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Aeronautical Engineering

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Aeronautical Engineering Major

6,256 yearly degrees
#134 in popularity
$117,000 median salary

Aerospace and aeronautical engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 1 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in aerospace engineering, 69 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 66 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 48 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Aerospace Engineering Degree?

Aerospace and aeronautical engineering is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #87 in popularity. About 4,100 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major attracts more men than women. About 86% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of aerospace engineering majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 9.6%
  • Black or African American: 2.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 11%
  • White: 62.4%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 7.7%
  • Other Races: 6.7%

Aeronautical Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in aerospace engineering. About 7.7% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending aerospace engineering majors to the U.S. are India, China and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as an Aeronautical Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to aerospace engineering to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Aerospace Engineering Majors

A major in aerospace engineering should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Aeronautical Engineering Majors

Skills for Aerospace Engineering Majors

Aerospace engineering majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Aeronautical Engineering Majors

Abilities for Aerospace Engineering Majors

A major in aerospace engineering will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for aerospace engineering Majors

What Can You Do With an Aerospace Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with aerospace engineering:

Careers Related to Aeronautical Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Aerospace Engineers 6% $115,220
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720

Aeronautical Engineering Major Salary

Aerospace engineering majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $114,000 to $149,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Aerospace Engineering Major  ( 114000 to 149000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Aeronautical Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers associated with aerospace engineering require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to aerospace engineering have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Aeronautical Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Less Than a High School Diploma 0%
High School Diploma or Equivalent 0%
Post-Secondary Certificate 0%
Some College Courses 0%
Associate's Degree or Equivalent 3.1%
Bachelor's Degree 46.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 4.9%
Master's Degree 27.1%
Post-Master's Certificate 3.4%
First Professional Degree 0%
Doctoral Degree 11.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.4%

Online Aeronautical Engineering Programs

There are 69 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in aerospace and aeronautical engineering, with 1 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is an Aeronautical Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for an aerospace engineering grad is $117,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 201% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,564,000 after 20 years!

aerospace and aeronautical engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Ian3055 via License

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