If you’ve read any articles about STEM lately, you may have noticed that there is a huge lack of qualified talent in the STEM field. The aerospace industry in particular is worried that a deficit of candidates will lead to stagnated growth. In addition to a candidate shortage, competition is fierce. Tech companies snatch up these candidates very early, leaving little leftover for aerospace. The question is, how can aerospace companies attract top talent?
Multiple staffing and recruiting companies have formed that focus on aerospace, defense, and surveillance. The sheer amount of options for aerospace recruiting companies is a tell-tale sign that it’s difficult to find people to fill open positions. Positions have a wide range, including research & design, electronics, component manufacturing, maintenance & repair, and test engineers.
This approach works for current openings, but what solution is there for companies to ensure a large enough candidate pool for future demand. Some firms decided that they need to generate interest in aerospace and technology at a young age, even as young as pre-elementary school. The core goal is to get students involved in advanced math and science courses. In response, Lockheed Martin launched the Generation Beyond program, aimed at students in grades 7 – 10, to foster interest in space exploration.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics separates aerospace roles into two main groups, engineers and technicians. The last report was conducted in 2015, figures reflect the state of aerospace at the end of that year.
Aerospace engineers are involved in research & development, aircraft or spacecraft design, manufacturing planning, manufacturing automation, weapons systems, and aircraft or spacecraft systems. Median salary for aerospace engineers is $107, 830. Minimum education requires a bachelor’s degree. Job outlook for this position has a very small decline of 2% between 2014 and 2015.
By contrast, aerospace technicians are seeing a 4% increase in projected job growth. Aerospace technicians operate and maintain aircraft and spacecraft, many are also involved in testing. Technicians may need experience with modeling or simulation software. Median income is $66,180 per year. Entry level positions require an associate’s degree or intensive mechanical training.
For those looking for a positive aerospace job outlook, the best bet is to find a great, innovative company to start a career with. Many of the top rated aerospace companies aren’t as well known, but consistently get positive marks from employees across the organization.
Top 10 Aerospace & Defense Companies to Work For: