Aerospace Engineering graduate destinations

Engineering graduates are highly employable, with well developed skills in areas such as numeracy, team working, report writing and creativity. Bristol graduates are in demand, with the university's high academic standards and excellent teaching attracting many recruiters.

Data obtained from

  • Single honours Aeronautical Engineering courses (BEng and MEng), including those with study abroad
  • Graduates from the UK 

Responses were received from 62 UK graduates from 2016/17; this is a response rate of 92.5%


Most important activityPercentage of graduates
Full-time work 64%
Part-time work 3%
Due to start work 3%
Full-time study 14%
Part-time study 0%
Travel 7%
Something else 0%
Unemployed 8%

Sector information

Of those who start work, a large number typically embark on an engineering or manufacturing career; the remainder enter a huge range of unrelated occupations that do not require a specific degree, as around 70% of jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, and the broad skills base of engineering graduates is appreciated. This can include working in high profile areas such as business, finance, law and the Civil Service, as well as those which might seem more unrelated such as advertising, journalism and social work.

Employment sectorNumber of graduates
Manufacturing 18
Wholesale and retail 4
Public sector 2
Engineering 2
Other sectors (10 sectors) 12

Employers and occupations

Those entering engineering will find possibilities in a range of different functions, although the exact spread of opportunities will vary according to your degree subject. Functions include research and development, design, consultancy, production, contracting and commercial work such as sales and marketing. Your career need not be confined by your original choice of function - indeed some mobility is built into many training schemes.

Examples of employers

  • Rolls Royce
  • Airbus
  • Red Bull Racing
  • Royal Air Force
  • GKN Aerospace

There are also opportunities to apply one's scientific training and knowledge in new ways such as patent work, health and safety, and technical writing. Engineering offers the chance to apply your personal values in a huge range of contexts, from defence to development.

Examples of occupations

  • Aerodynamics Engineer
  • Fixed Equipment Engineer
  • Associate Financial Consultant
  • Graduate Engineering Trainee
  • Graduate Research Engineer

Further study

Anyone wishing to continue on to postgraduate study will find exciting opportunities at both Master's and PhD level, with funding more readily available than in most disciplines.

Qualification typeNumber of graduates
Postgraduate research degree 5
Postgraduate taught degree 2
Postgraduate certificate 1
First degree 0
Other certificate 0
Professional qualification 0
Other qualification 0
No qualification aim 0

8 graduates from 2016/17 went on to full-time further study, undertaking a variety of taught (e.g. MSc Aeronautical Engineering) and research qualifications (e.g. PhD Aerospace Engineering, PhD Advanced Composites). Five graduates went into PhDs in Engineering and Composites.

Explore your career options

You can explore specific sectors and career options on the Prospects website: What can I do with my degree?

Information request

If you need more information about our graduate destinations please fill out our information request form.

I often find that my Bristol education allows me to talk confidently on many aerospace subjects, and generally in more breadth and depth than colleagues with differing or more specialised degree backgrounds (such as Motorsport Engineering). Being accredited by the engineering council, a Bristol degree also allows for continued professional development and enabled me to become a chartered engineer with the IMechE.

Tim, Experimental Aerodynamicist, Scuderia Ferrari (MEng Aeronautical Engineering, 2010)

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Use Bristol Connects and LinkedIn to find out what others from your course are doing now and how they can help you.

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