If you have always wanted to start a career in aerospace engineering, now is the time. New advances in the field mean that there is always a demand for skilled professionals in the field. There are three schools in Missouri that offer Bachelor's and Master's degree in this field. There are two schools in Missouri and one school in Rolla. The average cost of tuition here is about $17,100 per semester, although it varies for residents and non-residents. You can also look forward to the state's average class size of 12 students, which gives you plenty of time to interact with your professors.
The first step in your aerospace engineering career is getting a Bachelor's degree in the field. This requires four years of full-time, intensive study; depending on your elective choices, you may be in school for up to five years. You must complete at least 120 credits to graduate.
Throughout the course of your education, you can plan on taking challenging courses in different subfields of engineering. They are designed to give you experience in the research, testing, and development aspects of this field. Some of the courses you may take include Mechanics of Materials, Aerospace Fundamentals, Aerospace Design, and Aerospace Structural Dynamics.
You can plan on spending many hours in your school's engineering lab. These hours will be spent working alone, with peers, or under the watchful eye of professors. You may work with individual materials or combine materials to see how they work together.
Research is an essential part of aerospace engineering. The Missouri University of Science and Technology has many research facilities, including the Cloud and Aerosol Sciences Laboratory and the Intelligent Systems Center.
With three schools in Missouri, it's obvious that tuition rates are going to vary from school to school. On the low end of the scale, tuition is about $16,700 per semester at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. At Saint Louis University, tuition is $37,350 per year. It's important to note that tuition is higher for graduate students, which will affect you if you are pursuing a Master's degree.
Thankfully, the cost of education can often be offset by scholarships and grants. You may be able to apply for federal grants and statewide engineering scholarships. The William R. Kimel, PE Engineering Scholarship is awarded to residents of Kansas and Missouri. You can also apply for scholarships through the Missouri Department of Higher Education.
Before you can begin your career as an aerospace engineer, you have to be licensed as a Professional Engineer in Missouri. All licensure goes through the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors, and Landscape Architects. The application and examination fee is $100. Once you sit for the Professional Engineering exam, which is given twice per year, you can begin working as an engineer.
You need to keep building on your education even after you graduate with a Bachelor's or Master's degree. One great move you can make in your career is joining the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers. They offer seminars, professional development events, and legislative updates that may affect how you work.