Aerospace Employment Market

By: Tony Beaumont

While the New Year's celebrations for 2007 are only two weeks old, it is the perfect time to assess the job market for aerospace professionals. The beginning of a new business year means assessing business models, accounting, and the need for new personnel solutions. For aerospace engineers, technicians, and designers, one of the greatest resources for aerospace industry information is the Society of British Aerospace Companies. The SBAC conducts an annual survey assessing a variety of factors in the aerospace industry, including employment numbers, company orders, and wages. For our purposes, looking at a few of the sections on employment will help give a better picture about the job market for aerospace professionals.

The latest survey by SBAC is for the 2005 year, since the newest report won't be available for a few months. The aerospace industry in the United Kingdom is one of the strongest in Europe, with 26 percent of aerospace jobs in Europe in the UK. However, the United Kingdom is experiencing competition from France, the home of the European Space Agency, which accounts for almost 25 percent of European aerospace jobs. The British aerospace industry employs about 125,000 professionals, with nearly 160,000 peripheral jobs supported by the industry. In raw numbers, the British aerospace industry is one of the strongest in the world.

There is another section of the report that should be of interest to British aerospace professionals. Employment in the industry went up nine percent in 2005, while sales in the aerospace industry increased by 25 percent in the same year. One measure of employee success and profitability is pounds sold per employee, which has exploded over the last two fiscal years. Per person, the British aerospace industry is one of the most profitable in the United Kingdom.

Finally, looking at the SBAC report's numbers on the division of labor and education of professionals in the industry is important. It is unsurprising that nearly 45 percent of the industry's workers in the United Kingdom are assigned to the design of aircrafts and frames. The aerospace professional workforce in the United Kingdom is highly educated, with 34 percent of professionals in the industry holding university or advanced degrees. Finally, a significant number of aerospace professionals are employed with small and medium sized companies. These smaller companies, unlike major competitors like Airbus and Boeing, form the financial base of the industry.

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