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Aerospace engineers here is something you might like

  1. May 27, 2015 #1
    From everything I know till now , aerospace engineers sit behind desks and work for most of the day. I am a high school boy and I find that boring. So my question to all the aerospace engineers out there is whether or not what I just said is true? Followed by , do you guys have any kind {and i mean any } of outdoor work {may be being near actually plans and stuff } or something that is not restricted to a desk?What are the various types of jobs you do { for example I head - looking at plans for vehicles { space vehicles} and determining whether they will work or not at a particular temp , well that is all i have heard i need more.Give me a detailed description of a aerospace engineering
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2015 #2

    D H

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    http://www.joyfulathlete.com/images/384x469xallstateadcrop.jpg.pagespeed.ic.k5-pMi00XP.jpg [Broken]

    No disparagement intended.

    You find the concept of a desk job boring in part because you are, per your own words, a high school boy. Most of your brain is fairly well-developed, but a key part, the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, has a good five to ten years to go. One key part of your brain that is fully developed is your limbic system. That's what is telling you a desk job is boring. The dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, which isn't fully developed, is the part of the brain that does a lot of our thinking. When you hit 20-25 or so, a desk job might not look so boring.

    That said, not all aerospace engineering jobs are desk jobs. Some aerospace engineers work in labs, some work with equipment that could kill in the blink of an eye if they do something stupid (that's exciting, isn't it?), some even work outdoors. Personally, I find those jobs a bit boring for lack of mental challenge, but I'm perhaps a bit weird. "Nothing's more fun than writing a nice math paper" weird.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  4. May 27, 2015 #3
    If you want excitement in aerospace, I suggest attending Embry Riddle University. In addition to classes in aerodynamics, engine design, and many more such desk-bound jobs, you can also earn a pilot certification all the way through Airline Transport Pilot and various flight instructor certificates.

    Aerospace engineering doesn't have to be a desk job. You can also research accidents, Test engines, manage satellites, review engineering design changes for existing aircraft, and many more things.

    The reason why many companies give the interns desk jobs is because they are afraid of liability from having a student stumble in to something they may not have the experience to know is dangerous. And believe me, test running an aircraft engine after an overhaul can be quite frightening. Working in a shop where welding or cutting takes place is also dangerous. You need to understand the processes and the hazards before they'll let you set foot in any of these places.

    I say this as an experienced private pilot who has seen an accident or two and made a successful precautionary landing with a failing engine in a single engine aircraft at night.

    You REALLY need to understand what you're doing in aviation or spaceflight, because the margin for error is less there than just about any other industry I know.
  5. May 29, 2015 #4
    WOW first of all congratulations JakeBrodskyPE on your incredible landing { WAW!!!! How did you even do it ! Did you like glide or something? Failing engine in a single engine aircraft , mind blowing , hats off , respect!!}. Secondly Thank you very much for your responses D H and JakeBrodskyPE I shall now be able to look into the matter carefully and one last question to JakeBrodskyPE , do small planes [ to be more specific , planes that have one engine ] encounter such difficulties frequently or rather more frequently than bigger planes [ for example a boeing 777 or an airbus A 380 ] and ,based on that answer, is it risky to pilot smaller planes than larger ones. How frequent are there problems with smaller planes?
  6. May 29, 2015 #5
    Smaller aircraft are as risky as you choose to maintain and fly them. However, if you take the total accident rate of general aviation, including some of the very riskiest activities, it is still no worse than riding a motorcycle. Most accidents are caused by pilot stupidity, not airframe or engine failures. Pilot mistakes include overweight/out of CG takeoffs, flying in to knowable or known adverse weather, low altitude flight in to obstacles or terrain, flying with insufficient fuel or forgetting to switch fuel tanks, hitting obstacles in low altitude flight, and other such sadly predictable mistakes. I call these mistakes "stupidity" because these are the very things one is tested for in the written exam and on the check-ride. There is no good excuse for most of these accidents.

    By comparison, mechanical failures of one sort or another are less than ten percent of all accidents, and they usually do not result in significant injury. Problems include landing gear failures, engine cylinder cracks (that's what happened to me), birds building nests in places that interfere with flight controls and the like. These sorts of problems are less likely these days due to improved manufacturing, improved maintenance practices, and improved aircraft designs, including emergency ballistic parachute systems.

    That said, aerospace engineering, particularly with aviation, is a boom/bust sort of business. Right now, there is a shortage of pilots. However, most pilots are paid wages that are, shall we say, lower middle class at best.The industry is constantly changing. If you choose to get involved with Aviation, keep studying other things on the side, just in case things don't go well for you, because sooner or later it won't.
  7. May 30, 2015 #6
    Hmmm interesting. But I thought pilots are paid extremely well? Anyway I am looking for aerospace engineering and not aviation in particular. Thanks for the advice. Also do aerospace engineers get to work in an assembly line for let's say Boeing or aribus?
    Also how would aviation stop being favarouble for anybody who has studied it? I mean in the next 20-30 years pilots will still be in high demand wouldn't they ? Or do you mean the increase in supply of pilots will decrease the salary per individual ( in general ) even after a normative increase in demand?
  8. May 30, 2015 #7
    Airline pilots are paid well, though they don't have a whole lot of job security. To get one of those jobs you need experience as a cargo or as a regional pilot. Those people are paid rather meager wages for what they do and you will need YEARS of experience to get a seat on an airliner.

    As for Aerospace engineers, the job can be as desk-bound or as hands on as you're willing to put up with. There are several sorts of engineering. Forensic engineering or field engineering is where you discover what broke. That's as hands-on as anything gets. There is production engineering: You design a device that people have built before and is well understood, but perhaps with a few minor customizations and tweaks. These tend to be desk bound jobs. And then there is research engineering. This is where you build something that has never been built before. It can be very hands-on or you might be sitting at a desk modeling many things.

    The larger the firm you work with, the more likely it is that you'll be desk bound. However, smaller firms tend to have all-hands-on a lot of the time.

    So you get to choose...
  9. May 30, 2015 #8
    But small firms do not pay so well. I mean do they ? And what other hands on job examples are they? Is sattlite management and sattlite launching a desk job ( that I think I could enjoy )? Can an aerospace engineer open up his own company that launches sattlites or at least be a major part of it after let's say 5 years of already working as an aerospace engineer?
  10. May 30, 2015 #9


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    This was a pretty exciting day at the office for a bunch of desk jockeys...though probably 10 years in the making:

  11. May 31, 2015 #10
    Don't let old people tell you you need to have a boring desk job, gentle family life, and all that stuff. They just say so because that's what they have now and that is what they finally accept being forced into. In the end 95% of all people choose for job security, stability, money, car, house, significant other, etc.

    Old people also lose part of their brain when they get older. That's why they listen to the crap music they used to listen to when they were young, trying to call back those emotions and feeling their brains can't produce for them anymore.

    You will be old and boring before you know it.
  12. May 31, 2015 #11

    Vanadium 50

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    I'm listening to Beethoven right now. This is not good.
  13. May 31, 2015 #12
    Yep. We're so good at what we do that we don't even need all of our brains to do it. :-p

    I have known people who want lots of change every day, and then there are those who don't. Some need structure and stability, and others prefer to be without it. It has nothing to do with age and everything to do with temperament.

    If you think the stuff we do every day is "boring" then please show us all how much better it could be. Who knows? Despite the many failures, the injuries, and unfortunate deaths I've seen, there is a small chance that you might be right.

    (Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt... --oh that's right, I'm supposed to be boring)

    (Kids these days...) :smile:
  14. Jun 1, 2015 #13
    I think I was born boring.
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