Rose State College Helping Fill The Need For Oklahoma's Aerospace Engineers

Tuesday, June 22nd 2021, 7:35 pm

Aerospace is one of the fastest growing industries in Oklahoma. The need for engineers in this field is a top priority. 

In the past two years, more than 25 aerospace companies have expanded operations, opened new operations, or relocated operations to Oklahoma, resulting in almost 4,000 new aerospace jobs. 

There are currently more than 1,500 aerospace-related job openings in the Oklahoma City area, with a goal of adding 10,000 more to the state in the next five years. 

Those jobs vacancies are expected to continue to grow with a high demand for engineers. 

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has recognized those needs and is working on solutions.

“We are actively brining more of the positions here. There’s never going to be a slowdown in the near future for the need of engineers in this industry,” Oklahoma Department of Commerce Aerospace & Defense Business Recruiter Ryan Tillison said. 

Engineering talent is the most in-demand career in Oklahoma’s aerospace industry and the largest portion of the new jobs created over the last two years. 

Rose State College and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology have partnered to form a bridge program. Transitioning engineers from other industries to the aerospace industry.  

“One goal of the program is to retain engineering talent in the state. The energy sector is cyclical, and up and down, relative to the Aerospace industry which is constantly growing.” Tillison said. 

The average wage for aerospace engineers in Oklahoma ranges from $73,000 to over $104,000. The demand to fill the positions is so great, the state is offering tax incentives. 

“The state has a unique incentive program called the engineer aerospace workforce tax credit. That not only benefits aerospace employers, but aerospace engineers that have an abet-accredited engineering degree,” Tillison explained.

Which provides a $5,000 personal income tax credit for 5 years. 

Classes last six weeks and are Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The cost is $500.