Chances of being selected as as engineer

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by xray328, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Hey guys. My son wants nothing more than to be an aerospace engineer. The one thing he's adamant about not wanting to be is a pilot.

    I read they get a dream sheet with six AFSC's, could they force him into a pilot slot anyway?

    What are the odds of being slotted as an engineer anyway? Are there enough guys that want those slots that make it ultra competitive? I saw there were 29 Civil Engineering slots last year, that's concerning.
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Well, one thing is 100% guaranteed. They can't force him to be a pilot. Along with that, that can't force him into any job that requires a commitment of more than the initial 5 years for attending the academy. To be a pilot, you have to commit to a 10 year commitment. So no, they can't force him to be a pilot, doctor, lawyer, or any job that requires extensive training outside of the academy and requires a longer commitment.

    This isn't to say there's a guarantee that he'll get to be an aerospace engineer though. That will totally depend on his grades and classes at the academy, as well as the needs of the air force. They might have too many aerospace engineers at that time. You never know. But they can't force him to be a pilot or any job that requires a commitment longer than the initial 5 year commitment for attending the academy.
     
  3. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Good to know, thanks.
     
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    ChristCorp is right on!

    There are plenty of jobs out there for him - missile silo in North Dakota comes to mind - which no one seems to desire.

    Minot! why not!
     
  5. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Ugh...don't tell him that.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Remember everything is at the needs of the service. The numbers change every year to meet the needs of the service. I always tell every kid looking at this path to be prepared for anything they are physically qualified for to possibly be their future. Chances are pretty high that he will end up in a job that was towards the top of the list, but things like Missiles (Nuke on the Navy side) have essentially had drafts the last few years to fill the spots. Its not ideal and can change year to year, but it happens. Also really take a look at the engineering career field, there are some other threads on here regarding that one and the acquisition side. I have worked a tremendous amount with both in my previous job. Remember the job of an officer is always to lead, so alot of his engineering time will spent leading engineers as opposed to himself sitting down and designing things. Not saying he won't use his engineering skills and knowledge, but its not necessarily the same as a young college grad with an engineering degree that heads out to work for Company X.
     
  7. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Coming out of the AF, will he be competitive in the job market? Or is he better off attending a top ranked civilian engineering school? Just thinking long term.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Only he can answer that. Is his priority to be an engineer or his priority to be an Air Force Officer? Folks go to SA for a variety of reasons. They stay because they want to serve and lead. If the thought of doing anything but engineering sounds horrible or leading people sounds horrible, then maybe its time to really think if the USAFA is the right place. Hopefully AFpaso can chime in and speak to the competitiveness of engineering numbers. Yes, he would be competitive in the civilian job market. Also remember most places will focus in on his leadership, management skills, and other intangible items that he gained leading teams, projects, programs vice necessarily his knowledge of the latest and greatest IEEE standard, design software or knowing the newest Firewall specs. Companies will want to hire him because he has a strong engineering background combined with his leadership, situational awareness, professionalism, time management skills, people skills. This makes a great manager that knows how to task, supervise, follow up and hold vendors and teams accountable. I spent over decade working as a Senior Engineer and also in Engineering Project Management after the USMC. I have changed industries but still do the same things. There are tons of threads on this forum about engineering as a major and engineering as a career field. Suggest you use the search function and take a look at those as they will help to really understand what that career field is.
     
  9. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Will do, thanks.

    Just wanted to make sure we have the whole picture in mind.
     
  10. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Freezin’s the reason!
     
  11. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Could probably get TWO grad degrees sitting in those silos
     
  12. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Worse case that he did get missiles, isn't that a two year assignment? What's next, space? What's that entail?
     
  13. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I have a niece in the AF who has good friends in missiles. She says they love it. It's all about the attitude.
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    There are worse things than missiles, and far worse places than Minot.

    But know what you're getting into when you ask for it. You'll not have much competition, I'd venture.
     
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  15. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    I thought I heard the space part of "missiles and space" made up for the missile part?
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Hey, if you want missiles, it doesn't have to be in freezing North Dakota. It could be here, in tropical Cheyenne wyoming. F.E. warren AFB.

    My daughters fiancé is a captain missile officer. After they get married in a couple weeks, the pcs (move) to sunny and warm vandenberg AFB in California as an instructor. And yes, he had plenty of time to finish his masters degree.
     
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  17. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Space and Missiles is the name of the Command of the Air Force. Within that division there are assignments in the missile field and in the space field.

    If he is assigned a missile AFSC, that is where he will be unless he puts in for a transfer to another field after his first tour. Generally the missile officers do 6 months of schooling at Vandenberg and then a 2-3 years operational tour at a missile base. After that they either go to Vandenberg as an instructor like Christcorp's future son-in-law, go to squadron officer school, or get another operational tour of 2-3 years. He can separate after 5 years of service if he wants.

    The Space side of things includes Integrated Air, Space, Cyberspace and Intelligence Operations. There are many different ASFCs within this area so if your son is interested in that he should do some research on it.

    Stealth_81
     
  18. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    xray328, there is no such thing as aerospace at USAFA. It is one of the few places in the country that has Aeronautical Engineering and Astronautical Engineering as separate majors. Now, there are many overlapping classes, but my son describes them as in the atmosphere and above the atmosphere.
    Many people who want to be a pilot think they need to major in Aero, but of course, if you read these threads you will learn that English majors can be pilots.
    Astro requires the most credit hours of any major at the academy and many start out but fewer finish. For our small class of 2016 (smallest in many years), there are only 13 Astro Majors left. The AFSC for engineers is 61, developmental engineering and there are several subsets of this.
    Of course, needs of the AF always take precedent and he could end up anywhere, you never know, but the engineering opportunities in the private sector are quite numerous. I read that for every 5 Engineering opportunities, there are 4 qualified candidates. Those are mighty good numbers and with a USAFA degree...
     
  19. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Thanks for the great info everyone.
     
  20. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    This year, the AF will be selecting 18 Developmental Engineers in Aeronautics and 13 Developmental Engineers in Astronautics from ALL graduating cadets (AFA and ROTC)

    The AFSC for Developmental Engineer is actually 62 (61 is the Scientist field).
     
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