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Aeronautical Engineering Major

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Aeronautical Engineering

4,200 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,699 Master's Degrees Annually
#86 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 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 4,200
Master’s Degree 1,699
Doctor’s Degree 354
Graduate Certificate 53
Basic Certificate 6
Associate’s Degree 3

What Aeronautical Engineering Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to aerospace engineering were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

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

As you progress with your aerospace engineering degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with aerospace engineering:

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?

4,200 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
14% Percent Women
27% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 4,200 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace and aeronautical engineering in 2018, making it rank #86 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 404
Black or African American 106
Hispanic or Latino 463
White 2,622
International Students 324
Other Races/Ethnicities 281

Geographic Diversity

Aerospace Engineering appeals to people across the globe. About 7.7% 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

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering have a median salary of $62,500 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $58,375 (25th percentile) and $65,125 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to aerospace engineering so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Aerospace Engineering majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $113,680 to $148,970 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 degrees associated with aerospace engineering may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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 schooling 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.

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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 2017-2018 academic year, 85 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) 2 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 2 0
Master’s Degree 66 20
Post-Master’s 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 47 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 46,014
Electrical Engineering 31,993
Civil Engineering 21,299
Computer Engineering 15,329
Chemical Engineering 14,729
Biomedical Engineering 11,483
General Engineering 11,245
Industrial Engineering 9,714
Materials Engineering 3,555
Systems Engineering 3,439
Other Engineering 2,900
Petroleum Engineering 2,818
Environmental Engineering 2,746
Operations Research 1,555
Agricultural Engineering 1,546
Engineering Science 1,509
Nuclear Engineering 1,050
Engineering Physics 1,028
Manufacturing Engineering 920
Architectural Engineering 874
Construction Engineering 870
Robotics Engineering 755
Geoscience Engineering 510
Marine Engineering 506
Mining Engineering 434
Biological Engineering 400
Textile Engineering 359
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 348
Engineering Mechanics 329
Ocean Engineering 305
Metallurgical Engineering 218
Biochemical Engineering 124
Ceramic Engineering 111
Electromechanical Engineering 84
Surveying Engineering 73
Paper Science & Engineering 51
Forest Engineering 39
Engineering Chemistry 5

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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