Careers

Aerodynamicist

What is an Aerodynamicist?

Aerodynamicists develop and test new types of cars, racing cars, and motorbikes. They mainly focus on improving engines, the car’s internal electronics, and how quickly it can move while still looking good.

You need to have lots of know-how in engineering and excellent skills with IT, maths, and design to work as an aerodynamicist. Good communication and teamwork skills are important, as well.

You will very likely need an HNC, HND, BTEC, foundation degree, or a degree to apply for work in this role. Apprenticeships might also be available.

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What does an Aerodynamicist do?

Aerodynamicists, also known as automotive engineers, usually do the following:

  • Manufacture different bits of motors, such as thermodynamic parts or fuel technology
  • Draw up blueprints of motors, and test the design with 3D technology
  • Build and test prototypes
  • Produce machine tools and new parts
  • Keep overall production costs down
  • Perform strict quality control tests
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How much could I earn?

Average salary

£34,320

Example: Mechanical engineers, 2013

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How to become an Aerodynamicist

You might be able to start as an engineering technician apprentice with an engineering company and study later on for higher education qualifications. You usually need four or five GCSEs, including maths, English and a science subject, to get onto an apprenticeship. 

You can also apply for a training scheme – they usually last one or two years. Most employers will ask for qualifications like a foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND or degree in subjects such as mechanical engineering, electrical or electronic engineering, production engineering, manufacturing engineering or automotive engineering. 

Work experience is great too, so looking for work placements, internships or working for a year in the industry can be useful. 

Qualifications you may need include: 

  • Four or five GCSEs, including maths, English and a science subject
  • Foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND or a degree in subjects such as mechanical engineering, electrical or electronic engineering, production engineering, manufacturing engineering or automotive engineering
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