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NASA Careers

Do you like finding out how things work? … solving problems and puzzles? … creating and building things? … working with computers? … studying math and science? If you answer yes to most of these questions, you might want to consider a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Within NASA, women work in all of these areas, and you can learn about many of them.

NASA has information available on these kinds of careers and how you can prepare for them.

What are Engineers?

Engineers are people who make things work. The work and ideas of engineers make achievements possible. They put power and materials to work. Engineers have moved America into skyscrapers, high speed cars, jets, and space vehicles. They make life interesting, comfortable, and fun. Computers, television, and satellites--products of the communication industry--depend on engineers.

There are many types of engineers, including:
Aerospace, Ceramic, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical, etc.

What are Scientists?

Scientists are knowledge seekers, always searching out why things happen. They are inquisitive. This means they are always questioning. They possess a sense of wonder. Nature, Earth, and the universe are what fascinate the scientist. The scientist questions, seeks answers, and expands knowledge.

Careers are available in both the life and physical sciences:
Life sciences: Biologist, Medical Doctor, Physiologist, Nutritionist, etc.
Physical sciences: Astronomer, Chemist, Geologist, Meteorologist, Physicist, etc.

What are Technicians?

Technicians are an important part of the NASA team. They work closely with scientists and engineers in support of their research. Their skills are used to operate wind tunnels, work in laboratories, construct test equipment, build models and support many types of research. Just as there are many types of engineers, there are many kinds of technicians, including:
Aircraft, Avionics, Electrical, Electronics, Fabrication, Mechanical, etc.

What should you study in high school?

Education is a critical requirement. What are your favorite subjects? Mathematics and science are the basis for most NASA careers. Decisions you make in school can affect your career possibilities. Some of the recommended high school courses are listed below.

English (4 years): Literature, Composition, Speech
Language (2 years): Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Russian
Mathematics (4 years): Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus
Science (4 years): Biology, Chemistry, Physics

What education will you need beyond high school?

A career as a scientist or engineer requires four to seven years of college study following high school. A bachelor's degree requiring four years of study is the minimum necessary to enter this field. Colleges and universities also offer graduate programs where students can obtain master's and doctoral degrees. The master's program usually takes two years. An additional two to four years is needed to earn a doctorate.

Technicians typically earn a two-year Associate of Science degree. Some may continue for two additional years and obtain a bachelor's degree in engineering technology. Others may earn a bachelor's degree in engineering or one of the physical sciences.

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FirstGov logo NASA
Author: Dawn Jenkins, QinetiQ-NA
NASA Official: Dennis Stocker
Last Updated: October 15, 2010