The professionals who design, develop and ultimately test the United States’ detailed military weapon systems and hardware are highly trained individuals with a serious task. The weapons engineers who create and maintain the many facets of the country’s defense areas, from missile guidance systems to submarines and armored vehicles, are well trained and educated.
If you have decided to engage in designing and implementing any part of the vast field of weapons engineering, then attending a qualified college stocked with weapon designing courses, weapon engineering majors and more is imperative to completing your mission.
What Is Weapons Engineering?
A weapons engineer has a host of duties. They test current designs and weapons to find ways to make them work better. They train other weapons engineers and continually research to keep on top of the latest trends in other military designs and defense systems.
While it is a steady nine to five job, a weapons engineer is constantly considering how to make something bigger, better, faster and stronger. The office is usually a workshop for developing projects or a research lab. They follow a design from start to finish. They pore over plans, monitor the idea through its manufacturing process and pace the production floor until the final product is completed to perfection.
Aside from having an advanced degree in this area of expertise, there are a few other areas on which to focus. Physical fitness, work experience in your chosen niche and maintaining an understanding of the latest developments and inventions will help you to compete in this field.
Undergraduate Weapons Engineering Preparation
If you are planning on entering the weapons engineering field, an undergraduate degree can be very beneficial. Depending on your future emphasis, a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, chemical engineering, physics, mechatronics engineering (a blend of mechanics and electronics), electrical engineering or aerospace engineering can propel you into a choice master’s program. Each of these can provide a good foundation for a lucrative career in weapons engineering.
The United States Naval Academy offers undergraduate degrees in robotics and control engineering as well as a variety of base weapons engineering courses. The Engineering and Weapons Division contains the Department of Weapons, Robotics and Control Engineering, which has five departments and 10 academic majors. Plan early to attend the United States Naval Academy.
Firearm Engineer Colleges in the U.S.
A firearms engineering degree can be beneficial for many reasons. The courses break down loading mechanisms, gun assembly, safety issues, optical sights and the construction of weapons. To design firearms, a background in understanding the properties of wood and metal as well as having worked with the materials can help significantly. There are a few colleges in the U.S. that offer degrees or certificates in gunsmith work.
The American Military University offers eight- and 16-week courses in firearms engineering for those planning on a future career in weapons development and manufacturing. They have more than 200 online degrees and certificates that are ideal for military servicepeople as well as civilian working adults.
Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, Stevens Institute of Technology has generated generations of accomplished weapons engineers. It is one of the longest-running technological universities in the U.S. It has a heavy emphasis on mechanical engineering.
Air Force Institute of Technology
Once you have obtained a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology can open doors to opportunities in the weapons engineering field. They have a stellar combat weapons of mass destruction program that lays down a solid foundation for future weapons engineering courses. Completing even a few classes from this esteemed institute can revive a stale resume for those who have been in the industry for some time.
- United States Naval Academy: Weapons, Robotics, and Control Engineering
- LearningPath.org: Pros & Cons of a Career As a Mechatronic Engineer
- Kennesaw State University: Mechatronics Engineering Degrees
- CareerAddict: How to Become a Weapons Engineer in the US
- Study.com: Become a Military Engineer: Step-by-Step Career Guide
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.