How to become an aerospace engineer

Rebekah Valero-Lee Aerospace and Defence


Increased demand in travel, widely reported security threats and an advancement in technology has led to more production in aerospace and defence, offering a whole host of career opportunities to those with the right skills.

A thriving industry, a job in aerospace and defence has never looked healthier, as global companies recruit graduates and young engineers to fill a growing number of positions. Changing designs, new projects and an aging workforce has meant that a new generation can now enter this exciting and well-paid industry.

What does an aerospace engineer do?

To put it simply, aerospace engineers work in the production of aircraft, missiles, satellites, space vehicles and weapons. There are a variety of specialisms to choose from, including design, manufacturing, analysis, and research and development (R&D).

Typically, an aerospace engineer could be creating components for aircraft, generating CAD aircraft plans, developing weapons systems, or project managing the build of aircraft, depending on the type of aerospace engineer you are and who you’re working for.

What is the starting salary for an aerospace engineer?

Starting salaries for an aerospace engineer start between £20,000 – £26,000, and can reach up to £60,000 for the most senior positions.

How do I become an aerospace engineer?

1. Study a relevant qualification

It’s no surprise that to become an aerospace engineer, you’ll need a qualification that proves you have a good technical understanding of engineering.

Qualifications needed to become an aerospace engineer include:

  • HNC or HND in aerospace engineering
  • Foundation degree in aerospace engineering
  • Minimum 2:1 degree in aerospace engineering or avionics

However, if you haven’t studied one of the above, not to fear. Many aerospace organisations are willing to recruit candidates who have a relevant qualification, including a degree in electrical engineering, physics or mathematics.

2. Build on certain skills

Yes, a degree might get you onto the right route, but by improving certain skills you can really further your career in aerospace. Having a diverse set of skills allows you to stand out against other candidates and will improve your chances of progression. Sought after skills in this industry include:

  • A strong mathematical ability
  • Analytical skills
  • Project management skills
  • Teamwork
  • CAD (Computer Aided Design) experience

3. Consider expanding your knowledge

It also works in a candidate’s favour to sign up to relevant bodies and continue to expand their knowledge. From technological advancements to new environmental laws, this sector is regularly adapting to global changes, and keeping up with these allows you to continue your career as an aerospace engineer successfully. Just some of the bodies you could become a member of are:

  • Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Association of Project Management
  • Engineering Council

4. Get your name out there

At Morson, we work with leading aerospace and defence organisations to recruit candidates for positions across all divisions. If you have the relevant qualifications and want to start your career as an aerospace engineer, why not take a look at our current aerospace engineering jobs?

A position in aerospace offers relocation opportunities, the chance to progress and an exciting career with good prospects. What’s stopping you?

Want to find out more? Read our blog – Career-furthering qualifications for budding aerospace engineers.