The career of an engineer may vary greatly, depending on a specific positionıs required expertise and environment. There are a multitude of options in the field of aviation for anyone who is considering becoming an engineer.
Responsibilities and Duties: An aerospace engineer's duties will vary with each job. In general, an aerospace engineer must analyze and evaluate engineering issues concerned with the formation, development and coordination of technical and regulatory standards for an aircraft. One possibility for an engineer is to act as a technical expert, applying the engineering principles of various aircraft technologies (i.e. the airframe, systems and electronics, mechanical systems, propulsion, etc...) to the individual aircraft systems. Other duties of an aerospace engineer may include planning, developing, reviewing and evaluating major certification or airworthiness projects for an aircraft. An engineer may also be called upon to conduct investigations of aircraft accidents.
Required Training: An educational focus on engineering science or physics is recommended. The basic requirement for most offices is successful completion of a full four-year aerospace or mechanical engineering curriculum leading to a bachelorıs or higher degree. Some positions also require previous work experience or flight training and certificates.
Working Conditions: Oftentimes, the work environment of an engineer includes an office atmosphere, as well as direct work with the aircraft. Work may include unusual hours for long periods of time. Assignments may be given upon short notice and usually require immediate attention. Many positions include travel. For example, the position of an FAA Propulsion Aerospace Engineer suggested approximately 10 - 12 weeks per year away from home.
Personality Needed: An engineer is very involved with technical issues and must pay close attention to detail. He or she must have proficient skill in preparing and writing technical reports. Many engineers may also make several oral presentations. An engineer must have the ability to interpret and apply knowledge of the principles and practices of aerospace engineering relating to aircraft, FAA regulations and company policies.
Average Salary: As with any aviation job, the salary of an aerospace engineer is dependent upon the position's duties and the applicantıs experience. Most positions include a salary range of $52,000 to $84,000. However, a field engineer that investigates accidents may have a salary from $32,000 to $50,000. Salaries also vary with the work environment: the range differs if the engineer is working for the government rather than a private company.
Employment Possibilities: There are many, many opportunities for an engineer in the field of aviation. There are also lots of choices: government or private sector, office or field position, testing or creating...the list continues.