Aerospace engineering is an exciting and engaging field with plenty of career opportunities. If you want to start this career in Arizona, there are three schools you can choose to attend. All three schools have Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, allowing you to select a degree that fits with the education you already have. Schools range from as far north as Prescott to as far south as Tucson. The average cost of tuition in Arizona is $12,800 per year, although rates vary for residents and non-residents. An average class size of 20 students gives you plenty of room for healthy discussion and debate in class.
An education in aerospace engineering covers a wide variety of topics and specialties. For example, you may learn about the research, development, and science aspects of aerospace engineering. Earning an aerospace engineering degree takes most students four years of full-time study, since most schools require at least 120 to 130 credits for graduation.
Since you have to be educated in all aspects of aerospace engineering, you have to take many different classes. Some of the courses you may take include Aerospace Systems, Compressible Flow, Applied Aerospace Structures, Orbital Mechanics, and Aerospace Fundamentals. These classes delve into the theory and research in the field of engineering.
Practical education is an equally important part of your education, since you'll be expected to work with aerospace materials in your engineering career. You can plan on spending several hours in the engineering lab every week to get the skills you need to succeed.
Research is another essential aspect of aerospace engineering. If you want to be involved in the research aspect of this field, you can take advantage of opportunities at schools like Arizona State University. They allow you to research aerodynamics, engineering education, propulsion, or structures & materials.
Tuition costs in Arizona vary significantly from school to school, so it's good to research tuition rates at various schools before choosing which college you want to attend. One of the lowest tuition costs in the state is at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Tuition is $325 per credit hour, which is approximately $3,900 to $4,800 per semester. Tuition at the University of Arizona is on the higher end of the scale. Tuition for in-state residents is $5,201 per semester, and tuition for non-residents is $13,500 per semester.
There are multiple scholarship opportunities for you as an aerospace engineering student. The American Helicopter Society International—Arizona Chapter offers scholarships. The Vertical Flight Engineering Scholarship is worth between $1,500 and $3,000.
Once you have gone through the hard work of earning an aerospace engineering degree, you have to become licensed as an engineer. Earning your engineering license from the Arizona Sate Board of Technical Registration allows you to represent yourself as an engineer and take on job duties required of engineers. You have to pay a $125 application fee, at which point you can take the Professional Engineer exam. Once you pass that exam, you are officially a Professional Engineer.
It's important to pursue extra educational opportunities to bolster your employability and become a valuable asset to your employer. You can join the Arizona Society of Professional Engineers, a local group that advocates for its members and offers professional development opportunities.