- Work on the creation, testing and maintenance of all kinds of aircraft
- Solve technical problems and implement the solutions
- Develop specialist knowledge and skills using the latest technologies
This is a hands-on, technical role, working in one of the most exciting fields in engineering. You could be working on the building of aeroplanes, satellites or spacecraft, and using the latest technologies and techniques, for high profile organisations.
You could work in mechanics, where you'll focus on building and servicing aircraft fuselage, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, like wings, engines and landing gear avionics; or you can work in installing and testing electrical and electronic systems used in navigation, communications and flight control.
- Develop component plans using computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software
- Investigate and test solutions to engineering problems
- Build and test prototypes
- Use prototypes to predict and improve the performance of aircraft systems
You might also carry out line and base maintenance between flights - line maintenance includes pre-flight checks, refuelling and other minor tasks - base maintenance involves more detailed checks, fault diagnosis and repairs.
You could work in an aircraft hangar, on an aircraft, in a factory, in an office or in a laboratory. Your working environment may be cramped. You may also work during evenings or on weekends.
You can do a college course like a level 3 diploma in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or aerospace and aviation engineering to get you on the path to a job in this area. You could then do a foundation degree, HNC or HND in aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical or electronics engineering, avionics. Or you could do an advanced engineering technician apprenticeship with an airline operator, airline manufacturer or service engineering company.
Ensuring you focus on maths and science subjects at GCSE, T Level or A Level will help you get into this work, and getting work experience in this field will help you prepare for further training.
With experience, you could move into supervisory, project management and higher management roles, train to become a qualified engineer, or specialise in a particular field, like aircraft design.