The aerospace industry is a hotbed for cutting-edge change. Subsequently, it boasts a workforce that intertwines incredible innovation with practical application on a daily basis.
Aerospace manufacturing is responsible for the designing, building, selling and maintaining aircrafts and spacecrafts. It is considered a high technology industry and therefore demands a high caliber of skilled workers.
Because they have promoted aerospace industry growth in North Texas for many years, Midlothian Economic Development has experienced the influx of talented professionals and the skills they have brought to the manufacturing field for a long time.
Aerospace manufacturing companies are actively searching for passionate individuals who have a blend of specific expertise and a temperament built for the fast-paced environment.
Below we expand on the range of hard and soft skills necessary for a promising career in aerospace manufacturing:
Hard Skills in Constant Demand
To begin with the basics, a career in aerospace manufacturing requires computer proficiency, specifically with data analysis programs such as Microsoft Suite and Excel.
For individuals in positions that deal with the designing and building of projects, experience with welding and fabrication is also a plus.
Going hand-in-hand with any position in aerospace manufacturing is a deep understanding of advanced mathematics. This includes calculus, trigonometry, linear algebra, differential equations, vector operations, and numerical methods. And because the majority of math calculations will be completed by the Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and/or Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software the manufacturing team uses, an equal understanding of both is important.
The knowledge of mathematics and related software assists professionals with assessing, developing, building, and troubleshooting projects.
Additionally, knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software programs is critical. While many tech-based industries utilize these kinds of programs, they are absolutely vital in aerospace manufacturing. The top two CAD programs currently are Catia and Solidworks.
For many careers in aerospace manufacturing, individuals need thorough technical expertise in the following related fields:
- Aerospace systems
- Aerospace engineering
- Manufacturing procedures
- Federal government standards
- Computer science
- Software engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Physics or applied physics
While entry-level aerospace engineering careers do not require a license, a more upper-level position will require a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program as well as a passing score on both the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and the Professional Engineering (PE) exam. If you are curious about engineering programs, North Texas has a collection of extremely prestigious options.
Expected Soft Skills
When considering the specific attributes needed for a successful career in aerospace manufacturing the ‘soft’ in ‘soft skills’ is quite an understatement.
These personal and learned traits are just as critical to an individual’s success in this industry as technical knowledge.
One attribute that is key for aerospace manufacturing professionals is willingness — in all regards. Especially the willingness to push the boundaries of both technology and personal ability every day. This includes a willingness to work overtime. In an industry that delivers substantial products and services that are in incredibly high-demand, working past the normal bandwidth is common.
In addition, future employees must have strong communication skills, both verbal and written. While this might seem like a given, it is important to point out that efficient communication between team members and across departments is the engine that flies the plane — so to speak.
Critical thinking is of equal importance. With projects as massive as building and maintaining an aircraft, problems are going to arise. Aerospace professionals have to think on their feet in order to find solutions on a daily basis, and with that comes the need to stay calm under pressure.
Above all, individuals in aerospace manufacturing jobs must be passionate and focused in their work and desire to reach new heights through innovation and technology.
Ahead of the Lift
If the growing workforce in Texas aerospace and aviation is any indication, the aerospace manufacturing industry is preparing for a bright future for professionals who have a unique set of skills and traits.
And considering the increasing demand for more technologically advanced aircrafts — growth in this field is no surprise. Fortunately, talented individuals are stepping up to the plate.
Curious about the aerospace and aviation career opportunities available in north Texas? Check out this informative article here.