EDWARDS, Calif. — Edwards Air Force Base, as their test wing technical director Dan Osburn said, it's the center of the aerospace testing universe.
"What that means is, we test every aircraft in the inventory of the Air Force,” said Osburn.
Testing all of those aircrafts means they need a lot of engineering jobs. Edwards air force base officials said there are hundreds of jobs available. About 100 of those are in Osburn’s department including electrical engineers or double Es.
“So you think airplanes it’s only aeronautical, mechanical," said Osburn. "But, we really need double Es and a lot of them because a lot of our new platforms are very mission system, where you have nodes and data links that are going across and talking to each other.”
Edwards Air Force Base engineering jobs range from internships to experienced engineers, six-figure salaries position and even civil engineers. One of those civil engineers is Andrew Harless, who helps keep Edwards Air Force Base running.
Harless said, “Everyone on this base is my family. We all take care of each other. Like I said HVAC is a big part of the mission here at Edwards.”
For more experience engineers, they have the opportunity to work on a variety of missions and a variety of planes.
Osburn said, “You can go work at any airplane. You can work three to five years on F35 and then you’ll move over to three to five years at Global Hawk or F22 or B2. You have a gamete of where you can go work.”
Melida McWeeney is the engineer recruitment manager for Edwards Air Force Base. She goes to local high school and college career fairs to recruit up-and-coming engineers to spend a career working at Edwards Air Force Base.
“Our hiring process is very direct, said McWeeney. "So when we’re at a career fair Whether it’s at C-S-U Bakersfield, UCLA, any of our schools in southern California, you come up to our table and you give us a resume that is competitive, you can bet that one of our hiring managers is going to reach out to you.”
For these jobs McWeeney said you don't need to have a military background in order to apply.
McWeeney said, “You can be civilians and apply for these jobs. Air Force civilian services allows you to serve along side military members and serve your country in a civilian capacity.”
For new tactical engineer hires like Jarrett Kok and Zach Davis, they said one of the perks of working for Edwards Air Force Base is the base will pay up to $20,000 dollars in students loans paid and pay for them to receive their graduate degree as well as pay for three semesters of their grad school.
Kok said, “After I graduate with my masters degree and I get hired on as a full-time engineer, it will be a great secure job to be out here and I will already be working with the people I know so it will be a great future for me.”
Davis added, “Favorite thing about working here is it’s an airshow every single day. It really is. I mean you step out of the office and you’ll see everything take off down the flight line, from F35s to our old F16s, to B52s, B1.”
For a list of the almost 500 jobs available at Edwards Air Force Base, McWeeney says to visit their website USAJobs.gov or on Indeed. And they accept resumes via Indeed. As for some of those engineering jobs they include radar engineering, electrical engineering, systematic engineering, mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering and cyber engineering. And Osburn said if you’re up for the challenge you get to work with some of the best of the best in our defense department.
Osburn said, “So you’re talking to up with the pilot in there doing the maneuvers, and you’re looking at your screens with data down real time and saying you’re cleared to the next point or you know knock it off, knock it off, knock it off, you’ve hit a limit boundary you need to come back and recover the airplane so it doesn’t depart.”
And like Davis, Osburn said one of his favorite parts about his engineering job is being on the base.
“If you like airplanes, if you have an engineering degree, this is the place to be," Osburn said. "You can hear an airplane right now in the background. You see them take off when you go from meeting to meeting. Or wherever you’re going building to building. You can see the airplanes flying around.”
Edwards Air Force Base plans to have a career fair at CSUB in March to recruit from their engineering school.