Aeronautical engineers specialise in the design and engineering of aircraft. Lighting engineers design and oversee lighting arrangements for events such as concerts, TV shows and films. Planning engineers work with project managers to oversee project operations.
Who can I work for?
A wide array of companies within a team environment with both civilian and military personnel. Private firms, agencies, military, research centres, engineering bodies and universities. Most major employers are global businesses, especially in the aeronautics or defence businesses. Lighting engineers can work for film studios, TV networks, specialist audio visual installation firms, clubs and music venues and stage and theatre companies. Planning engineers can work for the energy private sector, oil-rich governments, the construction and transport industries and companies involved in one-off events, such as the Olympic Games.
Where and when can I work?
Aeronautical engineers work 9-5. But you may sometimes have to work late to meet deadlines. You'll normally work in a single location, but should expect to occasionally work off-site with buyers or suppliers on location. Lighting engineers work long hours, often 12-hour shifts in a TV studio, film set or open-air concert setting. Planning engineers generally work 40-hour weeks. But those based on construction sites can work six-day weeks totaling 60 hours.
What qualifications do I need?
Aeronautical engineers will need a strong set of A-levels in science or maths-based subjects. You can't become a chartered engineer or incorporated engineer without a relevant qualification. There are aeronautic-specific courses at some leading universities. Any of the following courses will qualify you to work as a lighting engineer: BTEC National Award (NA) in Stage Lighting, Rigging and Operation; BA in Theatre Practice in Lighting Design; BA in Theatre Practice in Production Lighting
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