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Become an Aeronautical Engineer

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A type of aerospace engineer, aeronautical engineers design, develop and test aircraft for commercial airlines, the military and businesses. Engineers confer with clients about their needs, and they collaborate with other engineers on initial design concepts and sketches. Their duties also involve making revisions to factor in feasibility, production time and cost and constructing prototypes to determine if the proposed design specifications are safe. After planes are built and in operation, aeronautical engineers write technical reports, manuals and bulletins, as well as review performance reports. They also receive customer feedback and inspect damaged or malfunctioning planes to locate the source of a problem.

There are several steps that will lead you to become an Aeronautical Engineer

1. Develop sound math, physics and drafting skills in high school. Aerospace Engineering requires advanced math, physics, numerical method skills and excellent spatial abilities. Examples are gravitation, hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, material science and strength of materials, among others. High school is the best time to begin developing the foundations for these skills.

2. Develop sound analytical skills. An analytical mindset is a requisite for a career in Aerospace Engineering as is the ability to solve complex problems using analytical techniques, using concrete or intuitive methods. Playing mental games like crosswords, chess and other strategy games helps.

4. Apply for a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Apply for a degree in Aerospace Engineering at as many universities as possible. This gives you options when acceptance letters arrive. Make sure each university you apply to is ABET accredited. Most employers will not recognize degrees from universities that are not.

5. Participate in an Internship. You should consider taking part in an internship or co-op program if one is available. They provide you with opportunities to network with professionals and observe aerospace engineering as it's practiced in a real-world setting. Some schools have standing partnerships with aerospace firms or engineering firms to facilitate the process of obtaining an intern position.