1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Aerospace engineer

Aerospace engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Aeronautical engineer

Aerospace engineers design, test, build and maintain planes, spacecraft and satellites.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£52,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an aerospace engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a degree in aerospace engineering, avionics, or a subject like:

  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • manufacturing or product engineering
  • physics or applied physics
  • software engineering or mathematics

Postgraduate study

If your degree is not in aerospace engineering or aeronautics, you might find it helpful to do a master's degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths

More Information


You could do a higher national certificate (HNC) or diploma (HND) in engineering before applying for a technician level job with an aerospace company.

Subjects include:

  • Level 4 HNC Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
  • Level 5 HND Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
  • Level 5 HND Diploma in Electrical Engineering

To become a fully qualified engineer, you would then need to do more training.

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More Information


You could do an apprenticeship that is relevant to the aerospace industry like:

  • Aerospace Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Electro-mechanical Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Materials Science Technologist Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Materials Process Engineer Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Power and Propulsion Gas Turbine Engineer Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship

Some employers might accept other types of engineering apprenticeships that are higher or degree level.

You'll combine learning in the workplace with studying for a degree at an approved university.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You might be able to join a company as an aerospace engineering technician and do training on the job to qualify as an engineer.

Direct Application

You can apply for aerospace engineering jobs directly if you've got qualifications and experience. For example, you might have worked in mechanical, electrical or electronics engineering.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in aerospace engineering from Careers in Aerospace.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • science skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an aerospace engineer, you could:

  • develop navigation, communications or weapons systems
  • research ways to make parts like wings, the main body of the aircraft and engines fuel efficient
  • use computer aided design (CAD) software, test prototypes and collect and analyse data
  • plan and supervise maintenance as well as the fitting of aircraft and components
  • sign off projects to regulation, write technical reports and estimate costs and timescales

Working environment

You could work in a factory, in an office, on an aircraft or in an aircraft hangar.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in a particular field like:

  • aerodynamics
  • fuel efficiency
  • space technology
  • investigating air accidents

You could also move up to become a project manager or consultant aerospace engineer.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 6 Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £25,517.00 Annually
  • Location: Boscombe Down, Amesbury, Salisbury

Paint Development Technician Degree Apprentice

  • Wage: £20,000.00 Annually
  • Location: HULL

Courses In England

Engineering (Aerospace Engineering) - BEng Hons Degree (Full-time)

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Blackpool

Edexcel L3 BTEC Extended Dip in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Aerospace Engineering) - Yr 1 of 2

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Bridgwater

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.