Do your future career goals include working on the aircraft and spacecraft that power our country? If you live in Ohio, you're in luck—there are five schools that you can attend, located throughout the state. All five schools offer Bachelor's degrees in aerospace engineering, and four schools have Master's degree programs. The average class size is an impressive 15 students, giving you plenty of one-on-one time with your professors. The overall average cost of tuition in Ohio is $13,200 per year, although tuition rates do vary significantly from school to school.
The first step to becoming a successful aerospace engineer is getting a thorough, multifaceted education in the field. You need at least a Bachelor's degree to legally work as an engineer. This should take you about four years of full-time study, since you have to complete at least 120 credits to graduate.
Each aerospace school has a variety of goals. In general, you should plan on learning about the construction, testing, and development of aerospace vehicles. Your curriculum is likely to include courses like Aerospace Design, Aerospace Propulsion, Aerospace Dynamical Systems, and Engineering Materials.
As an engineering student, you can be expected to spend lots of time in hands-on study. Many schools have entire labs dedicated to engineering study. For example, Ohio State University has the Peter L. and Clara M. Scott Laboratory, an entire wing full of classrooms and labs for engineering students. Requirements differ from semester to semester, but in general, you can plan on being in the lab for at least 10 hours per week.
Research is another crucial part of aerospace engineering. It's more common for graduate students to be involved in research. However, if you are earning a Bachelor's degree, you can still decide to focus on research and conduct research with graduate students.
With such a variety of engineering schools in Ohio, it makes sense that there are many different tuition rates. It's important to compare tuition and financial aid available at different schools, since you likely want to get the best deal for your money! On the low end of the scale, the University of Cincinnati costs $5,392 per semester for residents and $12,908 per semester for non-residents. On the more expensive side of the scale, you have the University of Dayton, where tuition is $17,900 per semester.
Applying for scholarships is a great way to pay for college without having to take out costly loans. The Ohio Society of Professional Engineers awards scholarships to selected engineering students every year. You can also look into grants awarded by the Ohio Space Grant Consortium.
After graduating from your aerospace engineering school of choice, it's time to earn your license from the State of Ohio Engineers and Surveyors Board. You must pay a $75 application fee when you send in your exam application. You can then sit for the Professional Engineer exam, which is administered twice per year. Upon passing this exam, you can become a licensed Professional Engineer.
It's clear that education is an important part of this career, and that doesn't change after you graduate with your degree. You may want to keep up with educational seminars and courses, since aerospace technology is always changing. Consider joining the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers. In addition to ongoing educational opportunities, you can read about legislative updates and network with other engineers in your area.