Aerospace Engineer

Design and build all sorts of aircraft, from planes to space shuttles.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$61,000 – $143,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Aerospace Engineers do?

The area of Aerospace has two main fields. The first is Aeronautical, which deals with all flying machines within the atmosphere. These include airplanes, helicopters, hydrofoils, and defense missiles. The second field is called Astronautical, which covers all equipment and machines used in outer space. Examples include space vehicles, space shuttles, and satellites. Aerospace Engineers can work in either field.

Within either of these fields, Aerospace Engineers work in a specialized capacity—very specialized. This might mean you are an expert on airfoils (commonly known as wings), or communication, or engines, or materials.

Regardless of their specialty, Aerospace Engineers work with a team of other specialized Engineers. Each design component works in conjunction with other parts, so even the smallest change in one area dominoes into changes for other designs.

For example, if the landing gear is upgraded to a material that better resists friction, the framing and casing around it might need to be a different shape or built from a different material altogether. In addition, the Engineer in charge of wiring the new system will need to adapt for the change.

Every project requires you to use Computer-aided design (CAD) software to create blueprints. Once the details of the design are hammered out, you supervise the construction and make changes as the project progresses. Once complete, you become the go-to person for maintenance and repair questions.

Should I be an Aerospace Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Aerodynamics Analyst, Aerodynamics Engineer, Aerophysics Engineer, Aerospace Project Engineer See More

    How to become an Aerospace Engineer

    Most Aerospace Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aga9la&chl=|certificate+%288%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2877%25%29|master%27s+%2814%25%29|doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,77
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Aerospace Engineer