Aerospace engineering is an exciting and dynamic field that gives you the skills you need to work with the country's aircraft and spacecraft technology. It all starts with an education from West Virginia's one aerospace engineering school: West Virginia University. This school has an average tuition cost of $22,000 per year. You'll have the opportunity to network with other peers in the industry, since the school has almost 34,000 students! An average class size of 23 students leaves plenty of room for collaboration and discussion in your classes.
Earning a Bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering is the very first step in your career path. You can plan on spending four years in school while earning 120 credits in engineering, math, science, and general education classes.
As you peruse the curriculum at West Virginia University, you may be excited to see how many engineering topics you tackle. Your education may lead you into a variety of job opportunities, so you need to be prepared for everything from research to testing and development. Required courses include Aerospace Structural Dynamics, Engineering Materials, Mechanics of Materials, and Aerospace Dynamical Systems.
Many courses are hybrid courses. That is to say that they require both a lecture component and a lab component. You may spend 10 hours or more per week in the engineering lab, working on projects or just furthering your experience in the field.
Many graduates choose to work in research after graduating, which is why it's important to get research practice. At West Virginia University, you can study aerodynamics and fluid mechanics with your professors and other students.
No matter what school you attend, it's likely that tuition is at the forefront of your mind. The amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket or with student loans is dependent on what kind of financial aid you receive and what the tuition rate is at your school. At West Virginia University, the tuition rate for residents is $3,228 per semester. Non-residents can plan on paying $9,816 for tuition each semester.
Applying for local and national scholarships can help you chip away at your educational expenses. The Parkersburg Chapter of West Virginia Society of Engineers awards scholarships to West Virginia students that have been accepted to an engineering program. The College Foundation of West Virginia awards the West Virginia Engineering, Science and Technology Scholarship, which is worth up to $3,000 per academic year.
Prior to legally working as an engineer in West Virginia, you have to get your license from the West Virginia Board of Registration for Professional Engineers. You have to send in an $80 application fee and your application to receive your test date. You can then take the Professional Engineer exam and start your career.
There are several facets of your career that you have to maintain, including networking and professional development. Local engineering societies and organizations tackle both of these goals. You can attend classes on new technology in the field, learn about legislative changes, and network with peers and superiors in the business. One of the most prominent groups in West Virginia is the West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers.