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Aeronautical Engineering Major

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Aeronautical Engineering

4,887 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,715 Master's Degrees Annually
#78 in Popularity
$117,100 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Aeronautical Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many aerospace and aeronautical engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 4,887
Master’s Degree 1,715
Doctor’s Degree 372
Graduate Certificate 76
Associate’s Degree 13
Basic Certificate 6

What Aeronautical Engineering Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to aerospace engineering and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Aerospace Engineering Majors

Aerospace Engineering majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills for Aerospace Engineering Majors

A major in aerospace engineering prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Aerospace Engineering Majors

Aerospace Engineering majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Aeronautical Engineering Major?

People with a aerospace engineering degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Aerospace Engineers 6.0% $115,220
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering?

4,887 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
14% Percent Women
30% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 4,887 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace and aeronautical engineering in 2019, making it rank #78 in popularity. This major tends to be male dominated. About 86% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Aerospace Engineering Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 510
Black or African American 126
Hispanic or Latino 599
White 2,987
International Students 317
Other Races/Ethnicities 348

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Aerospace Engineering, too. About 6.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Malaysia
  • France

How Much Do Aeronautical Engineering Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of aerospace and aeronautical engineering students with a bachelor’s degree is $62,500 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $58,375 (25th percentile) and $65,125 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a aerospace engineering degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $113,680 to $148,970 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to aerospace engineering. 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, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Aeronautical Engineering Major  ( 113680 to 148970 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for aerospace engineering careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 46.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.9%
Master’s Degree 27.1%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 3.4%
Doctoral Degree 11.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.4%

Online Aeronautical Engineering Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 87 schools offered some type of aerospace and aeronautical engineering program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 3 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 1 1
Bachelor’s Degree 4 2
Post-Baccalaureate 3 0
Master’s Degree 66 21
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 48 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in Aeronautical Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a aerospace engineering grad is $117,100 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 193% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,544,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to aerospace engineering.

Major Number of Grads
Mechanical Engineering 47,405
Electrical Engineering 31,384
Civil Engineering 21,938
Computer Engineering 15,891
Chemical Engineering 14,406
Biomedical Engineering 12,001
General Engineering 11,739
Industrial Engineering 9,410
Materials Engineering 3,538
Systems Engineering 3,491
Other Engineering 2,982
Environmental Engineering 2,850
Petroleum Engineering 2,269
Operations Research 1,745
Agricultural Engineering 1,554
Engineering Science 1,515
Architectural Engineering 1,019
Nuclear Engineering 1,014
Engineering Physics 979
Robotics Engineering 943
Manufacturing Engineering 932
Construction Engineering 865
Marine Engineering 481
Geoscience Engineering 424
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 387
Biological Engineering 374
Textile Engineering 366
Ocean Engineering 346
Mining Engineering 340
Engineering Mechanics 314
Metallurgical Engineering 235
Biochemical Engineering 118
Ceramic Engineering 101
Surveying Engineering 89
Electromechanical Engineering 65
Forest Engineering 52
Paper Science & Engineering 44
Engineering Chemistry 9

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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