aerospace engineer working on a project

So, you’ve been staring up in utter amazement since childhood at every aircraft that flew across the sky. You’ve been building paper planes every chance you got, and there’s nothing but all things aerospace-related in your bedroom. Now you want to make that lifetime dream come true and pursue a career in aerospace and mechanical engineering. Sound like you? If the answer is yes, read on to find out what steps you need to take to help kick-start your career.


Career path to aerospace/mechanical engineering

Aerospace and mechanical engineers overlap in many ways, from design, manufacturing, and testing. That said, aerospace is certainly a more niche field compared to mechanical engineering, with specific and unique approaches to analysis and design not found in many other disciplines.

If you are considering a career in aerospace/mechanical engineering, there are a few of the bare basics you will need. These include:

  • Physics, mathematics, chemistry, and languages should be subjects of focus during secondary school. Now, you might be wondering why languages? Well, we’ll get to this a little later.
  • A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or a related field.
  • Start developing your skills through internships and taking on a part-time job. After all, if there is one thing employers value, it’s hands-on experience.

These are just the three core requirements that you’ll be told about when you ask – how do I start my career in aerospace/mechanical engineering?


5 tips to help you stand out from the crowd

Whilst all the above will set you on the right path toward a career in aerospace/mechanical engineering, there are a few traits that will truly set you apart. Characteristics, which we deeply value at Quartek. Characteristics embodied within each member of our team.

1.      Deep passion and enthusiasm.

The kind that gives you the goosebumps and shivers (in a good way). The kind that makes your eyes go wide and your heartbeat ten times faster. You will be someone that lives and breathes aerospace/mechanical engineering in your every waking (and sleeping) hour. Whether it’s through extra-curricular activities such as the Australian UAV competitions or school projects, you’re a part of it.

2.      Be a team player.

Engineering in all its forms is a team sport. Therefore, it’s essential that you are a true team player and can navigate working in teams of all sizes, be it a team of two or a group of 200.

3.      Must be self-motivated and love learning.

You must be prepared for lifelong learning. Engineering is constantly evolving. Therefore, education is ongoing. Just when you think you know everything there is to know, there’s always something new and exciting around the corner. You might consider signing up to Engineers Australia for ongoing training, resources, and industry updates.

As an aspiring aerospace/mechanical engineer, you’ll be driven by vision and goals. Whilst you may not be the best at everything, you’ll most certainly need to be well-rounded.

4.      Be good at English.

Earlier, we mentioned languages as subjects to focus on in secondary school. Here’s a rarely known fact we’ll let you in on: you must be excellent at English to be an engineer (other languages will be a bonus). As an engineer, you’ll be doing a lot of report writing, in other words, storytelling. To communicate and write these reports in the simplest terms so your clients will understand them, you’ll need to be an excellent communicator and for that, you need to ace your English!

Need some inspiration? Check out the biography of Neville Schute Norway, who was an aeronautical engineer and a writer.

5.      Have realistic expectations.

You may be sitting at your desk dreaming of working on the next fast jet. But truth be told this is not likely to happen right away (sorry to burst your bubble!). It often takes years of hard work and experience before one gets the opportunity. However, don’t get disheartened. The projects you will have the opportunity to work on along the way will be just as exciting!


Kick-start your career in aerospace and mechanical engineering with Quartek

If you’re looking to turn your passion into a career, get in touch today and discover the world of opportunities that lie ahead at Quartek.