Becoming an aerospace engineer after 20 years in the Navy?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by mav1971kit, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. mav1971kit

    mav1971kit Member

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    I've always been a bit of a space nerd for all my life, but I also want to fly for the Navy. If, by some miracle that I do become a fighter pilot through NROTC and serve for twenty years, is it possible for me to get a job as an aerospace engineer for places like Boeing or NASA using my 20 year old engineering degree?
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Yes. But realize that after 20 years you will be more of manager/supervisor role. There is tons of discussion on this topic when folks are asking about majoring in engineering and then becoming engineers. More than likely you will have a team working for you or you will be using your experience as pilot (subject matter expert) as an engineer. Plenty of opportunities, but realize after 20 years of active duty, the tools and programs you used as a student will have changed. Technology changes quickly. Also, after 20 years of service you are way beyond entry level engineering type work, you will be paid for your management skills, ability to plan and lead teams/projects, and you ability to see the big picture on projects and put it all together.
     
  3. mav1971kit

    mav1971kit Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate the help.
     
  4. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

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    But wait...there's an alternative! The Navy does have Aerospace Engineering Duty Officers, who's job is the development and acquisition of new weapons systems. You can find information for that at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/officer/Detailing/aviation/aedo/Pages/default.aspx.

    First, get warfare qualified (aviation, obviously). Also, have strong fitness reports to make you competitive. If you can get a slot at Test Pilot School followed by Test Pilot slot, so much the better. Even better if you can get a postgraduate slot in Aerospace engineering. Then you put in a lateral transfer request to AEDO, and if you get picked up you spend the rest of your career in the program.

    This is way down the pipe for you. Take one step at a time: first do well in your courses so you get that aviator slot. After that, it's your performance as an officer that will get you in the door.

    Good luck.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I have worked with many AEDO/EDOs, both Aerospace and Surface Warfare. Aerospace EDO take a little longer to get there simply because their training pipeline takes longer. AEDO/EDO are both great options for those who are fine leaving their operational communities (you aren't going to be on ships or really fly ever again) and have a passion for engineering work. Yes, most of them either post grad school and did their Masters Degree. Once one completes their Masters normally their a "pay back" tour that will be associated with something you did. Many folks will either love or hate these tours and then enter the AEDO/EDO path if they really enjoy it. When I say engineering work there is a whole slew of activities such as design, development, test, requirements develop. Again your days of being a drafter, modeling, etc will be behind you, but you will be responsible for managing teams, contractors, government review/acceptance of products. Most AEDO/EDO will spend alot of time working in the Beltway all around DC and the various Warfare Centers such as Pax River, Dahlgren, San Diego, Panama City Beach, Charleston.
     

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