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Career Sectors: Air and Space


The air and space sector is a dynamic and rapidly growing industry that offers many exciting career opportunities.

In recent years, the air and space sector has faced some challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly impacted air travel and the industry as a whole. However, the sector has shown resilience and is expected to recover in the coming years.

The demand for air and space professionals is driven by several factors, including the growth of air travel, the increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, and the development of new technologies, such as electric airplanes. Additionally, the government's investment in the space industry is expected to create many new job opportunities.

Labour Market Information

Industry Employers

Royal Air Force | Air and Space Operations - Roles in the Air and Space Operations, RAF

RTX - Three businesses:  Raytheon, Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney, working together to solve biggest problems in aerospace and defence.

Inzpire Limited - An award-winning supplier of products, training and technical services to the air and defence sector.

Leonardo - Aerospace, defence and security.

MASS - Turning your data into operational advantage.

Eagle Eye Innovations - Enabling safe RPAS operations for the world.

Northrop Grumman - Design and build advanced products in relation to different sectors including air and space.

Flight Director - Lincolnshire Flight Simulation

Air Salvage International - One of the world's largest providers of aircraft disassembly and recovery services.

Career Paths

There are a host of opportunities within aviation and three sub-industries: airlines, airports and ground handling. From front facing roles dealing with passengers either at the airport or on board the aircraft, there are opportunities to move into supervisory and management roles.

Instrument Technicians - Are responsible for repair and overhaul a wide range of Communications, Navigation, Radar, Audio and control panels to component level. This role requires working with technologies ranging from analogue electronics to complex microprocessor electronics with the main focus on the repair of RF circuits.

Engineering - Are members of an aircraft’s crew that oversee the systems within an aircraft. Their main task is to make sure that the plane is operating properly, carry out maintenance and to communicate and carry out repairs when required.

Pilot - To become a commercial pilot, candidates must first achieve an Airline Transport Pilots License (ATPL) or Multi-Pilot License (MPL). There are generally three entry routes to become a commercial pilot either through private training, armed forces training, or through a university course which includes pilot training. Candidates must be over 21 years old and be educated to at least A Level standard. Maths and physics are key subjects for those wishing to become an airline pilot.

Air Traffic Controllers - Help keep aircraft flying, passengers travelling, cargo moving and the skies above us safe.

Airport Operations - Work with customers and suppliers to ensure the safe, efficient and effective operation of the airport, airfield and aircraft.

Royal Navy - Air Engineering Technician

RAF - Aircraft Technician (Avionics)

Army - Aviation Ground Crewman

Work includes: fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, missiles and weapons, flight simulators, flight components and instruments.

As an Avionics Engineer, you could work in research and development, testing or production and maintenance.

Most careers in space require innovation, creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Many jobs cover multiple disciplines and, as space is an international endeavour, they often involve working with partners around the world.


Teams of engineers work together to design and build spacecraft, robots, instruments and satellite sensors. They develop practical skills and need to cooperate to solve problems. As an engineer, you might be working on a new Earth monitoring satellite, propulsion system or even mission to another planet.

Natural Science

Scientists work with satellite technology to learn more about the Earth and understand how it’s changing. Biologists use satellite sensors to investigate the effects of plastic pollution, meteorologists rely on satellites to track the weather, and satellite data helps chemists and physicists predict the effects of climate change.

Space Science

is there life on Mars?  Be part of a science team that is trying to find out. From discovering planets that might support life to unravelling the mysteries of Mercury, space scientists, physicists and astronomers are tackling fundamental questions about the nature of the universe.


From coordinating the response to a natural disaster to developing computer algorithms to map urban development, there is a wealth of opportunities to help deliver services from space and make a difference to people’s lives.

This is one of the biggest growth areas in the UK space sector and businesses are looking for people with a wide range of skills. These might include qualifications in software design and IT, geography or marketing.

Useful Links

Talentview Aviation - Can help individuals to find first jobs, graduate roles, apprenticeships, and other opportunities within the UK aviation Industry.

SpaceCareers - Non-profit organisation supporting students and professionals throughout their career in the space sector.

Careers in Aerospace - Dedicated to providing independent information, advice and guidance in the aerospace and aviation community.

Royal Aeronautical Society - The Royal Aeronautical Society Education & Skills team have produced four short videos aimed at young people, teachers and parents to showcase some of the sectors within the aerospace industry and the skills required

Aerospace Engineer/ Explore Careers / National Careers Service - National Skills Service-Job Profiles for Aerospace Engineer.

Aerospace Engineer job profile - Prospects-Job profile for Aerospace Engineer.

Space Industry Jobs/ Space-Careers - Latest jobs in the Space Industry.

Space skills and Careers Resources - Space and careers resources -work experience, apprenticeships, internships or jobs in the Space sector.

Youth Employment UK - Aerospace Engineer Careers Guide

Career Transition Partnership - PowerPoint Presentation - Aviation sector guide.

NASA - Latest news, images and videos from America's space agency.

Skills Required for the Air and Space Industry

The air and space sector requires a range of technical, practical, and soft skills.

Technical skills - knowledge of physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science.

Practical skills - teamwork, problem-solving, and communication are also essential.

Soft skills - adaptability, leadership, and the ability to work under pressure.

Air and space sector jobs can be divided into three broad categories: Pilots, Engineers, and Technicians.

Pilots must have a strong understanding of physics and mathematics, as well as excellent communication skills. They must also have exceptional hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness.

Engineers require a strong background in mathematics, physics, and computer science, as well as experience in designing, testing, and maintaining aircraft. Technicians must have practical skills in repairing, maintaining, and assembling aircraft and their components.

Technicians must have practical skills in repairing, maintaining, and assembling aircraft and their components.

Work Experience and Apprenticeship Opportunities

Springpod - Aviation and aerospace virtual work experience.

BAE Systems - Taster weeks and movement to work programmes.

SpaceCareers -  Information about, work experience, Internships whilst studying at University and Placements can be done as part of a degree course.

British Airways - Work experience programme, both virtual and in person.

East Midlands Airport - Work experience.

Talentview Aviation -  Advertises work experience, apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities within the UK aviation industry. 

BAE Systems - Offer Intermediate, Advanced, Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.

SpaceCareers - Space Engineering Technician Apprenticeship, Higher Apprenticeship in space Engineering, Space Systems Engineer Degree Apprenticeships.

British Airways - Emerging talent Apprentices-3 programmes-Customer, Business and Operations.

Royal Air Force - Apprentices in the RAF.

East Midlands Airport - Leading UK airport group offer graduate and apprenticeship schemes.

Talentview Aviation -  Advertises work experience, apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities within the UK aviation industry.