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Life As an Aerospace Engineer

Job 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.

A Day in the Life of an Aerospace Engineer

  • Design or engineer filtration systems that reduce harmful emissions.
  • Formulate mathematical models or other methods of computer analysis to develop, evaluate, or modify design, according to customer engineering requirements.
  • Maintain records of performance reports for future reference.
  • Design new or modify existing aerospace systems to reduce polluting emissions, such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, or smoke emissions.
  • Evaluate biofuel performance specifications to determine feasibility for aerospace applications.
  • Develop design criteria for aeronautical or aerospace products or systems, including testing methods, production costs, quality standards, environmental standards, or completion dates.

Qualities of an Aerospace Engineer

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.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Types of Aerospace Engineer Jobs

  • Physical Aerodynamicist
  • Test Engineer
  • Structural Analysis Engineer
  • Aeronautical Research Engineer
  • Transonic Engineer

Is There Going to be Demand for Aerospace Engineers?

There were about 69,600 jobs for Aerospace Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,200 new jobs for Aerospace Engineer by 2026. There will be an estimated 4,600 positions for Aerospace Engineer per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Aerospace Engineer are Wisconsin, Utah, and Nevada. 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.

What is the Average Salary of an Aerospace Engineer

The salary for Aerospace Engineers ranges between about $71,640 and $164,210 a year.

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Aerospace Engineers who work in District of Columbia, Hawaii, or Virginia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Aerospace Engineers make in different U.S. states?

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Aerospace Engineers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Aerospace Engineers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Linux
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • UNIX
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • C
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl

How to Become an Aerospace Engineer

Are there Aerospace Engineers education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Aerospace Engineers Work

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The table below shows the approximate number of Aerospace Engineers employed by various industries.

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

References:

Image Credit: Michel Villeneuve via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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