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We bet you didn’t know but the UK is the worlds number 2 in terms of aerospace manufacturing.


Also, the North West region is the biggest cluster in the UK - making it a hive of activity and creating lots of fantastic job opportunities!



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There’s around 50,000 people employed in the aerospace industry here in the North West.

The UK is aiming to build 27,000 new aircraft before 2020 but with many people currently employed in this industry expecting to retire within the next five to ten years; we need to make sure young people know all about the fantastic opportunities which are available right on their doorstep.

So take a look at the information below to see what a career in aerospace could offer you...


Its modern, innovation and global

Careers in the industry are well paid, rewarding and often come with the chance for global travel - and it’s not just engineering roles on offer either!

Most people think it’s all about engineers, but that’s not true. Apprenticeships are also available in project management and business roles and graduate schemes range from business, finance and HR roles just to name a few.

Careers are well paid too, apprentices can start on up to £210 a week - whilst studying at college for qualifications. A great opportunity to earn while you learn!

Graduate starting wages range from £20,000-£25,000 and that’s just a starting wage! Expect this to increase as you progress and earn more responsibility with the company!

Find out more about which role is right for you by checking out some of our videos:

Anthony Stagg, BAE Systems Design Engineer
Mathew Brooke, Safran Aircelle Design Engineer



Elizabeth Halliwell, MBDA Missile Systems Engineering Apprentice
Sally Topping, BAE Systems Business Apprentice
Ryan Bray, Paradigm Precision Engineers Engineering Apprentice
Michael Williams, Safran Aircelle Engineering Apprentice


Still not sure which route is for you? We will shortly be uploading some information to a University vs Apprenticeships page - so check back soon!

So what subjects do I need to study?

To work in the aerospace industry qualifications in the following subject areas would be useful:

  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Maths

Anything else which will help with my application?

Employers in the aerospace industry also look for candidates with good skills in;

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Innovation
  • Negotiation
  • Presentation

Find out more about how you can use your experiences in STEM at school as examples of where you’ve gained experience in these skills here.

What will my working week in aerospace look like?

The hours are usually between 37-40 hours per week but most companies work Monday to Friday - meaning you get your weekends free! A huge bonus when compared with other industries, most companies also offer flexi time too, meaning and early finish on Friday’s to make your weekend that little bit longer!

What else is on offer?

There are opportunities to become a STEM ambassador if you are pursuing a career in aerospace whether it be studying it at university or taking an apprenticeship. STEM ambassadors help to raise young people’s awareness of careers in STEM and ultimately aim to inspire the next generation of our aerospace talent.

NWAA also hold an annual event, The New Talent Awards, to recognise and reward the work done by North West aerospace apprentices with £1000 prize money awarded to the best apprentice in the region!

We also launched our Business University Challenge in 2013, which saw teams from industry and universities go head to head in series of mini employability skills challenges to win the title and the £1500 prize money.  

So, where do I go next?

Below are links to careers opportunities available at companies around the North West of England, most of these companies offer apprenticeships and graduate schemes so check them out to see when you need to apply:

For opportunities outside the North West the Royal Aeronautical Society website is a good place to start. They also have a guidance page for application advice.

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