The basic job description of aerospace engineers is that they mostly design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. Apart from this, they also make and test prototypes to ensure that the prototypes function according to the design.
However, for those who are confused about what to do after being armed with a hard-earned aerospace engineering degree, here is a list of positions that might be useful, based on their interests and description:
Aircraft Production Manager plan, organise, coordinate, and control the technical and personnel aspects associated with the production of aircrafts. Entry-level aircraft production managers develop plans for production processes using local and web-based tools for effective tasking. They plan production activities to ensure that manpower, material, and equipment are available when required. They develop tools and metrics to adequately assess production performance; plan the allocation of resources; and track production progress daily, among other production related tasks.
Senior Aircraft Production Managers oversee the production activities for aircrafts making sure that they are designed in accordance with industry and safety standards. They develop and implement production strategy and policy. They coordinate the work allocation and tracking, hold meetings regarding design concepts and safety assessments, plan new projects and offer authoritative program managing and technical expertise on the manufacturing process. They ensure major projects are completed in a timely manner and conduct thorough inspections on finished products to ensure all aspects comply with all industry specified standards.
Aerospace Design Engineer: Aerospace design engineers perform engineering duties in designing, constructing and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. In addition, they conduct basic and applied research to evaluate the adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. Entry-level aerospace design engineers study design briefs and come up with possible design solutions. They use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Assisted Engineering (CAE) software to create prototypes. They also modify existing aircraft products or processes to increase efficiency or improve performance.
Senior Aerospace Design Engineers provide specialised expertise in the design, testing, commissioning, and troubleshooting of structure and mechanical components of aircraft design. They verify the completeness and quality of design and ensure its compliance with Federal, Company and Avionics Standards. They modify and retest designs, to make the production process efficient. They also write regular progress reports and present them to project managers and clients. They provide technical guidance to management if required.
Aerospace Technician operate and maintain all types of equipment used in developing, testing, producing and sustaining any aircraft. Their duties include testing aircraft systems, performing installations and repairs, checking the quality of aircraft systems and calibrating aircraft computer systems. Entry-level aerospace technicians inspect equipment and systems. They operate and calibrate computer systems so that they comply with test requirements and to perform data acquisition and analysis. They interpret design or operational test results and construct and maintain test facilities for aircraft parts and systems, according to specifications.
Senior Aerospace Technicians document design or operational test results. They confer with engineering personnel regarding details and implications of test procedures and results. They record data from assemblies, test parts and monitor quality control with systems that is installed into the aircrafts. They troubleshoot problems that cause malfunctions in the equipment. They also test aircraft systems under simulated operational conditions to establish design or fabrication parameters.
Mission Specialists are responsible for coordinating onboard operations involving crew activity planning, use, and monitoring of the shuttle’s consumables conducting experiment and payload activities. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) trains mission specialists to handle other technical astronaut responsibilities, which include fixing plumbing and heating, space station construction, making spacewalks, satellite repair etc. They also plan missions including the activity of the crew and the management of supplies such as fuel, water, food, etc.
Senior Mission Specialists oversee the experiment when the shuttle carries complex scientific equipment. In between space flights, they provide training and support to other shuttle crews and help assemble and test equipment. Duties aboard the station include repair work, medical research, scientific experiments and docking with arriving spacecraft.
Avionics Engineer design and develop aircraft and spacecraft avionic instrumentation which includes communications, navigation, display and management of multiple systems. They also conduct research to address problems associated with flight safety systems, landing gear, and electronic navigation systems. Entry-level avionics engineers participate in designing, purchasing, testing, and calibrating avionic systems such as computer and electronic communication panels. They design aircraft integration solutions for electrical and avionics aircraft interiors and system components and assist in aircraft testing. They also check and revise technical data to reflect aircraft, engine and avionic components’ current configuration.Senior Avionics Engineers work with functional management on manpower requirements, budget estimates and personnel performance. They develop estimating standards, weekly reports and status updates of the projects. They ensure that newly installed systems and those that have been repaired meet requirements mandated by the company policies, ATA standards and Federal Aviation Regulations. They develop and implement fleet and maintenance reliability measures and operational parameters.