Guide to Your Future

Hundreds of organizations in the aerospace industry are ready to give you money—to train to fly, to learn their trades, to work for them as apprentices, or to study their subjects in school. Here is your Air & Space/NEXT guide to these sources. Know a resource we could add? Contact us at editors@si.edu.

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Ball Aerospace

November 21st, 2016, 12:19PM

In a program called BIRST, or Ball Intern Rocket Science Team, college students spend eight weeks of the summer working with payload teams to prepare science packages for orbit. The company also offers 10-week internships at its offices in Colorado, Ohio, Washington, and New Mexico for practical work experience in engineering. At the end of the internships, students might have the opportunity to interview for permanent positions at Ball Aerospace.

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The National Air and Space Museum

November 15th, 2016, 5:23PM

The National Air and Space Museum offers volunteer programs for Discovery Stations and Story Times for Children. All positions are unpaid but participants receive in-depth training. The Museum also hires high school and college students for its Explainers Program, paid positions that help visitors better understand the artifacts and exhibits.

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Northrop Grumman

November 15th, 2016, 5:12PM

Northrop Grumman has internship openings at locations throughout the U.S. for high school through post-graduate college students. In addition to a diverse range of pre-defined internships of eight to 12 weeks at aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman, students can apply for a customized work experience via a cooperative education program aligned with their university’s coursework, which not only grants college credit but pays an hourly wage

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The Boeing Company

November 10th, 2016, 12:51PM

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, has been offering apprenticeships since 1935. Applicants who are at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent can apply for an apprenticeship that lasts several years and provides up to 10,000 hours of practical work experience with pay from $30 to $43 per hour. Boeing currently needs apprentices in the fields of industrial electronic maintenance, composites manufacturing, machine tool maintenance, metal structures, and model making.

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Crane Aerospace

November 10th, 2016, 11:57AM

Crane offers internships to undergraduates; requirements vary. Undergraduates in a variety of majors can apply for internship positions in manufacturing, engineering, marketing, human resources, and more.

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American Airlines

November 10th, 2016, 11:56AM

College students hoping to find practical work experience at American Airlines can check its online listings periodically using keywords for openings nationwide.

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Southwest Airlines

November 10th, 2016, 11:52AM

High school students in the Dallas, Texas area can work up to 30 hours per week during an eight-week summer internship at Southwest Airlines if they are at least 16 and have a GPA of 3.0 or better. There are internships available for college and graduate students in areas from its “People Department” (what Southwest calls human resources) to reservation logistics, facilities, and help at the Southwest Airlines University. Includes travel privileges.

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United Airlines

November 10th, 2016, 11:47AM

Internships are available every semester with United Airlines, ranging from undergraduates to MBA candidates and spanning finance, customer service, flight operations, food services, and cargo. Includes travel privileges.

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Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee

November 10th, 2016, 11:42AM

The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee matches existing employees of more than 200 Washington state companies with a company mentor, who trains the apprentice in a variety of aerospace skills. An AJAC apprenticeship combines on-the-job training supplemented with one evening class each week at a community or technical college. Skills that are most in demand include machinist, airframe mechanic, precision metal fabricator, and plastic process technician. For applicants who don’t yet hold these skills or experience the AJAC offers a 10-week Manufacturing Academy it calls a pre-apprenticeship.