I would like to be a Nasa Aerospace Engineer, what would I need to take to obtain this career?

So I am sixteen, and I am in tenth grade. I love space and engineering, these fields have always made me feel inspired, interested, and happy. I would love to be an aerospace engineer for Nasa, but I have a few questions.

What classes should I take in high school to help with this, and what classes should I take (for major and minors) in college to aquire this job?

Thank you :slight_smile:

You can google “aerospace engineering requirements” to find out what you need to take in college (some schools offer degrees in aerospace engineering), but for now, take the highest level math and science classes your school offers. By the time you graduate, you should have AP Calc and AP Physics. Doing well in these classes will help you get into a good engineering program.

Math and Science, particularly Physics, in high school. AP Calc and Physics C would be ideal, but there’s plenty of time in college to get there if your school doesn’t offer those or you’re not on track to get there.

Any Aero, Mechanical, or Electrical engineering degree would give you the skills needed for many NASA jobs. Materials engineering and several others are also needed for jobs, though not quite as many.

Those are the bigs ones - NASA requires lots of people with lots of backgrounds for many positions,

What you do in high school will have little impact on whether you can become a NASA engineering beyond the impact it has on getting into a solid engineering program. Once you move on to college, no one will care about your high school courses anymore.

@hmr346 There are many paths that could take you to a career at NASA. Check this article for more detailed info:

For now, focus on taking the most challenging math and science classes available at your school and doing well at them so you can get into a good engineering program.

I would also recommend you look into summer programs related to aerospace.
Here are some I found:


There are also internships at NASA available for High Schools students:

Volunteer opportunities:

And other NASA opportunities by state:

Good luck!

We have a friend whose son in law is responsible for the design of the spacesuits. He works closely with the astronauts. I’m jealous. I wanted to work for NASA at your age but the prospects weren’t great then, so I majored in structural. Good luck to you!

@hmr346 if you’re looking for other opportunities outside of the classroom to help you prepare for your major, I’d recommend Civil Air Patrol; they have some great programs at a youth level to learn about flight and aerospace engineering.

I wouldn’t get too hung up on a specific job yet. First, things change. You might not be interested in NASA once you get to know people who have or do work there. More importantly though, even the very tippy top qualified candidates frequently do not get a foot into the door of companies that are hyper-competitive to work at.

Study as much math and science as you can in high school. In college, study what you are good at. And you’ll find out what you are good at when you are in college.

NASA needs all kinds of engineering and science specialties; mechanical, aerospace, materials, electrical, chemical, astronomy, human factors, and many more.

I was a civil engineering major studying structural analysis in college and had a 40 year career working for a NASA contractor on manned spacecraft. I also did some consulting directly for NASA after I retired. FYI; Only a few of the engineers I met along the way actually majored in aerospace.

The big thing (as alluded to by eyemgh) is that NASA and NASA contractor jobs are highly sought after. Therefore, the compitition for those jobs can be tough. Challenge yourelf and get good grades in college to make yourself have a better chance.

In addition, try to identify those colleges where NASA recruits directly (agencies often have a recruitment calendar for specific geographic areas). It could be easier to get visibility at a college career fair.

My 11th grader D is in this program right now https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/stem/High_School_Aerospace_Scholars.html
She is learning tons. She plans to major in electrical engineering.


Curious on what University or College is best to attend or recommended for mechanical/aerospace engineering degree.

Thank You

Do you have a dart board? Without more specific questions, the answers you get will be equivalent to putting all the aerospace programs on a dart board and throwing a dart at it.

Another idea is to reverse engineer it…Look on LinkedIn (like facebook for business) and search on “NASA Aeronautic Engineer” and see who matches.
You can see what internships they had and what colleges they went to and what they majored in.