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Old 12-20-2007, 04:06 PM
297 posts, read 1,293,958 times
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My spouse is a mechanical tooling design engineering manager and is 49 now. Is is true that most top aerospace companies would rather hire (2) 20 year old engineers right out of college instead of a older engineer with more experience? Seems to be the norm we're experiencing right now. Is this true in the Huntsville area?
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:18 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL
1,618 posts, read 4,761,245 times
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It depends on whether your spouse's skills are particularly specialized and benefits greatly from his experience, or whether he's more of a technician-level engineer. For technician-level engineers, the fresh-out-of-college variety not only has a lower salary (and cost), but the kids have theoretically more recent exposure to the latest technologies.

However if you are an engineer who has developed a specialized set of skills that are in high demand and benefit from additional years of study and experience, then you'll be in high demand.

Unfortunately I think any mechanical engineer is on the lower end of desirability, unless you're talking about an ME with a lot of solid propulsion/missile experience. Electrical and chemical engineers seem to be the hot commodity right now, AFAIK.
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:43 AM
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Mechanical engineering is a very broad field compared to other engineering disciplines. Combustion/propulsion, finite element analysis (stress, heat transfer, dynamics), aerodynamics, and solid modeling are all very sought after in the Huntsville job market. Those are all fields that are encompassed by mechanical engineering. I have also heard that mechanical engineers are often sought after for systems engineering positions (which are very common in Huntsville) because of their broad educational background.

However, a tooling design engineer that hasn't work primarily in the aerospace field may not be in high demand here. Areas with a high concentration of manufacturing companies may be a better job market. Huntsville/Decatur does have a fair share of manufacturing companies but R&D and systems engineering is what the area is known for.
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