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Aerospace Engineers

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What Do Aerospace Engineers Do?

Occupation Description Perform engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.

What do Aerospace Engineers do On a Daily Basis?

  • Review aerospace engineering designs to determine how to reduce negative environmental impacts.
  • Plan or coordinate activities concerned with investigating and resolving customers’ reports of technical problems with aircraft or aerospace vehicles.
  • Direct aerospace research and development programs.
  • Design new or modify existing aerospace systems to reduce polluting emissions, such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, or smoke emissions.
  • Research new materials to determine quality or conformance to environmental standards.
  • Write technical reports or other documentation, such as handbooks or bulletins, for use by engineering staff, management, or customers.

Aerospace Engineer Needed Skills

Aerospace Engineers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Types of Aerospace Engineers

  • Propeller Engineer
  • Airplane Designer
  • Aircraft Engineer
  • Field Service Engineer
  • Rocket Scientist

Job Opportunities for Aerospace Engineers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 69,600 jobs in the United States for Aerospace Engineers.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.1% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,200 new jobs for Aerospace Engineers by 2026. There will be an estimated 4,600 positions for Aerospace Engineer per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Aerospace Engineers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Aerospace Engineers are California, Texas, and Georgia.

Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, West Virginia, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Aerospace Engineers

The typical yearly salary for Aerospace Engineers is somewhere between $71,640 and $164,210. The median salary is $115,220.

Salary Ranges for Aerospace Engineers

How much do Aerospace Engineers make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary
District of Columbia $138,480
Virginia $127,390
Maryland $127,330
California $125,540
Colorado $124,070
Texas $122,570
Hawaii $121,100
Massachusetts $119,700
Louisiana $117,170
New Jersey $115,850
Alabama $115,820
New York $115,420
Nebraska $115,120
Missouri $114,570
New Mexico $114,340
Georgia $114,160
Minnesota $113,350
Alaska $112,890
Ohio $112,480
Iowa $110,770
Mississippi $110,760
Oregon $109,250
Illinois $108,520
Pennsylvania $108,300
Arizona $107,230
Connecticut $106,790
Kansas $105,540
Florida $105,460
Utah $105,320
North Carolina $100,080
Kentucky $98,650
Indiana $95,390
Oklahoma $92,460
Montana $91,940
Nevada $91,850
West Virginia $90,710
Tennessee $88,180
Wisconsin $85,880

Tools & Technologies Used by Aerospace Engineers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Aerospace Engineers:

  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Xilinx TMRTool
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • UGS Solid Edge
  • Microsoft Access
  • Dassault Systemes SolidWorks
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Linux
  • Microsoft Office

Becoming an Aerospace Engineer

Education needed to be an Aerospace Engineer:

Aerospace Engineer Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Aerospace Engineer?

Aerospace Engineer Work Experience

Where Aerospace Engineers Work

Aerospace Engineer Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Aerospace Engineers might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Astronomers
  • Computer Systems Engineers/Architects


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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