As an aeronautical engineer you apply qualified technical skills and knowledge to maintain and enhance flight safety and fuel efficiency.
You are responsible for keeping costs to a minimum and considering the environmental implications of your work. Research, design, development, testing and maintenance will all be major parts of working life as an aeronautical engineer.
Your work may involve civil and military aircraft, weapons, defence systems and machinery active in space including satellites and robots.
Here at City, University of London our proud engineering history dating back to the 1800s is allied to modern facilities including flight deck and motion simulators and high-speed turbomachinery.
We have had a major impact on engineering systems on land, sea, in the air and in space. Our strong links with industry at local, national and global levels mean you will be well positioned to launch an aeronautical career when you complete your studies.
What can I expect as an aeronautical engineer?
Your day-to-day working life as an aeronautical engineer will depend largely on your employer and your specialism.
The focus of your work may be research, design, development, manufacturing, maintenance, modification or a combination of them all.
It is common for aeronautical engineers to work in multidisciplinary engineering teams with duties including:
- Theoretical and practical research
- Creating designs and devising test procedures
- Designing assessments
- Designing modifications addressing specific areas
- Aircraft assembly and component installation
- Report writing and documentation
- Monitoring and improving aircraft performance
- Agreeing project budgets, timescales and specifications
- Analysing data sets.
You may also be involved with flight-test programmes intended to measure and record data such as landing capacities, stall speeds, take-off distances, rate of climb and manoeuvrability.
Working environments may be a combination of office, aeronautical laboratories or production hangars.
There can be stressful and intensive work when deadlines approach. Your work should always be meticulous. Any human errors at this stage can have potentially disastrous consequences.
Women working as aerospace engineers are in a small minority. You can access relevant support initiatives from various organisations including the Women’s Engineering Society.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming an aeronautical engineer, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.
Who can I work for as an aeronautical engineer?
Aeronautical engineering positions are available at aerospace manufacturing locations across the UK. Our aerospace industry in Britain is strongly positioned to spearhead technological and scientific innovation.
You might seek employment at aerospace and aero-engine companies, airline operators, specialist research and development organisations, the Civil Service, the armed forces or government agencies such as The Ministry of Defence.
What about work experience as an aeronautical engineer?
Gaining relevant experience before seeking full time employment is always helpful. It can shape your career goals and give valuable insights, as well as reflecting a solid commitment to the vocation.
Be proactive and contact major aerospace companies to ask about opportunities. This can yield results as many employers use industrial placements a chance to find potential graduate recruits.
What are my prospects as an aeronautical engineer?
When you have several years of experience working as an aeronautical engineer, a variety of career doors may start to open.
You may decide to take a senior position involving overseeing work or you may take a more specialised project management role.
With experience you can concentrate on specialist areas including aerodynamics, propulsion or avionics. Sideways steps to alternative aviation roles might see you choose a more commercial role or focus on training or academia.
Chartered engineer status is a powerful indicator of a high level of knowledge and experience. Gaining this will help your career progression and salary prospects.
You are likely to be well treated within the aerospace industry over the course of a career. It is known to actively invest in staff by supporting employee training and encouraging membership of engineering trade organisations.