Career-furthering qualifications for budding aerospace engineers

Rebekah Valero-Lee Career Advice


If you’re interested in a job as an aerospace engineer, you might not know where or how to start off your career. Due to the demand for engineers in this industry – across manufacturing, design and maintenance – courses are available that offer entry-level and occupational training to encourage more young people to enter this sector. According to 2014 research, 25% of aerospace engineers are over the age of 55, which is one of the reasons why a growing number of courses now exist in colleges and universities across the UK.

Each qualification offers a selection of learning techniques, such as hands-on modules combined with theory-based sessions, where students can extend their skills to further study or begin an engineering job in aerospace.

Level 2 Ready for Work in Aircraft Maintenance

With an approximate 80% conversion rate of students going into paid apprenticeships, this course at Kingston College offers a great introduction into aerospace and engineering, where you can progress into positions for some of the biggest companies in the industry. On completion of this course, students can apply for a Level 3 apprenticeship to start off their career. The one-year course content includes:

  • NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations
  • BTC Level 3 Technical Certificate in Engineering

NVQ Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering (QCF)

This apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacture is available as an Intermediate Apprenticeship Level 2 or as an Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3. With a Level 2 qualification, apprentices will learn the skills necessary to work as a semi-skilled or qualified engineer, while Level 3 offers exciting craft or technician opportunities. Alongside aerospace, this course’s teaching can be applied to engineering and manufacturing practices in other sectors, including marine and electrical. Why not apply for one of these apprenticeships and further your career?

Aeronautical Engineering Diploma – BTEC Level 3

Students awarded with a BTEC Level 2 in Engineering can go on to study this two-year course, which usually consists of four core units and seven specialist units. A combination of topics is covered to help students progress successfully into an engineering position, with focus on mathematics, aircraft mechanical science and theories behind flight. Students completing this course can progress to become a trainee technician, enter a Foundation Degree or study a HND course in Engineering. Modules can include:

  • Principles and Applications of Aircraft Mechanical Science (core)
  • Engineering Project (core)
  • Mathematics for Engineering Technicians (core)
  • Theory of Flight (core)
  • Engineering Design
  • Aircraft Maintenance Practices
  • Engineering Drawing
  • Aircraft Materials and Hardware

HNC Aeronautical Engineering – BTEC Level 4

For those currently working in a related field, this one-year (full time) course allows engineers to build on their existing knowledge, with the opportunity to progress to an incorporated engineer. Alongside a selection of related modules, students will learn lifelong skills such as improving their analytical and communication abilities, while applying what they’ve studied to real-life engineering problems. If you’re interested in working within aerospace technology or management, this course is for you. The varied teaching format offers a combination of individual assignments, practical experiments and written examinations. The course modules may include:

  • Analytic Method
  • Engineering Science
  • Material Engineering
  • Aerodynamic Principles and Aircraft Design
  • Propulsion
  • Materials Engineering
  • Business Improvement Techniques
  • Health and Safety
  • Project Design, Implementation and Evaluation

Interested in a new position in aerospace engineering? Take look at all of our current roles available in this industry.

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