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Naval Aviator vs. Medical Officer?

KiloWhiskey595

New Member
Hi all, I have been interested in joining the Navy for quite some time and have been looking a lot into different career paths and the two career areas I've been looking at is Medicine and Aviation.

I just recently graduated from college with a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation and have been working on wilderness trail crews for the past two years. During this time I became CPR/First Aid certified and have been involved in a few situations where this training needed to be used for people on the trail such as heat exhaustion, dehydration, broken bones, and cuts. These scenarios made me even more interested in medicine and the potential to have a career in it. However, I've loved flying in airplanes since I was young and watching air tankers fly overhead fighting fires is quite a site to see.

The careers I'm interested in are Naval Aviator, NFO, Aerospace and Operational Physiologist, or Flight Surgeon. I'm planning on going back to school for a second bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering since I believe that it is a degree that would be a good fit for aviation and then depending either a master's in Physiology or onto medical school which the engineering degree could help with prerequisites.

I know I'm kind of all over the place. I'm just interested in too many things and really want to join the Navy and specifically in an aviation field. I would really appreciate any thoughts or advice. Thanks!
 

BarryD

Well-Known Member
MechE to fly? Unless you want to be an AEDO or a something, there’s a reason people say “poli-sci and fly”.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
The careers I'm interested in are Naval Aviator, NFO, Aerospace and Operational Physiologist, or Flight Surgeon. I'm planning on going back to school for a second bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering since I believe that it is a degree that would be a good fit for aviation and then depending either a master's in Physiology or onto medical school which the engineering degree could help with prerequisites.
You need more than a BS for those last two programs. I would encourage applying for Pilot/NFO.
 

KiloWhiskey595

New Member
MechE to fly? Unless you want to be an AEDO or a something, there’s a reason people say “poli-sci and fly”.
Yeah I guess I’m thinking long term. If I decided that I didn’t want to put in 20 years then I could transition into a civilian aerospace industry with that degree.
 

KiloWhiskey595

New Member
You need more than a BS for those last two programs. I would encourage applying for Pilot/NFO.
Yes, I understand that. I’m willing to go for more schooling. I’m just trying to gauge the different career fields. I need at least a master’s for Aerospace Physiology and potentially a doctorate and an M.D. or D.O. for flight surgeon.
 

KiloWhiskey595

New Member
How difficult would it be to start as a Pilot or NFO and then lateral transfer to an Aerospace Physiologist? Or would this even be remotely possible?
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
How difficult would it be to start as a Pilot or NFO and then lateral transfer to an Aerospace Physiologist? Or would this even be remotely possible?
Possible, but very unlikely.

For whichever career path you want to apply for, go under the assumption that’s what you’ll be doing your entire Navy career.
 

BarryD

Well-Known Member
How difficult would it be to start as a Pilot or NFO and then lateral transfer to an Aerospace Physiologist? Or would this even be remotely possible?
Family member’s friend did 1310 to Physiology. He had to take a demotion to LT from LCDR in that process.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
I'm planning on going back to school for a second bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering since I believe that it is a degree that would be a good fit for aviation...
Not even a requirement.

If you ended up going pilot (or NFO), after 8 years, you can decide if you want a career change (to whatever). My last tour, I worked with a Aerospace guy who was previously a helo pilot. But even if the Navy doesn't let you do that (or Flight Doc), you can still move to the civilian sector after your initial commitment.
 

Renegade One

Well-Known Member
None
I'm planning on going back to school for a second bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering since I believe that it is a degree that would be a good fit for aviation and then depending either a master's in Physiology or onto medical school which the engineering degree could help with prerequisites.
Dude, you're burning daylight. "Knowledge is good." (~Emil Faber), but more college, a Master's degree and med school will ALWAYS be there and none of them has an age cut-off. Flying is a young person's game. Aim for that goal right now. You won't regret it, and you'll have a great springboard for anything else you might want to do once you narrow your focus. You might even find that you want to "GO TO THE SHOW!" (~HAL Pilot)

P.S.: Start thinking right now about coffee and watch preferences. (~mad dog)
 
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