Not sure what type of job to look for. ME degree with Aerospace exp

In summary, the speaker graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2011 and started working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. However, they are currently unsatisfied with their job due to lack of work, distance from loved ones, and high cost of living. They are looking for new job opportunities and have a list of potential places to send their resume. They are also seeking recommendations for specific jobs or career paths and are unsure if they should apply as an experienced professional or college graduate.
  • #1
DyslexicHobo
251
0
Hi all,

I graduated college from a state school with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 2011 and started my job at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center shortly after. I worked as a flight ops controller for a relatively high-profile (but old) Earth science mission, then in June of this year I moved up a position to become a command & data handling subsystem specialist for the same mission which I was a flight ops controller.

I'm unhappy in my current position for several reasons:
1. The job is severely unsatisfying. It's difficult to do work because there is not enough work to be done. I consider myself a motivated employee, but I spend more time trying to find work to do than actually doing it. Most of my time is spent reading spacecraft technical documentation just because I have nothing better to do.

2. The job is far away from my girlfriend, family, and friends. I moved 2.5 hours away for this job because I thought it'd be the best career option. I was looking for something new, but now I realized that I'd rather be in the south NJ/Philly area.

3. The area where I'm located now is extremely expensive. I'm making about $60k, but because of the high cost of living it doesn't seem like much.

I just can't decide on what type of job I'd like to start looking for. I want a job where I actually have work to do. I'm not really sure what types of jobs are even out there. I know about the mainstream industries: manufacturing, design, consulting, etc. But that doesn't really help me narrow down to companies. The only reason I found the job I have now is because of a college friend. I would have never thought of applying to NASA otherwise.

So far this is a list of places I'll be sending my resume: Applied Physics Lab (Baltimore, MD), Lockheed Martin (Mount Laurel, NJ), and Boeing (NJ or PA location).

So other than general comments, my questions are...
1. Does anyone have any recommendations on jobs to apply for? Either specific jobs or general career paths
2. Should I be applying as an experienced professional or college graduate? I only have about 2 years of job experience, and it will only be moderately related.
3. Should I wait a bit before applying for jobs? I'm pretty unhappy with my current situation, but I also don't want to hurt my chances of being successful because I didn't show company loyalty.

Thanks!
 
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  • #2
Some colleges post lists of where their graduates go to work. Do a Google search for those. "Where our graduates/students went to work" or something. There are a lot of companies I didn't even hear of before that I've found! :)
 

1. What types of jobs can I pursue with an ME degree and aerospace experience?

With an ME degree and aerospace experience, you can pursue a variety of jobs in the aerospace industry such as aerospace engineer, mechanical engineer, systems engineer, design engineer, or project engineer. You can also explore opportunities in other industries such as defense, automotive, and renewable energy.

2. Do I need any additional qualifications for jobs in the aerospace industry?

While your ME degree and aerospace experience provide a strong foundation for a career in the aerospace industry, you may need to acquire additional qualifications depending on the specific job you are interested in. For example, if you want to become an aerospace engineer, you may need to obtain a Professional Engineer (PE) license. It is important to research the job requirements and qualifications before applying.

3. Are there any specific skills or knowledge that are highly valued in the aerospace industry?

In addition to technical skills and knowledge related to aerospace engineering and mechanics, the aerospace industry also values soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software and experience with project management can also be beneficial.

4. What kind of salary can I expect with an ME degree and aerospace experience?

The salary for individuals with an ME degree and aerospace experience can vary depending on the specific job, location, and level of experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for aerospace engineers in 2020 was $118,610. However, salaries can range from around $81,000 to over $166,000.

5. How can I gain more experience in the aerospace industry?

If you are looking to gain more experience in the aerospace industry, there are a few things you can do. Consider pursuing internships or co-op opportunities during your studies, as these can provide valuable hands-on experience and networking opportunities. You can also participate in relevant extracurricular activities or join professional organizations to expand your knowledge and network in the industry.

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