Students in a graduate aerospace engineering program build upon the knowledge of aircraft mechanics and engineering basics received in their undergraduate programs. Coursework in an aerospace engineering program focuses on designing and analyzing an aircraft's structure, control systems or operational components. Students may test composite structural materials to see if they can withstand extreme temperatures or measure their effects on stability or drag. These future engineers may also configure an airplane's communication systems or determine the ideal fluid dynamics for increasing an engine's thrust. Many courses combine instruction with lab exercises for hands-on training.
To gain admission to these programs, applicants typically need have a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering, aeronautical engineering or a related engineering degree, such as mechanical engineering. Some programs also insist that students' undergraduate degrees meet minimum GPA requirements of 3.0 or higher.
Graduate Degree for Airplane Mechanics
Some university programs have extensive research facilities or partnerships with local air force bases where students can receive industry experience. Laboratory work is performed in the following areas:
- Computer-aided design
- Manufacturing design
- System controls design
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, aerospace engineers earned a median annual salary of $107,830 in May of 2015 (www.bls.gov). However, a 2% decline in jobs is projected in this field during the period of 2014-2024. Graduates of master's degree programs can explore career opportunities through professional organizations offering publications, continuing education courses and networking opportunities, such as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) (www.aiaa.org).
Aviation mechanics or technicians looking to advance their career to a new level may pursue a master's degree in aerospace engineering. Students in a graduate aerospace engineering program build upon the knowledge received in their undergraduate programs as they learn more about designing and analyzing the structure and components of aircrafts.