I am a current Senior in an Aerospace Engineering program at UCF in Florida, I am prior Air Force AWACS aircrew member. I am just wondering how do I get my foot in the door to this career field, I have a relative that works at gulf stream and every time I try to find an FTE internship, whether its with Gulf Stream or any one I can only seem to find level 2 or 3 jobs and no entry level ones. Does anyone have any advice where to start to get my foot in the door of this career field? I just want to fly again which is the whole reason I choose this degree to chase with my GI Bill.
How to get started in the FTE career field?
1 year 10 months ago #774
No easy answer here. No one is so special as to be able to bend circumstances to their wishes. You need to find someone who is looking for entry level. They will be doing so on their timescale not yours so you will probably need to be looking over a long time period. Large firms up your probability slightly so you can inventory those and try to find an HR contact in each and ask them straight up when they might have openings for new graduates. If these things don't pop up all the time they also don't pop up everywhere. Gulfstream isn't too far up the road from your school. You may need to look farther away.
There are plenty of companies which will hire AE majors straight out of college as an FTE, particularly in military and government programs. However, fewer and fewer FTEs are flying these days with the military going to single seaters and unmanned systems. UTSI might be a good option as Mark suggested but that program is currently has very few participants, only one, if my memory serves me from a conversation with a (the) student I met at the symposium. The National Test Pilot School also has a program called the Graduate Assistant Program that provides an amazing opportunity for a very small number of young engineers in which you work for the school for a number of years in exchange for formalized education as an FTE and OJT.
Small companies producing GA aircraft have a good opportunity for flying FTEs but jobs in small companies don't present often. Boeing has a lot of their FTEs fly in the back of their commercial aircraft as to the biz jet companies. Rotary wing companies also typically put an FTE on board but as a new hire I think you will have to "pay your dues" in the control room.
Does anyone have additions/corrections to this information?
there are plenty of flight test openings out there. bombardier in wichita, textron in wichita, and lockheed martin at EAFB and NAS Patuxent River and Ft Worth all have had openings within the last couple weeks. you need to continuously check, however, as these openings may be filled with people that already have their degree + clearance (if necessary)