Training to become an engineer in the aviation industry

Training to become an engineer in the aviation industry

In this article, we look at the necessary steps required to become an engineer in the aviation industry.

Recent labour market data shows that aviation engineers can earn between £20k-£35k a year on average in the United Kingdom. Salaries differ based on experience, training or location and will increase based on experience and capability.

The UK aviation industry employs over 250,000 people and has an annual turnover in excess of £18 billion.


Job Overviews

Below, you can see more in-depth job overviews for various engineering roles in the aviation industry.



Any individual considering a career as an aviation engineer usually needs to have 5 GCSEs (grades 9-4 or A-C) as well as 3 A-Levels which include maths or science, or a comparable BTEC qualification.

The above qualifications would then allow entry to a university degree in aeronautical engineering, or similar. Many universities offer aviation engineering courses and being accepted at top universities has become quite competitive.

It is possible to gain employment as an aerospace engineer even if you haven’t completed a degree in aviation itself, some relatable courses include:

  • Electrical/ Electronics Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics/Applied Physics
  • Software Engineering


Once graduated, most engineers are required to professionally register as either an incorporated or chartered engineer, this would then allow individuals to apply for jobs almost anywhere in the world.



Completing a university degree isn’t the only way a person can pursue a career in aviation engineering. Many engineers start out as apprentices with more and more airlines offering training schemes.

You can find apprenticeships by directly approaching companies such as; airline operators, airline manufacturers and engineering companies. These training schemes allow a young person to work towards their engineering license (known as a Part 66), once this has been obtained you are officially a qualified engineer.

Qualified engineers then have the option to pursue their career at the company which has provided the training, look for new opportunities at different companies or continue their training at university.

Apprenticeships usually appeal to people who do not want to attend college, or university and prefer to learn in a practical environment.


Work Experience

If you have gone down the further education route then some work experience is usually essential before landing your first, permanent role. Gaining pre-entry experience prepares you for working life and shows employers that you can put your knowledge into practice.

Many university degrees offer sandwich placements, allowing students to work for 6 months, to a year at participating companies – this usually occurs before the final year of the course.

Post-graduate training schemes are also growing in popularity and are available at large aviation firms and companies partnered with the university. Opportunities such as this are not available at smaller firms who lack comparable resources, these sort of companies tend to conduct their training on the job, supervised by an experienced member of staff.

It is possible to gain experience via a summer or vacation placement but it is advised to contact major aviation companies well before your intended start date as competition will be high and places will be limited. Work experience at non-aviation related engineering companies can also be beneficial and these sort of placements are likely to be in greater supply.



All experience is valuable so if you are struggling to get accepted on a placement then writing to companies and requesting to shadow an engineer for a day, or a week shows initiative and enthusiasm.

Volunteers do not necessarily need to apply to engineering companies to impress potential employers, graduates can still gain industry knowledge and applicable skills by volunteering at organisations such as; airfields, airports, aircraft related museums and flying clubs.


Further qualifications and certifications

Once a degree has been completed, a graduate with a 2:1 grade or above has the option to further their education with a Postgraduate degree, or a Masters. A graduate with less than a 2:1 grade may find it difficult to get accepted on postgraduate courses at a lot of universities.

Completing a masters is a sensible choice if you have completed your first degree in an unrelated subject.

It is also worth noting that these courses are largely self-funded, although some universities offer a discount if you have already completed a degree with them. It is also much easier to achieve incorporated or chartered engineer status if you have been accredited by a professional body such as the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

You can find a list of accredited courses at Engineering Council – Accredited Course Search.

A Higher National Diploma will not be enough to enroll on most aeronautical university courses but would allow an individual to enter the industry at technician level, or be accepted on one of the training schemes mentioned earlier.


Further Development

Once in employment, an engineer can choose to work towards incorporated (IEng) or chartered (CEng) engineer status if they haven’t previously done so. This status is internationally recognised and is accredited by the Engineering Council – these qualifications allow an engineer to progress their career and command a better salary.

To reiterate, Chartered or Incorporated engineers must become a member of a professional institution such as the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

In order to do so, engineers must show a certain level of competence and experience. Gaining membership status could involve the completion of a Postgraduate Degree, a project management course, individual training courses or a self-initiated report.

Qualified engineers must stay on top of industry changes and pay attention to key developments – being a member of a professional body can help with this as institutions such as the RAeS provide on-going training, regular conferences and specialist groups which focus on professional development.

Many aviation companies also enroll their staff on short courses, both internal and external to help meet any specific training needs or to train staff on new equipment or technology.


Average salaries for engineers

Below you can see the average salaries for various engineering roles within the aviation and aerospace industry, according to 2019 Aviation Job Search data:

  • Overall average salary for engineers according to our 2019 data: £53,955.55
  • Aerodynamics Engineer average salary: £47,232.49
  • Aeronautical Engineer average salary: £49,331.55
  • Airworthiness Engineer average salary: £54,542.68
  • Avionics Engineer average salary: £41,392.35
  • B1 Licensed Engineer average salary: £60,012.61
  • B2 Licensed Engineer average salary: £57,241.944
  • Chemical Engineer average salary: £45,000.00
  • Design Engineer average salary: £53,694.69
  • Electronic Engineer average salary: £57,973.93
  • Flight Engineer average salary: £60,277.78
  • Hardware Engineer average salary: £92,071.43
  • Human Factors Engineer average salary: £69,500.00
  • Mechanical Engineer average salary: £40,969.39
  • Planning and Project Engineer average salary: £45,261.19
  • Process Engineer average salary: £42,934.79
  • Quality and Assurance Engineer average salary: £44,217.56
  • Safety Engineer average salary: £52,548.08
  • Software Engineer average salary: £77,990.65
  • Structures and Stress Engineer average salary: £55,975.61
  • Systems Engineer average salary: £77,809.63
  • Test Engineer average salary: £60,673.08


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How to write an electrical engineer CV

How to write an electrical engineer CV

Whether you’re applying for your first ever aviation electrical engineering job or are simply looking for some guidance on creating a stand-out CV, we’ve analysed some of the best electrical engineer CVs around to give you the most essential information you need to succeed. 

Never underestimate the power of your CV. Not only does it win you a vital interview, it also gives the recruiter an insight into what kind of employee you will make. 

Use these pointers to help write an electrical engineering CV that outperforms all of the other applicants:


Begin by defining your CV structure

Starting your CV can often be the hardest part, leading you to put off writing altogether until the last minute and resulting in a lower quality document.

If you begin by defining your CV structure, you should find that filling in the different sections becomes easier, simply because you’re working to a template.

A basic structure should include:


  • Contact Details
  • Profile
  • Core Skills
  • Work Experience (including responsibilities and achievements) 
  • Education and Qualifications
  • Interests (optional)


Feel free to copy and paste these to give you a starting point.


Optimize for impact 

Recruiters are highly likely to skim-read your CV in the first instance – after all, they could have several hundreds of applications for the role! Therefore, the key is to optimize your CV for impact, so that even if a recruiter spends a mere 10 seconds scanning your application, they’re able to pick out your most valuable assets.

Format your core skills section into a bullet pointed list to make them pop out during the skim-read. A powerful profile section at very top of the document will help to capture the recruiter’s attention, so use this section to highlight your best achievements and most impressive and relevant skills for the job. 

Be specific in terms of the specific electrical engineering experience that you have by describing your relevant responsibilities in previous projects – whether that’s experience of the development of electrical hardware, project control and monitoring or application of design software. This way, you’ll allow recruiters to pick up on your tangible experience with ease.


Focus on relevancy

If you have a lot of experience in the civil engineering field, the biggest challenge can be keeping to the recommended CV length. Ideally, a CV should be two pages long – anything longer than this can be highly off-putting to recruiters. 

You may have to be quite ruthless in the content that you include. Giving every detail of every job you’ve ever had will take up space that you could be putting to greater use. Take a good look at the job requirements and focus on including information which proves that you can carry out the role.

Ultimately, every detail in your CV should be relevant to the job you’re applying for.


Provide evidence of your skills

All recruiters like to see that skills can be backed up with facts and figures – but this is even more so the case with engineers, who are generally very mathematically orientated.

Engineering recruiters will be more impressed with statements that include figures. For example:


  • Delivered Project A in xxxx weeks.
  • Introduced a system which saved xxx hours of work per week.
  • Reduced energy output by xxxx.


Always quantify your skills to make them more powerful. Loose, generic statements with no evidence behind them generally lack impact.

Follow these 4 key steps and you’ll sure to create a highly effective electrical engineering CV.


Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

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How can I make my engineering CV stand out?

How can I make my engineering CV stand out?

Is your dream job to become an engineer in the aviation industry? Then you’ll need a job winning CV that stands out from the rest of the competition.

Impressing recruiters with your CV is the first big step to getting your foot in the door with a company, so before you begin your job search, writing your CV should be a priority. Although you might be super talented with your hands, sitting down to write out your CV may be more of a challenge than you think. With this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips to help you get started with your engineering CV, so you can top the list of those invited for an interview.


The basics

Contact details: This seems like a simple tip, but there is nothing more frustrating for a recruiter than to see a CV that delivers in terms of experience and skillset, only to fail to contact the person due to outdated or incorrect contact details. Triple check that you’ve left the right details with no typos, as this could be detrimental to your whole application – don’t risk finding your dream job because you forget to check.

Professional summary: This section is the first and most important selling point of your CV. Sitting in the top quarter of your CV, your professional summary consists of a few sentences which explain who you are and why you are write for the job you are applying for. In this section, you may wish to showcase your years of experience, key skills you have to do the job in question, qualities that will fit with the role, and potentially your career ambitions.

Consider this section carefully. Recruiters receive alot of CVs for jobs, so it’s very likely they’ll be skimming each one to find the most relevant details. By including your key experience and selling points in this section, you are giving them the information they crave right at the beginning of your CV – which is great for them, because they haven’t had to work hard to find it.

For example, a professional summary for an engineer’s CV in the aviation industry might look something like this: “Expert aircraft maintenance engineer with over 7 years’ experience. Highly skilled in risk management, cost control, resource utilisation and general project operations. In-depth technical knowledge and manual dexterity. Task oriented and organised, I strive for success. Adept at identifying complex problems and ideal, realistic solutions for aircraft. Excellent communicator who works well with others. Committed to ensuring aircraft safety and optimal level of operation. Looking for a role that will challenge my skills and put me on the path towards senior management.”

Skills: Too many people fail to include this section, because they feel it will be covered across the ‘Experience’ section. But the key to including your skills separately is that you’re making it easy for a recruiter to see them, and therefore saving them time to see if you fit the bill. Make your skills stand out with this section, and be sure to tailor which skills fit each job application most.

For example, an aircraft engineer’s skills section might look something like this:

  • Leadership
  • Problem solving
  • Strong oral and written communication 
  • Design optimisation
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Structural and thermal analysis
  • Risk management
  • AC/DC theory
  • Teamwork



Qualifications will be essential for your CV. With such an important job at hand, recruiters need to be sure that you are more than qualified for the job they’re hiring for. So if you can’t provide evidence of the relevant qualifications, they could skip past your CV. Qualifications you might find on the CV of an engineer include:

  • Mechanical (Design) Engineering 2:1
  • CAD
  • Project Management Professional
  • Training: Advanced Project Management, Risk Management
  • MS Office Suite
  • Java



Your experience section will be the door to your career so far. Here, you will show that you have the relevant experience that leads up to this next job. Try to avoid using full sentences (if you do, keep them short). Bullet points seem to work best – and don’t be tempted to include every task you were responsible for at work. Just the important bits that highlight your capability to do the job you applied for.


For some engineering roles, you will be required to have a specific degree for the job e,g, mechanical engineering, or aeronautical engineering. Be sure to include any education you’ve received in the relevant areas – this will strengthen your application, as recruiters will have a clear understanding of your background knowledge. In some ways, it also helps to reaffirm the idea that you are working your way along your chosen career path, an admirable trait many companies value. 

For example:

Key responsibilities:

  • Working as part of an engineering team to develop mechanical design solutions for electronic cabinets used in naval applications
  • Using ANSYS finite element analysis tools
  • Utilising design optimisation tools to test weight reduction
  • Cost and technical proposals
  • Designing equipment for naval applications, including inboard and outboard electronics undersea hull array, towed array, or acoustic sensor programs
  • Creating new designs and modifying existing designs
  • Working with mechanical engineers as well as representatives from manufacturing, quality, drafting and other engineering disciplines


Hobbies and interests:

Hobbies and interests are more important than most people think for your CV. In some ways, this can help recruiters to identify whether you would be the right fit to their company culture. Most organisations want someone sociable and confident, so if you have hobbies that you think will highlight this, make sure you include them.

For example:

“Avid footballer, captaining my national league team for over 5 years.”


Check out this example below for a B2 engineer!


Tips that catch a recruiter’s eye

While the above is important, there are some key formatting tips you can use that might just give you the visual edge over other CVs too. Through strategic placement and simple formatting, your CV could have a much greater effect on a recruiter over the others. 

Top quarter: As previously discussed, the top quarter of your CV is essential, because it includes the shortest and hopefully the sweetest section – your professional summary. It’s essential that this summary screams ‘I’m perfect for this job!’because it’s likely the part recruiters will read in detail before they decide to move on from your CV, or pop it in the ‘interview’ pile. Pack this section with keywords that match the job application to show that you are the right fit for the job. In the top right hand corner of your CV, you should also include your name and accompanying professional title, which lets recruiters know instantly what job you are pursuing. Your contact details can be placed underneath this too. 

Length: Your CV should be no more than two pages long. Any more, and recruiter’s may feel that you haven’t been as succinct as you could be. Giving a recruiter more to read because you wish to leave no stone unturned isn’t wise. Give them less information, with more effect, if you really want your CV to make an impact.

Format: A tip that’s often overlooked by many, formatting your CV so it’s easy to read makes it much more attractive to the eye. We’re not just talking layout here – font type and size are also important. Have a play around, and print your CV out to see how friendly it is to they eye, Fonts like Comic Sans are seen to be slightly informal for a CV, but the likes of Quicksand are easy on the eye, and size 10 – 12 is easy to read. Using smaller, less complex sentences also makes your CV easier to read, and breaking up the text as much as possible means it’s simple to follow.

Avoid including images – recruiters don’t need to see this. Just written evidence of how suitable you are for the job. 


Other tips to help

Proofread: This is one of the biggest tips we can give you. Submitting a CV filled with typos or inaccurate information could sacrifice your CV. Always proofread your CV, and ask someone else to proofread it for you too.  

All set? Then you’re ready to start your application for the job you want! Oh, and don’t forget to download our ready made Engineer’s CV guide below – it includes tips and advice for your CV relevant to your job. Simply click below download it now!

Best of luck with your job search!


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What should I include in my graduate engineering CV?

What should I include in my graduate engineering CV?

As you finish university and start looking for the job that you have been working towards for the last few years, one of the first realisations you will have is that you are entering a very competitive job market. Aviation engineer jobs generally receive a large number of applications, therefore it is really important that your CV is so polished that recruiters are compelled to offer you one of their limited number of interview places.

This is how you can create a CV that earns you that interview:



An attention-grabbing personal statement

Your personal statement has to be really strong to catch the recruiter’s attention enough to want to find out more about you. There will be plenty of applicants with similar or the same qualifications as you, so you must use the personal statement to stand out. Injecting your personality into it and explaining your passion for this industry and type of work will show them that you are focused and willing to work hard to succeed.

Showing your personal drive in this section will help the recruiter to form a better idea of whether you are a stronger candidate than others. Be sure to include your most notable achievements and any awards or exceptional grades.



Examples of your technical abilities 

In the engineering industry, it is naturally highly focused on technical abilities, so you must convey these as astutely as possible. In addition to what technical qualifications you have, the recruiter will be looking for evidence that you have a very high level of technical ability. You might be able to draw on some projects that you delivered or examples from work placements. The more examples of relevant technical skills and experience, the better.



Your work placements

When you don’t have any on-the-job experience because you are applying for your first job, examples from any work placements should be used to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience required. It is also beneficial to refer to your knowledge of general engineering practices, regulations and maintenance safety as these are key requirements, that will be expected in a graduate CV.



Part-time jobs and transferable skills

In addition to work placements, you should be able to use experience from part-time jobs to your advantage too. Even if the job was not related to engineering in any way, there will be a number of transferable skills that you can discuss to show your suitability for the role.

For example, evidence of your analytical skills, ability to collaborate within teams, problem solving etc. are all relevant to the role you are applying for. You can refer to skills that you have demonstrated whilst studying, or even from sporting achievements and personal interests if they are relevant and transferable to the engineering industry.

If you have not written a CV to apply for a job before, it is a good idea to research examples of personal statements for the same roles and to use a CV template to ensure that you include all of the key information in the correct format. Finally, always get another person to read over your CV to provide feedback before you send it to recruiters.



Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.



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How to write an engineer cover letter

How to write an engineer cover letter

Cover letters are usually required when applying for a new job. You would send a cover letter at the same time as your CV. While many people think your CV is the most important written part of your application, a cover letter is arguably the most essential. In fact, your CV should compliment the cover letter, which is why we usually recommend that you create your cover letter first.

Why? A cover letter should be a clear and concise letter outlining your skills and ability to do the job, meaning it must be relevant. Creating your cover letter in this way will then help you to develop the bullet points in your CV, ensuring it is all related to the job you are applying for. Ensuring this correlation means you don’t have to provide as much information in your CV – but this means your cover letter is responsible for explaining all of the points made in your CV. It might also include your specific reasons for applying to the company in question.   

Writing a cover letter for an engineer job can be tricky – likely you are more than capable working with your hands, but when it comes to putting your skill and level of experience down on paper, you might find this particular task more frustrating.

That’s why we’ve put together this special blog, to help you create an effective cover letter for your profession. Whether you’re an aerodynamics engineer, a mechanical engineer or a B1 licensed engineer searching for your dream job, use the below as your foundation to build a more specific cover letter related to your role.


Engineer cover letter example

Craig Thomas

93 Antonio Street,


M1 1BU

Email address:

Phone number: 0789576834


To: Mr Aaron Hill

Excel Airways




15th April 2019


RE: Mechanical Engineer Position (Ref. Code 273654), advertised on


Dear Mr Hill,


I have read your job description and feel that my qualifications and level of experience match your needs. I am very interested in this Manchester based role.

As a mechanical engineer with 7+ years experience in the aviation industry, I believe that my extensive experience with inspection, maintenance and repair work are exceptional, and my practical experience has afforded me a well-rounded skill set. My communication and interpersonal skills are second-to-none.

I specialise in:

  • Installing aircraft plumbing, mechanical and hydraulic systems;
  • Disassembling, repairing and reassembling engines for an aircraft;
  • Performing preventative maintenance to an exceptional standard;
  • Performing scheduled maintenance;
  • Completing detailed inspections to maintain aircraft safety and service.

My personal qualities I believe, will allow me to shine in this role. These include:

  • Approachable;
  • Attentive;
  • Diligent;
  • Analytical;
  • Independent;
  • Team worker.

In addition to the above, I have a solid educational background, and carry a great passion in delivering a great service. I find your organisation’s focus on quality intriguing, and would greatly welcome the opportunity to contribute to your aircraft maintenance and repair needs and goals.

Please see attached my CV which includes additional details regarding my level of experience, quality of work and career achievements.

Thank you for considering my application.


Mr Craig Thomas


Here are a few extra tips to help with your cover letter too:


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The 3 most important parts of your airworthiness engineer CV

The 3 most important parts of your airworthiness engineer CV

As an airworthiness engineer, you are likely to have an immense set of skills as well as a wealth of experience and technical knowledge. However, without a fantastic CV that succinctly demonstrates these achievements, you’ll struggle to land your dream job. A CV is still an essential tool for recruitment and making sure your airworthiness engineer CV is up to scratch can help you to further your career.

With that in mind, what do you need to make sure you focus on when crafting your airworthiness engineer CV? Here are the top 3 elements:


The profile

The personal profile is essentially the introduction to you and your CV. It is not an edited summary of your CV. Instead, it is the selling pitch that can help recruiters to determine whether your CV is worth reading or not.

Typically, a profile will only be around four sentences long or take up a maximum of 150 words. As a result, it needs to be concise, compelling and powerful. After reading your profile, recruiters should be able to determine who you are based on your professional achievements and how you can benefit potential employers.

Your profile should succinctly answer who you are, what you offer and your future career goals. You should achieve this by demonstrating skills, experiences and achievements backed up with facts and figures. As a result, you provide recruiters with a clear and concise overview that will make them want to read your CV detail.


Your most recent role

As recruiters typically spend less than ten seconds reading a CV, you need to make sure that the information they are looking for is easy to find. After your profile, your most recent experience and most recent role should come up next.

Make sure your roles have clear headers so that recruiters can quickly scan your career history. However, your most recent role should be the most detailed one, because recruiters will be most interested in your recent work. In this section of your CV, you need to bullet point your most prominent responsibilities, skills and give some sample achievements.

As an airworthiness engineer, it is likely that past roles have had a multidisciplinary approach, which may make it hard to determine what are the most notable skills and achievements to include in your CV. However, you can make sure that your CV is as relevant as possible by highlighting keywords and skills mentioned in the job description. Therefore, you can ensure your most recent role reflects the aspects that recruiters are looking for.


Your technical skills

In any engineering role, the success of your application will primarily come down to the technical skills you possess, so make sure that these are clear and easy to find on your CV. With your technical skills, organise them in a way that will appeal to recruiters. This often means researching the job description and determining which skills the employer is prioritising. Make sure these key skills are then at the top of the skills section on your CV. You can further reinforce your technical skills with a quick summary of your accomplishments and abilities within that skill.


When highlighting your skills, make sure you back up the skills with your experience and proficiency level. Don’t say you are ‘an expert’ instead prove your proficiency with the time spent using the skill and the qualifications that show this. Don’t add skills that you have little experience in; you will only be found out during the interview stages.

By focusing on these three most important aspects of your airworthiness engineer CV, you then have a solid basis and structure in place for a great application that recruiters will love.


Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.


Want more CV advice? Download our CV template for an Airworthiness Engineer below!

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