How to Become an Engineer for NASA

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Imagine working at NASA as a space engineer. You’d be working on a large campus with hundreds of other brilliant professionals. You’ll have exposure to the next-generation spacecraft, or maybe work on some aspect of reflective mirrors for satellites and the space station. All of these dreams begin with doing well in school and taking appropriate high school science, math and computer courses. You’ll need to keep up the good work in college, especially in your engineering courses. Whatever type of engineer you want to become, keep focused on your goals.

Get into an engineering program at a reputable university. You could start at a junior college just to get your feet wet and then transfer for the more advanced courses once you gain background and confidence. Some university engineering programs are extremely rigid and even electives are slim pickings. Make sure to take at least one astronomy course for a baseline space background.

Apply for internship programs while you’re still a university student. And once you’re in, work to your best ability, demonstrate teamwork and go the extra mile in all you do. Don’t expect to gain a lot of recognition as an engineering intern, but you can gain from the experience and list it on your resume. Consider it a plus and potential foot in the door. Attempt to network as much as possible while you’re there.

Seek mentors from NASA employees who visit your school or from your previous experiences through NASA. If you’re lucky enough to find someone interested in you who has the time, find out ways you can get employed. Convey your interest and passion for working as an engineer at NASA. Keep in touch with him regularly.

NASA recruiters go to many universities to interview graduating engineering students, so make sure to sign up for an interview. Do your homework and know as much about NASA and their engineering programs as possible. Check with your engineering department administrative offices to see if they offer interview or other useful coaching tips for your special day.

Search for and then apply on line for engineering jobs at NASA after you leave college. Anyone other than fresh college recruits needs to apply at the USAJobs website listed below and supply a resume and transcripts.

Further your engineering education and then apply again for work at NASA. Many engineering jobs require advanced degrees and experience.

About the Author

Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.

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