. Keep me posted on your decision. Good luck!


User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3626 times:

Hey Wasilenko,
Iv'e applied at Monarch Aircraft Engineering for an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship, Iv'e completed module's in Avionic's, Mathematic's, Aircraft System's, EAC Aircraft and Science and im now ready to apply I've been doing a National Diploma In Aircraft Engineering and ive nearly completed the first year of two, I would apply for an Apprenticeship, give me some feedback on the detail's of the course your doing and if they roughly match requirement's then applying may be a good idea, You Just need to find an Airline!

User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3620 times:

Great topic Wasilenko! I think there's probarbly a few student's in hear in the same situ, also very educational,

User currently offlineSailorOrion From Germany, joined Feb 2001, 2058 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3606 times:

Hey there,
as you can see from my profile, I'm an aerospace student in Germany. However, aerospace engineering is part of mechanical engineering here at my university, so if everything fails (the 'nose dive'), I'll have finished university as a 'mechanical engineer', being able to work in many different aeras....Nevertheless, here in MUC, more or less all of the aerospace companies (there are many) are desperatly looking for employees!

Hope this helps

User currently offlineTuffty From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3597 times:

hi there, im an engineering apprentice with British airways on a scheme called the PEP (profesional engineering programe) its a scheme that puts you straight through your JAR 66 licence. so it gives you a good opertunity to go elsewhere if you want to when you have finished the training if you can e-mail me your address then ill post you an application form so that you can check it out and apply if you want to.
Hope that this was of some help, hope to here from you soon, regds Tuffty Smile

User currently offlineF-WWAI From Andorra, joined Dec 1999, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

I'm nomore the student you are, 'can tell you by experience that it's allways worth to finish well your course of study as you commenced it. don't change now for any reason. once you've graduated, get whatever additional study is necessary to get into the job you like.
With regard to finding employment in Europe or US: All the industrie is searching for valuable guys by now. Being a foreigner in both these areas, you may first apply with a nicely written letter to the airliner producers or their sub-contractors. if they want you, they'll get the paperwork done for you.
good luck.
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy FW

User currently offlineMD11Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3589 times:

If you care to hear it from an old guy's perspective...I retired from a career in aerospace as an engineer. All in all, it was very interesting. I wouldn't say I had regretted it but I often wonder if I had the chance to do it all over again, would I have done it? The answer would be a tough one but I'd lean towards NO.

First, the study was relatively tough. This was many years ago but I can't imagine it'd change that much. A week into college final exams, 3/4 of the campus (those liberal arts majors  Smile/happy/getting dizzy) would be out partying while we engineering students would still be burning the midnight oil studying for final exams that almost always were scheduled on the last day of the semester.

Secondly, there are not that many places you can work for as a newly graduated aerospace engineer. The pay is not bad but not that great (forget about that Porsche you always wanted while in college).

Third, the work is usually mind-numbing. You would get assigned to work on a very small area of design and bogged down with technical details. Many aerospace engineers I knew never quite know the airplanes they helped design besides a small, often insignificant area.

Fourth, aerospace companies face economic cycles every 5-10 years or so. Many are laid-off, rehired, then laid off again. Even for myself, who was lucky enough never to get laid off, the mental strain was tremendous and as a result, had put quite a damper on otherwise a fulfilling career. Not to mention that I had to change companies several times to keep ahead of the layoffs.

Fifth, engineers are not treated well at most companies. We were given a little desk in cramped areas, an old computer and mountains of work.

Obviously, there are always exception to the rule but I think the above applies to most engineers I know.


User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3588 times:

Wow, MD11Nut, that sounds not quite like what I had imagined my future would be like.

Anyway: I am studying aeronautical engineering here at IC, it is a VERY tough course. I can't say that the knowledge that we are the only ones in the world to have to learn some of the features in our Flight Dynamics course in 2nd year is very appealing...

Anyway: Only about half of our graduates become engineers in the end. The other half are hired by those evil business consultants (Accenture et al), and they are generally lured there with outrageously high salaries. We are told this is due to the weird philosophy that if we get a good IC degree, that means we must have worked so hard that a business consultant reckons we must be intelligent enoug to be worth their overpaid jobs.

I, for one, am not interested in that. The aerospace industry appears to be looking for engineers right now anyway, and I would not want to waste my life as f**king accountant or business consultant or banker if I can be part of something as great as the design of the next generation of airliners...

So: By all means: The future looks bright and good.... Or at least I hope so.



User currently offlineAndrew From Singapore, joined Dec 1999, 369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3574 times:

Hi everyone, I'm a 3rd year Aerospace Engineering student at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, in....yep, you guessed it, Melbourne, Australia!

I must say that it is a very tough course. Long hours at uni, long weekends at home catching up on work and assignments. But I'm carrying on with it as I cannot imagine myself doing any other course.

My ambition is to become a commercial pilot, and this is something I'm doing out of interest. Besides, it's something to fall back on if I don't make it for pilot training. I could still be an engineer on the ground, keeping me in close contact with aircraft.

Glad to hear that there are other Aerospace Engineering students around here. Any more from Melbourne? I'd love to hear from anyone!

Take care, all!



User currently offlineWasilenko From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Thank you very much for making these comments - Modesto2, A/c train, Sailor Orion, Tuffty, F-WWAI, MD11Nut, Ikarus and Andrew!

All your comments helped a lot!

It is great to see so many engineers!

Aerospace Engineering course that I study goes for 4 years! First 2 years are common with Naval Architecture, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering!
The 3rd and 4th years in Aerospace Engineering course consists of the following subjects:

Flight Dynamics & Systems (3rd year)
Aero Design1A, 1B, 2A and 2B (over 3rd and 4th years)
Aerodynamics and Propulsion (3rd year)
Aero Structures1A, 1B, 2A and 2B (over 3rd and 4th years)
Advanced Aerodynamics & Propulsion (4th year)
Aero Vehicle Dynamics & Systems (4th year)
Some other Mechanical Engineering Subjects and ThesisA and B

When I finished school I had many choices, but I made up my mind and did Aerospace Engineering! I don't generally think that it is a very hard course, (maybe the first 2 years are not hard) but if I could spend more time doing all the work I could get better results!

In Australia 80% of all engineering graduates get a job within 3 months after graduating, but I don't think this applys to Aerospace Engineering though!

I still have 8 months to make my decision - Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering!

It would be very nice if MD11Nut could tell us more his career as an Aerospace Engineer!
What was the work like?
What was your first job like as an Aerospace Engineer?
I think that this would be very educational for all of us!!

It would also be good if we could all stay in touch! After all we all have a lot in common!

I hope to hear more from all of you soon!
Good luck!


User currently offlineTransat1011 From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 113 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3571 times:


Great to see that much fellow engineering students in the forum. On my side, I am studying Mechanical Engineering at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. I am taking the aeronautical option. The aerospace program, here, in offered at graduate level. It is well designed and quite popular from what I heard. We could expect that since the Montreal area is full of opportunities in the aerospace industry: CAE, Canadian Space Agency, Bombardier-Canadair, Heroux, Bell Helicopter... Certainly a promising sector.
The program works like so: 5 Quebec Universities offer the Aerospace Program and I believe it is required to take courses in at least 3 of the 5.

On my side, for now, I will stick with my aeronautical option and head for the Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul sector. If I could get an internship or full time opportunity at Air Canada or Air Transat later on...

Best regards,
F. Meunier

User currently offlineAirplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (15 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

I work for an aerospace engineering and certification company in Canada. I find that we can weather the finiancial cycles quite well. In good financial times, we are busy with completion modification and upgrades. In bad times we are busy with mandated modifications and repairs to the "old" aircraft.

As far as demand for engineers, Bombardier has recently announced that they are hiring an additional 1000 people (engineers, production staff etc...) in Montreal.

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