Are you ready to explore aircraft or spacecraft by becoming an aerospace engineer? If so, there are two schools in Colorado that can get you there. Both of these schools, located in Boulder and at the United States Air Force Academy, offer Bachelor's degrees in aerospace engineering. You can earn a Master's degree in this field at one Colorado school. It's important to note that while the United States Air Force Academy does offer a degree in this field, you must be a member of the Air Force to attend this school. Tuition rates vary at the University of Colorado Boulder, but your education is paid for at the United States Air Force Academy.
Once you decide to become an aerospace engineer, it's time to get started at one of Colorado's engineering schools! You can generally plan on spending four years in school as a full-time student. All schools require at least 120 credit hours, but many require 130 or more because of how in-depth this field is.
As you look over your aerospace engineering curriculum, you may note that you have to take classes in many different areas. This is because you need to be prepared to work in the development, research, design, and science of aerospace technology. Some of the courses you may have to take include Aerospace Fundamentals, Thermodynamics, Flight Dynamics, and Aerospace Design.
Practical experience is one of the cornerstones of engineering. Each school has its own engineering lab, where you can plan on spending 10 or more hours per week working with engineering materials.
Research is another important part of aerospace engineering, so you may want to evaluate the research opportunities available at each school. For example, at the University of Colorado Boulder, you can research aerospace engineering systems, astrodynamics, or bioastronautics.
Unless you are a member of the Air Force, the only aerospace engineering school you can attend in Colorado is the University of Colorado Boulder. Tuition rates differ based on your residency status. In-state tuition is $5,880 per semester for full-time students. Out-of-state tuition is between $15,200 and $16,551 per semester.
Engineers are in high demand in many parts of Colorado, you may be able to earn scholarships from a variety of locations. In addition to nationwide scholarships that any student can apply for, there are also state-specific and school-specific scholarships you can look into. The Society of Women Engineers Rocky Mountain Section offers three different scholarships to female students every year.
Once you have gotten a great education and earned your engineering degree, it's time to get licensed by the State Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers, and Professional Land Surveyors. After paying a $30 application fee, you get your test date. You can then pay the $130 examination fee and sit for the Professional Engineer exam. When you pass your exam, you become licensed as a Professional Engineer.
Professional development is an important part of being an engineer, since the field is always changing and developing. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado offers regular educational programs that can help you take your career to the next level. Membership in this group also allows you to stay up-to-date on legislative changes.