The Professional Life of Aeronautical Engineers

By: Tony Beaumont

In the aerospace industry, there are few positions that are as important as that of aeronautical engineers. The aeronautical engineering profession is responsible for a number of tasks in the commercial, military, and governmental aerospace industry. The bedrock job responsibility for aeronautical engineers is inspecting aircrafts to determine areas of improvement needed in future designs and renovations. As well, aeronautical engineers work closely with aircraft technicians and mechanics to troubleshoot problems with aircrafts within their area of expertise. As well, aeronautical engineers are tasked with communicating to aerospace clients about comments, concerns, and questions on particular projects.

Due to the diverse nature of aeronautical engineering positions throughout the industry, there is often a need for engineering professionals to choose a specialty. For example, chartered engineers are licensed aeronautical engineers that oversee aeronautical projects and managing human resources for these projects. As well, incorporated engineers are necessary for supervising individual design, engineering, and accounting teams in coordination with chartered engineers.

There are a number of skills that aeronautical engineers need to possess no matter which specialization they choose. The ability to communicate effectively and in a variety of media is necessary, as aeronautical engineers need to speak with managers, designers, engineers, and clients. As well, aeronautical engineers need to be aware of the latest in aerospace technology in order to provide the best input to design and engineering teams. Aeronautical engineers also need to be creative, as they often need to develop solutions to design, mechanical, and other problems aboard commercial airliners.

Aeronautical engineers can break into the aerospace industry in a variety of ways. Engineers are needed for the daily maintenance and inspection of commercial airlines. As well, the RAF and other government-sponsored agencies need engineers to help develop better solutions for commercial and military airlines. For engineers who want to select their clients and determine the amount of work they receive, contract work found through self-employment is often possible for exceptional engineering graduates.

The qualifications necessary for an aeronautical engineer include high grades and Honors in degree areas like physics, mathematics, and engineering. For certified positions and upper level engineering management, a Master of Science in aeronautical or aerospace engineering is necessary to make it in the aerospace industry. Many aerospace companies and government agencies require that aeronautical engineers stay current on the latest in aerospace industry news and trends. As such, aeronautical engineers spend time traveling to conferences and courses that allow them to stay on the cutting edge.

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