Overview of the Industry
There are many jobs available for U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike in the U.S. aerospace industry. Furthermore, now is a particularly good time to enter the industry because of the current labor demographics (many employees will retire in the next 5-10 years, these were people hired during the large buildup in the late 70’s and early 80’s), and because of the rapid pace of technological change that affects even this relatively slow-moving industry.
Many new and soon-to-be graduates in aerospace, as well as other, engineering disciplines want to work for one of the large aircraft manufacturers (e.g. Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin), but there are many other opportunities that could be better suited for fresh graduates, particularly for non-U.S. citizens.
In general, employment at an exclusive defense contractor (meaning they sell equipment to the military only) is limited to U.S. citizens. These are companies like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. Companies that provide both military and civil equipment hire many non-U.S. citizens but almost always they are employed on the civil programs.
That’s not the case for the large system suppliers, though, like Honeywell, United Technologies, GE Aviation, and others. These companies hire non-U.S. citizens and in most cases these employees can work on both civil and military programs.
Getting Started in Aerospace