Cadets and Aerospace Careers

Civil Air Patrol introduces youth to aerospace careers. America needs today’s generation of youth to become tomorrow’s aviators, engineers, technicians,and entrepreneurs. CAP helps protect America’s aerospace supremacy by introducing cadets to careers through summer camps, job shadowing, and mentoring opportunities with today’s aero professionals.


Air Force Career Explorations: Air Force leaders introduce cadets to career opportunities during weeklong familiarization courses each summer. Cadets experience firsthand the exciting aspects of a career that interests them. For example:

  • Instructor pilots show cadets what it takes to fly Air Force jets;
  • Space systems operators explain how they launch satellites into orbit;
  • Pararescuemen train cadets in land navigation and wilderness skills; and
  • Engineers teach cadets how they build airfields in remote locations.

High-Technology Career Explorations: In partnership with leading universities and businesses, cadets experience fast-growing, technology-intensive aerospace fields. Career explorations take place at week-long academies each summer. For example:

  • Engineers show cadets how to design, build and test airfoils using space-age composite materials;
  • Computer scientists teach cadets how to take aerial photos and use software to track satellites; and Aerospace technicians explain how they manufacture, assemble and maintain aircraft.

Over 1,200 cadets participate in 30 special activities annually. CAP and the USAF provide about $675,000 each year to support these programs.


The Aerospace Industries Association reports that America is facing a shortage of aerospace professionals. CAP helps youth get excited about aviation, space and technology careers. Many in today’s aerospace workforce got their start in CAP. Today’s cadets are helping guarantee America’s continued aerospace supremacy.

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