Becoming an Aviation Engineer - What Are the Education Requirements?

So what exactly what is an aviation engineer and what is their main job function? An aviation engineer oversees the design, construction and implementation of many types of aviation vehicles such as airplanes, spacecraft and even missiles.

You can break down aviation engineering into 2 categories. Aeronautical engineering which covers the field of aircraft design, implementation and testing whereas astronautical engineering deals with spacecraft.
Becoming an aviation engineer can be an extremely rewarding life for the person who travels down this challenging career path. There are many reasons why this is true but maybe the most important and rewarding reason is the duty and responsibility to create and construct safe aircraft, not only for the commercial airlines that transport thousands of travelers every day but also for the military sector and the personnel who depend on safe aircraft to carry out their duties.
By reading the above, it becomes obvious that there is a fair amount of education and training required in order to become an aviation engineer and one would be correct in that assumption.
Let us look at the education prerequisites.
An undergraduate starts his study typically in a 4-year college university with a variety of 'foundation' curriculum courses. These would include:

1. Algebra, Calculus and possibly other advanced math 
2. Economics and some English 
3. Computer Graphics 
4. Statistics, Communications and Business Management
The importance of pre-requisite courses as part of the aviation engineering education curriculum cannot be overstated. A student could ask 'why do I need some of these classes' that seemingly have no direct correlation to the aviation study at hand. Rest assured that a solid foundation of education in the basic and advanced studies will assist the students' overall knowledge as it applies to aviation in a much more direct manner than they could ever realize.
During this 4 year education and training many schools and universities will offer more advanced aviation engineering classes concurrently, thus reducing or sometimes even eliminating subsequent trade schooling.
The major types of aviation specific classes are:
1. Aviation Material Processes 
2. Introduction to Aircraft and Avionics Systems 
3. Avionics Electrical Systems 
4. Wing Assembly Engineering 
5. Composite Technology, Material and Construction 
6. Aircraft Electrical Theory
If the student does not complete all the aviation specific courses in the 4-year university study then they will be required to attend an aviation trade school to get the required education and training. Typically this curriculum will take 2-3 years to complete but could possibly take longer if there is advanced education required as it applies to a specific aspect of aviation engineering.

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