In 1958, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) was formed by the United States government in response to advances in space exploration made by the USSR. The first goal of NASA was to send a human into space. This spurred President Kennedy’s promise in 1961 that the United States would put a person on the moon before the end of the decade. Though that goal was achieved in 1969, NASA has remained on the cutting edge of space exploration ever since. For this reason, NASA is one of the most exciting places in the world to work. For aviation and aeronautic buffs from many fields of expertise, NASA offers many career opportunities.
In recent years, NASA’s most visible projects have been the Space Shuttle, Mars spacecraft, and flights to the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope. None of this would be possible without the NASA aeronautic engineers, flight crew, test pilots, ground support, and many more hard-working individuals. Because NASA is so vast, there’s a large cross-section of jobs and opportunities for advancement. And with the constant advances in technology and desire to lead the world in space exploration, the U.S. government is likely to fund many more NASA projects well into the future.Â
Be sure and check out NASA’s website at www.nasa.gov/ for information on their latest achievements, goals, and special announcements.
Applying for NASA Jobs
General career information for NASA can be found at http://nasajobs.nasa.gov/. At nasajobs.nasa.gov/studentopps/employment/apply.htm you can sign up for automatic email notifications of jobs as they become available.
To apply for a job at NASA, go to http://www.usajobs.gov/. There you’ll find the very latest job listings and information that will help you determine if you qualify for the position.
NASA prefers to hire applicants with applicable university degrees, or those in the military with aviation experience and backgrounds. Science and math degrees are often required for aviation and aeronautic jobs at NASA, though that’s not always the case. Test pilots are often hired out of the military because they’re already trained as test pilots. If you have very little technical experience or education, consider applying for an entry level ground support position.
In addition to full-time paid positions, NASA offers alternative employment opportunities, including internships and seasonal employment. These are excellent ways to gain on the job experience and make contacts within NASA and throughout the aviation industry. It can also help you to focus in on exactly the kind of career you want to have. When you later apply for a permanent paid position, you’ll be that much more likely to be hired.
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