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Young Engineer wondering about future

  1. Aug 30, 2012 #1
    Im Mike. Im only 14 but I am deeply in love with mechanics and design. I just wanted to share my future plans and am wondering how possible this is. Im not sure if i should be posting this in the aerospace engineering forum but here it goes...
    My father is in the AirForce and has taught me how a plane works, about the aerodynamacy and the physics behind how it creates lift. But I have not gone a day without thinking about engines since last summer. Anyways, I would like to become a Mechanical Engineer for the Air Force as an engine and airplane body designer. I love the idea, and its not impossible.
    Thats not what im asking, though...
    I would like to retire early and follow in Carrol Shelby's footsteps, and design engines and/or cars for my favorite motor co., Ford. Maybe I could help bring back the classics, as we are in much need of it. Especially after they redisgned that hood on the charger. Horrible. Anyways, is this possible, and if so, how could I accomplish this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2012 #2
    Hey mate, welcome to the forums. A better place to post a quesiton like that is on the Whirlpool forums (under Education). A lot more people willing to answer a question like this. These questions don't usually get any replies here.

    I've answered this same question multiple times over there. Your dream is very similar to mine. I did a degree in Aerospace engineering because I wanted to join the Air Force and work on aircraft. The problem is the competition is fierce and there's a lot of people with the same dream. Imagine how many mechanical engineers want to work for a major car company... I do and have had interviews for such positions, but out of a thousand applicants the chance that it's you is quite small.

    It's worth a shot, but you're fighting a very uphill battle. If you do go ahead with it, just be prepared that you'll most likely be doing something you never wanted to.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  4. Aug 30, 2012 #3
    If I may comment on this...............I would say follow your dreams!!! I started out as an auto tech. Then a bad vehicular accident left me permanently disabled. After two years of pity partying, I went back to school for mechE, at 27 with no education to speak of. Three years later I'm a senior honors student(3.9GPA) at an accredited uni(Go Temple!!!). So, if you truly have passion that is whats important. Trust me when I say smarts has little to do with these results, its passion that pushes 20hr days.

    My advise, if you really want to work in the auto industry, make cars your first goal, not second. Also, join a school with a developed FSAE team. You will learn so much. Furthermore, I know many students get auto engineering jobs purely on the strength of FSAE experience, not GPA. But don't take my word for it, check out the FSAE forums....
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  5. Aug 30, 2012 #4
    Are you still at uni Rob? I used to be as optimistic, but the job market will crush you like a bug. I envy your enthusiasm.
  6. Aug 30, 2012 #5
    Yes, very close to graduation..................I start applying for work Dec.. I know the market is tough these days, but being separated from my love is even tougher!!! Also, can you suggest a major that is more fun with more pay straight outa under grad?? I dare you to try!! (in a joking tone)
  7. Aug 30, 2012 #6
    I hate damn cliches, but better to try and fail then never try at all eh?

    There is no such phrase as starving engineer too!!!!
  8. Aug 31, 2012 #7
    Yes I understand thats why I am trying my hardest to exceed in engineering. Also, if i get into the Airforce Academy, that puts you right into the air force and you get to choose your career, and if you ace the course that would lead you towards that career, you have a very high chance of getting that, so it all comes down to the hard work i guess.

    I get what your saying but I think that the experience from the USAFA would benefit me a lot more later on, and also thats teh college i want to go to, and you have to serve at least 5 years in the force after that. And thanks for the hope haha sounds like youve had a long and fun journey
  9. Sep 2, 2012 #8
    Hopefully you have a strong ability in math and science. I'm not trying to be a dick, but a young engineer implies a 22 year old with a sheep skin. You just got into high school.
  10. Sep 2, 2012 #9
    That's not entirely true. Well with the Australian Defence Force System anyway. You apply for the career that you want and then they choose you against everyone else in the nation that wants to do it. If you're successful for that position then you go to the defence force academy. So it's really not that different.
  11. Sep 3, 2012 #10
    Yeah the academy is liek that accept your not going against the nation, your going only against the people at that particular base, so its a lot less competition haha.

    Yeah im alright at math. Im not in geomotry advanced but I went to a private school before this and they pushed a lot harder than public school, and also in engineering classes we are doing triginometry and it comes easy, and science the same. And yeah I understand that to be an engineer you need to have to be good in those subjects, so your not being a D.
  12. Sep 8, 2012 #11
    Good that it comes easy - now push yourself to the lessons that are hard and not obvious.

    Also get into the real world applications. Take an engine apart, then put it back together and see if you can get it to run (lawn mower).
  13. Sep 10, 2012 #12
    Well my parents have an old weedwhacker that runs with a gas engine. They got a new battery powered one recently. I guess i could try taking it apart and putting that back together. Thanks for the tip
  14. Sep 14, 2012 #13
    I should tell you about something that is not often mentioned to people going into the engineering field. And that is: BEWARE OF PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS. Recent graduates of the engineering field are given little respect in the current job market.

    I would advise caution in going into the engineering field if economic conditions in this job market do not reverse around within a few years. Make sure you do your study of work experience "Catch-22"'s beforehand!!!
  15. Sep 15, 2012 #14
    I should also mention that I also know that the job market for Mechanical Engineers is considerably better than that for Electrical or Chemical Engineers at the current time, so it looks like you are making the right choice an engineering program. But I would still be wary of work experience traps that might exist out there!

    Also make sure that if you want to get into the Air Force that you know what is required to join the military nowadays. Seeing that you have a lot of time to prepare until they would be willing to take you in, you should try to make the right provisions for it right now. For example, I had heard that the military will not accept potential recruits that are overweight or that need to take prescription medicines on a regular basis for their health. You may need to deal with such problems now should they exist rather then four years down the line when you are ready to join the Air Force.

    If you are serious about an engineering career, I must agree to entering the Air Force. The army is one of the few institutions out there that I know is willing to give you enough engineering-related work experience to make a person "employable" in the job market for engineers in the opinion of employers.
  16. Aug 1, 2013 #15
    I barely am reading this almost a year later. Ha.

    Sorry about the super late response, i kind of forgot about this forum until an email refreshed my memory. Thanks for the tips and encouragement. I weigh about 130 as a 15 yr old and I work out 3 times a week so I am nowhere near out of shape. Also, my dad has explained a lot to me about recruitment and such, so I have an upper hand. Thanks for approving my decisions
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