If you've ever pictured yourself working on airplanes or spaceships, you can start with a degree in aerospace engineering. You need at least a Bachelor's degree to become a licensed engineer; you can earn this degree at one school in Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology. Tuition here is $4,129 per semester for residents and $13,781 per semester for non-residents. In addition to the Bachelor's degree offered by this school, you can pursue a Master's degree if you already have a Bachelor's degree.
Since aerospace engineers work on the aircraft and spacecraft that transport people all over the world, education is incredibly important. To earn a Bachelor's degree, you'll need to complete at least 120 credits before graduation. This takes most students at least four years.
As an aerospace engineer, you may work in the research, testing, science, and construction of aircraft and spacecraft. As a result, your curriculum is likely to be demanding and multifaceted. Classes you may take as an aerospace engineering student include Thermodynamics, Flight Dynamics, Aerospace Flight Mechanics, and Aerospace Structures.
Experience is essential in this field. Once you start your career, you need to be completely competent with different types of materials. Plan on spending at least 10 hours per week in your engineering lab.
Many engineers work in the research aspect of aerospace engineering. The Georgia Institute of Technology places a huge emphasis on aerospace engineering research; in fact, more than 25% of undergraduate students are involved in research. You may be able to research fluid mechanics, aeroelasticity, combustion, and air transportation.
As noted above, tuition at the Georgia Institute of Technology costs $4,129 per semester for residents and $13,781 per semester for non-residents. However, they have many school-specific scholarships that you can apply for after you are accepted to the school. The MSE Scholars Program awards $1,500 per semester to students that fit in specific GPA requirements. They also have a general scholarship program that awards between $1,000 and $1,500 per semester.
There are other local and statewide scholarships you can apply for. The Georgia Engineering Foundation awards scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000 every year. They award between 35 and 50 scholarships, so you should apply early to be considered.
Although an aerospace engineering degree gives you the knowledge and skills you need to be a successful engineer, you can't work as an engineer immediately after graduation. Prior to legally working as an engineer, you must get your license from the Georgia Board of Professional Engineers. When you send in your application, you have to send in a $30 application fee. Upon getting your test date, you can pay a $25 test fee and take your Professional Engineer exam. If you pass this exam, you can officially get your engineering license.
Ongoing education is important, since this field is always discovering new technology and advancements. You may want to look into the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. They offer job listings, continuing education seminars and courses, and legislative updates.