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BS Aerospace Engineering or BS Aircraft Maintenance Technology?

  1. Jan 19, 2014 #1
    Hi, since I don't have money, I didn't include BS Air Transportation in my choices.

    My friend and I are really confused. We are now already in college and currently taking aerospace engineering. However, it is so hard but I think we can make it (we haven't failed so far) but the problem is the future or after we graduate.

    Our number one concern is the demand. What if we didn't get a job immediately? Time is gold and we don't want to wait for a very long time of waiting just to get hired. We realized that maybe half or 3/4 of the board passers just work as academician/professor for 2 years and we don't want to teach. Two years is a long time and must not be wasted and it's not our passion to teach.

    He's actually planning to shift and encouraging me somehow. I have my decision, I won't shift but I would also like to encourage him to just stay in this course. He said that the only thing you can get from being an engineer is the title. Yes you have the title, but I don't think that's the only thing you can get.

    I think without engineers, there would be no pilots and technicians (AMTs), am I right?

    If you're an engineer and working on the field, can you also fix or do some physical works while building an airplane? or are we just going to stand up there, command those technicians (AMTs) what to do and watch them?

    Give us enough idea and that would be a great help!

    Explain the ff. and give a comparison between BSAE (engineering) & BSAMT (aircraft maintenance technolgy) in terms of:
    Difficulty while working
    Competition within the job

    And which country has the most demand/available jobs for aeronautical engineers and AMTs?

    Any opinions will be accepted except the rude ones. Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2014 #2
    An engineer and a technician are two very different careers. First engineers are designers and they manage the technicians who are basically do upkeep and fix systems that engineers designed. Secondly your flexibility in industries and careers are much better as an engineer. If you don't like aerospace engineering you could switch to management or some other related engineering discipline fairly easy. As a technician you will only be able to work on the industry doing the job you are trained to do ( skilled labor). I've never heard of a BS in aircraft technician, where are you from? I highly recommend just going with aerospace engineering or mechanical engineering.
  4. Jan 20, 2014 #3
    Yes, engineering is difficult, but I think it is definitely doable as long as you stick with it.

    The salary of an engineer will typically be much higher than that of a tech and an engineer has mobility in a company so that they can work their way up higher.

    Working as a tech, you will be doing manual labor on aircraft for problems that are well-understood (for the most part) and it would be fairly repetitive; as an engineer, you are constantly confronted with new challenging problems on a regular basis and your work may be balanced between hands-on and office work depending on where you work.

    The workforce will ALWAYS need engineers because people need to design systems while many manual tasks can be automated. Do companies really need techs with bachelors degrees? I have friends that do a lot of aircraft maintenance but they just have standard A&P licensing.

    I think if you're debating pursuing a more hands-on type of a field that is still related to what your are doing, switch to mechanical engineering. An ME can work as an AE for the most part but employers sometimes see AE's as being to specialized if they apply for ME positions. The coursework for ME's is typically less "mathy" and more hands-on and a lot more doors are open after graduation. I am pursuing an ME degree with a concentration on propulsion. I'm a very shop-oriented person and I love the stuff I'm learning. The hardest part is getting through all of the calculus and physics; just stick through it if you can.

    Aerospace (and related) engineering jobs are spread out in the US, but are highly concentrated in states such as California. Techs are probably anywhere you find these types of companies, airports, launch sites, etc. I even worked in the middle of nowhere at a crop dusting company for a while, and they had A&P licensed mechanics there.
  5. Jan 21, 2014 #4
    Aerospace engineering and technical work can be a boom/bust sort of work. The industry is renown for skilled worker shortages as well as mass layoffs. This is true regardless of whether you are a technician or an engineer.

    I faced this problem when I was in college. I love tinkering with computers and radios. I wanted to do that for work. And then I realized that technical work, no matter how good I might be at it, won't pay many bills. My job stability and future prospects wouldn't be all that good. Instead, I made a choice to get an Electrical Engineering degree and then focus on the hands-on aspects of the job.

    I haven't regretted that decision. Too many engineers get their degrees and have no idea how anything is really done in the shop. I knew. But many others who graduated with me didn't. Some didn't even know how to properly set up a trigger on an oscilloscope.

    I suggest that if you have the educational foundation to stand on, that you go for the engineering degree.
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