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Midwest Aerospace Jobs in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio

Updated on May 29, 2014

NASA Commercial Crew Builds Jobs and Rocket Engines

The NASA Commercial Crew of private aerospace corporation was under collection well before July 2011 and the last flight of the final US Space Shuttle. While the shuttles are still in museum placement maneuvers in September 2012, the Commercial Crew has gathered 63 companies as of May 2012. NASA is going private through ventures with private corporations. These ventures are taking America back to the moon, to Mars, and to the Asteroid Belt beyond Mars, with plans already underway to travel to the moons of Jupiter.

The photograph below is of an ongoing study location at McMurdo Station in the Antarctic. Its isolation is much like one might experience on the moon, on Mars, or on prolonged space flight. Doctors are available only by Internet and television monitor, for instance. Studies similar this one, but no in so isolated a spot, were conducted in the 1950s before the first US Astronauts ever flew above the Earth.

Exploration Analog Antarctica Mission. Individuals are living in isolation in the antarctic ar McMurdo Station to test abilities to survive in deep space.
Exploration Analog Antarctica Mission. Individuals are living in isolation in the antarctic ar McMurdo Station to test abilities to survive in deep space. | Source

In preparation for moon and Mars exploration, NASA's Human Health and Safety studies in Antarctica look at human problems of isolation, uses of tele-medicine, extreme temperatures, high winds and debris, and atypical seasons of light and darkness, among others.

A number of private companies are competing to offer the US Space Program, public and private, living modules for other plants and the moon.


Commercial Crew First Initiatives, 2011 - 2020

  1. Commercial Cargo Development 2006 - 2011
  2. Commercial Space Transportation Capabilities 2007 - 2010
  3. Commercial Crew Development (phase 1) 2010 - 2011
  4. Commercial Resupply Services (cargo) 2011 - 2015
  5. Commercial Crew Development (phase 2) 2011 - 2012

At the same time, Google LunarX Prize projects are set to place Lunar Landers on the moon before the 2015 deadline, as early as the beginning of 2013.

Members Of NASA Commerical Crew and Partners That Have Presented Proposals

  1. Ad Astra Rocket Company
  2. Airlaunch
  3. AlphaSpaces
  4. Andrews Space
  5. ARES Corporation
  6. Arianespace - A French partner with Boeing.
  7. Alliant Techsystems
  8. ATK
  9. Astrium
  10. Ball Aerospace
  11. Bigelow Aerospace
  12. Blue Origin
  13. Blue Smoke
  14. Boeing Company - Highly active and well funded
  15. Constellation Services International - Employes Russian vehicles for space tourism.
  16. Dii Aerospace Laboratories
  17. Excalibur Almaz
  18. Exploration Partners
  19. Firestar Engineering
  20. Global Outpost
  21. HMX, Inc.
  22. IE Group
  23. JAXA - Japanese Space Agency, partner of Lockheed Martin.
  24. KT Engineering
  25. MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. - A Canadian partner.
  26. Oceaneering Space Systems
  27. Odyssey Space Research
  28. Orbital Outfitters
  29. Orbital Sciences Corporation
  30. Orbital Technologies
  31. Paragon Space Development
  32. Planetspace
  33. RKK Energia - A Russian partner.
  34. S.T.A.R. Systems
  35. Sierra Nevada Corporation - Consistently funded
  36. SpaceDev
  37. SpaceED at University of California - Davis
  38. Spacehab - Habitats
  39. SpaceX - Best known among this list; has demonstrated effectiveness of its vessel(s) in reaching the ISS and returning.
  40. Stone Aerospace
  41. t/Space - MOTTO: Semper Audacia, Always Bold.
  42. Expanding Universe
  43. Thomas Lee Elifritz
  44. United Launch Alliance
  45. United Space Alliance
  46. Universal Space Lines
  47. Universal Transport Systems
  48. Vivace
  49. XCOR Aerospace

Midwest Rockets and Engines

Not all of the new jobs related to aerospace and aviation are in the old strongholds of Texas, Alabama, and the US Space Coast of Florida. Large clusters of jobs are opening the Midwest, especially in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

The largest number of jobs among the three states belongs to Ohio and the State Space Corridor that covers the Southwest Quadrant of Ohio from Cincinnati up through Dayton/Fairborn and on to Columbus. However, about 700 - 800 related jobs are available in the Greater Cleveland Area at any given time as well. The Northeastern Quadrant has been growing manufacturing jobs under Governors Strickland and Kasich in the 200s and 2010s.

Rockford Illinois:
Rockford, IL, USA

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Site of a major Boeing divisional headquarters.

Chicago Illinois:
Chicago, IL, USA

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Grand Rapids Michigan:
Grand Rapids, MI, USA

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Detroit Michigan:
Detroit, MI, USA

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Columbus Ohio:
Columbus, OH, USA

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Dayton Ohio:
Dayton, Ohio, USA

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Cincinnati Ohio:
Cincinnati, OH, USA

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The highest demand jobs related to the Aerospace Industry in Illinois are centered in Rockford and Chicago, including the following positions:

  1. Quality Engineers
  2. Mechanical Engineers
  3. Design Engineers
  4. Director of Quality
  5. Reliability Engineers
  6. Program Quality Engineers
  7. Manufacturing Process Engineers
  8. Customer Accounts Managers
  9. Mechanical Design Engineers
  10. Quality Inspectors
  11. Lead Design Engineers
  12. Embedded Software Engineers

Top Hiring Aerospace Companies In Illinois

  1. Hamilton Sundstrand - Instrumental in the launch of NASA's final space shuttle mission, this company is the lead Contractor on NASA's new space suit. Also supports the International Space Station (ISS) via contract through 2020 with environmental control, life support, mechanical systems, and thermal control systems. Speculation is that the company is likely to explore future contracts for services to deep space habitats and explorers. They were involved in the 1969 Apollo Moon Landing and plan to be involved in Mission to Mars.
  2. Volt Information Sciences
  3. United Technologies
  4. Northrop Grumman
  5. AAR
  6. PDS Technical Services
  7. Honeywell
  8. RGBSI Com
  9. Honeywell International (a separate Honeywell division)

Note: As of this writing, Illinois supports over 130 aerospace companies. See additional aerospace jobs.

Watch Illinois

Watch this state, because its Hamilton Sundstrand company already has contracts to maintain elements of the International Space Station to 2020. It will likely pursue new contracts with the ISS, other space stations in low Earth orbit, and habitats in deep space. With such developments will come additional service and products needs and additional jobs, likely involving several more companies new to the NASA Commercial Crew at that time.

Quote from the Rockford, Illinois website:

There is 7.2 times the US average in transportation manufacturing, technical & engineering talent in the Rockford region. Local companies employ over 4,000 engineers, 50% more than the Illinois average and 30% more than the US average.

Top Hiring Aerospace Companies in Michigan

  1. General Electric/ GE Aviation
  2. RGBSI Com
  3. Chrysler - Aerospace and aviation engines and other manufacturing.
  4. Kelly Services
  5. Advantage Technical Resourcing
  6. GE Capital
  7. Altair Engineering
  8. Eaton
  9. Adecco
  10. Volt Information Sciences
  11. Acro Service
  12. BAE Systems


The highest demand aerospace related jobs in Michigan include the following list:

  1. Manufacturing Engineers
  2. Product Engineers
  3. Instrumentation Engineers
  4. Sales Representatives
  5. CNC and Manual Machinists
  6. Mechanical Design Engineers
  7. Systems Engineers
  8. Mechanical Design Engineers for Aerospace
  9. Material Handlers in Staging
  10. Quality Engineers
  11. Embedded Software Engineers
  12. Process Engineers

Ohio Trail of Aviation and Space Flight

Much of the Ohio Space Corridor is contained in the area around Dayton that encompasses the history of flight in the USA and the world. This includes the Wright Brothers' airplane factory, flight test fields, and the Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

The base was responsible for much work done in the design, manufacture, and testing of US Space Shuttles, and as such, was disappointed in not receiving one of the retired shuttles for its National Air Force Museum. However, many Space Race Era displays and exhibits testify to the role that WPAFB and the Air Force has had in the history of aviation and aerospace endeavors.

In the 2010s, the Ohio Space Corridor though Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus is becoming more densely filled with aviation and aerospace companies. General Electric divisions in particular are visibly active in all three states of Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois.


Ohio's highest demand aerospace related vacancies occur in the following jobs:

  1. Manufacturing Engineers
  2. Quality Engineers
  3. Design Engineers
  4. Mechanics
  5. Test Engineers
  6. Project Engineers
  7. Program Managers
  8. Telemetry Technicians
  9. Validation Supervisors
  10. Financial Analysts

Top Hiring Aerospace Companies In Ohio; 4,200 Jobs

  1. Belcan - Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Solon and other cities. This is one of the largest engineering companies in the world and supplies engineers, technicians, and related staff throughout the USA and in the UK.
  2. Lockheed Martin
  3. Goodrich
  4. General Electric
  5. PDS Technical Services
  6. Northrop Grumman
  7. Boehringer Ingelheim
  8. Kelly Services
  9. Deloitte - Aerospace and aviation defense and exploration.
  10. Rolls Royce - Design and manufacture of rocket engines.


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