Day in the Life
Beginning engineering graduates usually
work under the supervision of experienced engineers and, in large
companies, also may receive formal classroom or seminar-type training. As
new engineers gain knowledge and experience, they are assigned more
difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve
problems, and make decisions. Engineers may advance to become technical
specialists or to supervise a staff or team of engineers and technicians.
Some may eventually become engineering managers or enter other managerial
or sales jobs.
Teams and Coworkers
Almost all jobs in engineering require some sort of interaction with
coworkers. Whether they are working in a team situation, or just asking for
advice, most engineers have to have the ability to communicate and work
with other people. Engineers should be creative, inquisitive, analytical,
and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of a team and to
communicate well, both orally and in writing. Communication abilities are
important because engineers often interact with specialists in a wide range
of fields outside engineering.
Aerospace engineers develop new technologies
for use in aviation, defense systems, and space exploration, often
specializing in areas such as structural design, guidance, navigation and
control, instrumentation and communication, or production methods. They
often use computer-aided design (CAD) software, robotics, and lasers and
advanced electronic optics. They also may specialize in a particular type
of aerospace product, such as commercial transports, military fighter jets,
helicopters, spacecraft, or missiles and rockets. Aerospace engineers may
be experts in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics,
propulsion, acoustics, or guidance and control systems.
Aerospace engineers typically are employed in the aerospace product and
parts industry, although their skills are becoming increasingly valuable in
other fields. For example, in the motor vehicles manufacturing industry,
aerospace engineers design vehicles that have lower air resistance and,
thus, increased fuel efficiency.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
Statistics. Photos are courtesy of NASA.