What Job Seekers Should Know About Aerospace and Defense Hiring

What Job Seekers Should Know About Aerospace and Defense Hiring

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By Ryan Stenvick

Vice President of Business Development and Delivery, North America

Considering a career in the aerospace and defense industry, or thinking about exploring new opportunities? You’re in luck. 

The aerospace and defense industry directly employs over 2.5 million people in the U.S. and accounts for an additional 17 million indirect jobs, according to the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). 

The industry is supported by a variety of careers and job types, and employees come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Typical career pathways include: 

  • Aerodynamics, structures, and controls 
  • Design 
  • Systems engineering 
  • Test and evaluation 
  • Field service 
  • Aerospace science 

Job seekers also have options when it comes to where they work, with opportunities available in the public sector, private industry, and academia. 

A Candidate’s Market 

While the job market has cooled in many other industries, qualified talent in aerospace and defense remains a hot commodity. Driven by new products and technologies, increased defense and commercial spending, and a progressively connected and complex global supply chain, the aerospace and defense industry provides ample opportunities for career growth. These factors have kept demand consistently high for skilled professionals in engineering, software development, project management, and research and development, not just in the U.S. but around the world. 

Many aerospace and defense jobs require highly specialized skills, training, and expertise, including security clearances that can be costly and time-consuming to obtain—so having a clearance at the outset of their job search can give candidates a major upper hand.  

Furthermore, many leading aerospace and defense companies have contracts with government entities. These contracts often involve long-term projects, requiring a steady stream of skilled workers and offering employees job security and stability that doesn’t always exist in other industries. 

Related: Aerospace and Defense Industry’s Demand for Talent Outpaces Supply 

Tips for Job Seekers 

Despite high demand for qualified aerospace and defense talent, job seekers should still take their search seriously—especially if they’re just beginning their careers in the industry. Here are some tips job seekers should know when exploring new opportunities. 

  • Be Prepared to Prove Your Expertise: Jobs in aerospace and defense often require specialized skills and knowledge, particularly in areas such as engineering, aerospace technology, cybersecurity, and project management. Job seekers should be prepared to demonstrate their expertise and speak to the relevant work they’ve done in the past. 
  • Show Flexibility and Adaptability: The aerospace and defense industry is a dynamic one and, as we’ve already seen, subject to major changes in technology, regulations, and market conditions. Job seekers must be adaptable, willing to embrace new challenges and opportunities as they arise, and eager to learn new skills to keep them competitive in this shifting landscape. 
  • Don’t Overlook Your Soft Skills: While specialized skills are important, many roles in the aerospace and defense industry also require soft skills like communication, problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork. Job seekers should highlight these skills on their resumes and during interviews to showcase their ability to contribute effectively to diverse work environments. 
  • Grow Your Network: Networking is crucial in the aerospace and defense industry. Building connections with professionals already working in the field can provide valuable insights, job leads, and opportunities for career advancement. Job seekers should attend industry events, join professional organizations, and leverage online platforms to expand their networks. 
  • Connect with Recruiters: Many aerospace and defense companies in the U.S. partner with staffing firms like Acara to find qualified candidates. If you’re looking for a job in the industry, connecting with a recruiter who specializes in placing aerospace and defense talent can be a great move. Even if a recruiter isn’t currently filling a job that matches your skills and qualifications, there’s a good chance they will in the future. 

To learn more about open job opportunities in the aerospace and defense industry, visit jobs.acarasolutions.com. 

Related: Interview Guide for Job Seekers 

This blog was authored by Acara’s Vice President of Business Development and Delivery Ryan Stenvick.