Guest Contributor

Quality Engineer Jobs in the Aerospace and Aviation Industry

By | Roel

With both our feet planted firmly on the ground, we used to envy birds that freely take off and roam the skies. We wanted to know what it feels like, flying and soaring high alongside the clouds. The closest we’ve been in this dream? 

The closest sensation is skydiving, maybe. But the most common would be up in an airplane at an altitude so high we sometimes go above the birds we envied.

But once we unlocked (even partially) the secrets of flight, we didn’t stop within the Earth’s atmosphere. Instead, we went above and beyond and started exploring the big, mysterious universe.

We continue seeking new heights and discoveries with our ever-advancing technology from the Moon to Mars and galaxies beyond our very own.

But what’s the technology that enabled and empowered us to conquer the skies and heavens? 

Who are the people behind these industries? What quality engineer jobs and careers await someone who wishes to conquer space?

Let’s deep-dive, shall we?

Aviation 101: The Beginning of a Commercial Industry 

In the simplest of terms, the aviation industry is a business sector, and it focuses on manufacturing and operating all types of aircraft.

But the aircraft of today weren’t always what they seemed.

In the beginning, the principle followed by engineers was to be lighter than air. The Montgolfier brothers designed a hot air balloon that made its first flight on November 21, 1783. The hot-air balloon transitioned in no time into a steerable aircraft called a dirigible and then into rigid airships made famous by the Zeppelin company. 

The Zeppelin flights also became the first to carry passengers and cargo over significant distances—a feat still observed by our modern-day airplanes.

Engineers soon made the transition to heavier-than-air aircraft, with the most remarkable progress being made in the wartime during the 1920s and 30s. Ironically, it was the war that brought many innovations to aviation. From jet planes to liquid-fueled rockets, creation constantly showed how much we could move forward to conquer the skies.

And conquer we did.

After the war, the aviation industry recalibrated its purpose into being the world’s only rapid worldwide transportation network. By air travel, the distance between continents shrunk. In addition, travel for leisure gave rise to a booming global tourism industry thanks to the numerous commercial flights being offered to anyone who can legally afford a ticket.

As for the economy, the aviation industry contributed by being the transportation network of global business. 

During the pandemic, eCommerce and online shopping boom. No matter where the seller or item is, shipping via the airwaves is an option that makes buyers capable of purchasing items they want or need. 

The aviation industry created a myriad of jobs and career opportunities. It also helped generate further economic growth by facilitating international trade and tourism.

In recent times, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the overall business health of the aviation industry. As a result, commercial airlines had to retrench employees due to the low demands for passenger air transport. These airlines also had to think up ways to sustain their planes and business as the world coped with the health crisis.

But like every industry, aviation is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The air transport sector was never out of commission, being the critical enabler of many other economic activities.

Now that life is slowly but surely transitioning into a healthier new normal, country borders are reopening. For the aviation industry, this meant a renewed interest in passengers to go home or go out through an airplane.

The Basics of Aerospace: How We Explored Milky Way and Beyond

Aerospace is now made famous by the likes of Elon Musk (and his ambitious plans to make space transportation services available to the public so we can colonize Mars) and Jeff Bezos (his Blue Origin company claims to be a space tourism one with plans to launch a commercial space station).

But without a doubt, Neil Armstrong’s mood landing remains a core memory, primarily when he uttered the now-famous quote: “ That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

But is that what aerospace is all about? Colonizing Mars, exploring space, and landing on the moon? Those are just some of the things one can accomplish with aerospace engineering.

Also falling under the categories of aeronautical engineering or astronautical engineering, aerospace engineering deals with the design, development, testing, and production of airborne objects. 

After the war, the world excitedly took part in the advancements of the aviation industry. But by the 1950s, we started looking at another place to explore: space.

The United States battled it all out against what was the then-called Soviet Union. Both countries wanted to have the honor to be the first to explore space. They first launched low-orbit communication satellites. And then they started sending people to space.

Although the vastness of the universe remains unknown to this day, through aerospace engineering, we are able to map out our planet’s address, our neighbors, the atmospheric problems that may affect us, so on and so forth.

To this day, space exploration is an ongoing effort. The best and brightest are expected in the field of aerospace engineering.

The Force: Quality Engineer Jobs that Make Aerospace and Aviation Work

One might ask, what are some engineering jobs that make it possible for these industries to function? We list down six of the most common:

Aerospace Engineer

Also referred to as aeronautical engineers, these experts are primarily concerned with designing and constructing flight machines and aircraft. However, these engineers also test and make sure that the devices they manufacture are safe for flying.

Of course, flight machines need to evolve for the better constantly. So aerospace engineers will also help research and develop new technologies to boost the efficiency and functionality of these flight vehicles.

Aviation Engineer

In a sense, aviation engineers do share similar responsibilities as aerospace engineers.

On top of their involvement in designing, developing, testing, and maintaining an aircraft, aviation engineers also work on the systems before assembling the plane. These include flight systems, airspace navigation systems, and other aspects of airplanes or aviation.

Fleet Engineer

Fleet engineers share their engineering expertise in a lot of duties. 

They take part in research, development, and design, plus engineering analysis and projections. Fleet engineers also assess materials and defects and even recommend the necessary modifications or need to improve or finetune the machine.

Lastly, these specialists are also responsible for day-to-day fleet readiness.

Mechanical Engineer

Yes, mechanical engineers are needed in the field of aviation and aerospace, too. 

In a nutshell, a mechanical engineer’s expertise lies in designing and producing mechanical and thermal devices. They can also diagnose errors or troubleshoot, determine solutions, and do the necessary fixes and repairs needed by the machine.

A mechanical engineer can help in projects like mission systems in an aviation or aerospace setting. They can also spearhead airframe structural analysis and design and even do flight tests to ensure the machine is fit for use.

Maintenance Engineer

True to its title, a maintenance engineer is in charge of the well-being of the aircraft or flight machine.

They are crucial team members since they ensure that every engine is working well and safe for flying. 

Aside from pre-flight inspections, maintenance engineers are also capable of dismantling, inspecting, repairing, and reassembling engines, components, systems, and structures. They also test communication equipment, instruments, and even electronic systems.

Design Engineer

The complexity and exactness in every aircraft or flight machine structure is the brainchild of a design engineer. 

Also called aircraft structural engineer or aviation design engineer, the design engineer drafts designs and meets clear-cut standards and specifications. They are experts in structural design, and they use this expertise to work on aircraft interiors and mechanical systems.

Control and Instrumentation Engineer

As the name suggests, a control and instrumentation engineer is in charge of designing, developing, installing, managing, and maintaining equipment that controls and monitors engineering systems, machinery, and related processes.

Like most of the above mentioned roles, the control and instrumentation engineer is tasked to ensure that these systems and processes are operating in tiptop condition. Everything should be effective, efficient, and safe.

Finding The Top Talents

Given the demands and exacting skill sets needed to work for the aviation and aerospace industry, how does one ensure that the candidates they get are qualified and of high quality?

There are three sure-fire ways to recruit:

  • Post your vacancies

The simplest way to let prospects know you are hiring is by telling them. Posting your company’s job vacancies is the most direct way to allow interested parties to know about the opportunities you offer.

A word of advice, though; you need to do your research before posting the details. 

Given the specialized roles you seek to fill in, you do not want your postings to be generic. Instead, you want to save time and effort by attracting qualified candidates who will fit your company culture.

One way to do that is to learn more about the role, the must-haves, negotiable competencies, and the goals or outputs the department in question will need from the new hire. That way, your posting is detailed and covers all the bases.

  • Seek referrals

 It really is easy if you know what you’re looking for. Or in this case, who.

The aviation and aerospace industry is so exacting and tight that everyone can give a name if asked to recommend some A-players.

If you can get a hold of referrals, make the most out of it. Not only do the referrers know who they are talking about, but they can also attest to why the person they vouched for will be an excellent fit for the role.

  • Tap the help of a specialized recruiting agency

We’ve mentioned how specialized the industries are, but did you know recruiting agencies who work closely on these niches exist? 

These specialized recruiting agencies speak your company’s language—they are already aware of the roles and the requirements that will make a candidate an excellent hire.

Wouldn’t it be faster to hire in-house than involve a third party in the process? In this scenario, it’s actually beneficial to ask for the agency’s help.

By paying the necessary placement fees, you get access to:

  • A vast network of qualified candidates

Unlike companies, recruiting agencies open vacancies all year round.

They scout, screen, interview, and high-quality pool of candidates, so the minute they get tapped, they already have a ready network.

You get access to this network after tapping a recruiting agency. Think of it as a chance to work with the best among the rest. After all, the agency does its own rounds of screening activities. Whoever remains in the pool is qualified, capable, and reliable—that’s a guarantee.

Even better, you get to expand your searches in locations you can’t even imagine. For such a technical and specialized job, this ability to hire outside your immediate radius is a plus. You don’t just hire because you have no nearby options; you hired a candidate because they were the cream of the crop.

  • Expert recruiters

Without onboarding new staff, you get the help of credible professionals to fill the roles your company direly needs.

These recruiters are well-versed in the aerospace and aviation industry. They will have zero problems at all headhunting for specialized roles.

  • A faster hiring process

A pre-existing network plus expert recruiters? This formidable combo is more than capable of speeding up your hiring process. 

  • Savings in time and money

And because you were able to fast-track hiring, you save effort and money compared to if the process was done in-house.

To Wrap It Up

The aviation and aerospace industry is our bridge towards convenient travels and unlocking the secrets of Earth and beyond. By finding quality engineers for specialized jobs in these industries, we ensure safer, sustainable, and efficient passage, plus the discovery of new knowledge

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