Checking in! Aircraft Engineer here, Mechanical (Aeronautical) for the past 10 years, but now working on my Avionic and American licenses. Won’t say who I work, in-case I say too much, for but it’s “a big one” to paraphrase Edward Norton in Fight Club. Worked all over the UK, mainly in Glasgow and London and very brief stints in Paris, France and Shannon, Ireland. Worked on a bunch of engines and aircraft for various passenger and cargo airlines and even for military medevac.
Mostly a Boeing guy, with a bit of Airbus shorthaul in there too. (Widebody for show, narrowbody for dough)
Firstly, in nuts and bolts engineering, where hand skills and experience are paramount, apprenticeships/internships are king.
They weren’t around when I got my licence; the world was very university education-heavy in the 2000’s, but I’m very jealous of the current generation that have the opportunity again. Over in America, the lean still seems to be towards education, but, here in the UK, I wouldn’t have gone to college had there been a full-time apprenticeship going and I’d have gotten to where I am today about 2 years faster and with more experience.
The route I took:
Good grades in Maths, Physics and the Techs in High School
Diploma in Aircraft Engineering + a bunch of C&G and all that stuff (Newcastle College)
Foundation Degree in Aerospace Engineering (didn’t bother finishing it to Hons/Ma, never had to - Kingston University and City of Bristol College)
EASA Pt 66 Engineering Licence. (Newcastle Aviation Academy)
Bunch of Licence Supplements including Boeing 747 & 767 endorsements, ETOPS etc.
To this day, the licence and its endorsements are the only parts an employer has ever asked to see.
I loved physics and maths from a young age and it still perplexes me why other people don’t. Unlike your art and literature and all that stuff it’s simple - as long as you learn it, there’s only one right answer. I only gelled with stuff like that in school because of how clean and precise it was and fell behind in language and literature and other things where subjectivity was required.
Glad to see this is a thread