aerospace engineer facts

14 Cool Facts About Aerospace Engineers

In a nutshell, aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. Watch this video to find out more about this amazing job.

1. Aerospace Engineers Don’t Just Work on Airplanes

Aerospace engineers design or build missiles, systems for national defense, and spacecraft. They work in the manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and the federal government. 

2. You Will Need a Bachelor’s Degree, Security Clearance is Optional

Aerospace engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or another field of engineering or science. Aerospace engineers who work on national defense projects may need a security clearance.

3. Aerospace Engineers Make 6 Figures

The median annual wage for aerospace engineers was $116,500 in May 2019.

4. Employment of aerospace engineers could grow 3% from 2019 to 2029

Employment of aerospace engineers will have average growth.

5. They Evaluate Everything

Aerospace engineers assess proposals for projects to determine if they are feasible and financially beneficial. They also determine if the project is safe.

6. Aerospace Engineers Develop New Tech for Aviation, Defense Systems, and Spacecraft.

In fact, they often specialize in areas such as aerodynamic fluid flow; structural design; guidance, navigation, and control; instrumentation and communication; robotics; and propulsion and combustion.

7. They Can Choose a Specialty: Aeronautical or Astronautical.

Aerospace engineers can specialize in designing different types of aerospace products, such as commercial and military airplanes and helicopters; remotely piloted aircraft and rotorcraft; spacecraft, including launch vehicles and satellites; and military missiles and rockets.

Aerospace engineers often become experts in one or more related fields: aerodynamics, thermodynamics, materials, celestial mechanics, flight mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, and guidance and control systems.

8. Aeronautical Engineers Work with Aircraft

They are involved primarily in designing aircraft and propulsion systems and in studying the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction materials. They work with the theory, technology, and practice of flight within the Earth’s atmosphere.

9. Astronautical Engineers Work with the Science and Technology of Spacecraft

This includes work on small satellites such as cubesats, and traditional large satellites.  

10. Aerospace engineers held about 66,400 jobs in 2019.

The largest employers of aerospace engineers were in parts and manufacturing. Other categories were

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing36%
Federal government, excluding postal service16
Engineering services15
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing10
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences8

Aerospace engineers are employed in industries in which workers design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft. They work primarily for firms that engage in manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and for the federal government.

11. They Spend More Time in the Office Than They Used To

Aerospace engineers now spend more of their time in an office environment than they have in the past, because modern aircraft design requires the use of sophisticated computer equipment and software design tools, modeling, and simulations for tests, evaluation, and training.

12. High School Students Interested In Aerospace Should Study Science and Math

Entry-level aerospace engineers usually need a bachelor’s degree. High school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take courses in chemistry, physics, advanced math, and computer programming and computer languages.

Bachelor’s degree programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies in subjects such as general engineering principles, propulsion, stability and control, structures, mechanics, and aerodynamics, which is the study of how air interacts with moving objects.

13. College and Business Work Together to Educate Them.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in partnership with regional businesses, which give students practical experience while they complete their education. Cooperative programs and internships enable students to gain valuable experience and to finance part of their education.

At some universities, a student can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree upon completion. A graduate degree will allow an engineer to work as an instructor at a university or to do research and development. Programs in aerospace engineering are accredited by ABET.

14. These Jobs are Similar to Being and Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
Architectural and Engineering Managers
Computer Hardware Engineers
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Industrial Engineers
Materials Engineers
Mechanical Engineers

More Information

For more information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

American Society for Engineering Education

Technology Student Association

For more information about licensure as an aerospace engineer, visit

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying

National Society of Professional Engineers

For more information about accredited engineering programs, visit

ABET

For more information about current developments in aeronautics, visit

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

For more information about engineering summer camps, visit

Engineering Education Service Center

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Aerospace Engineers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/aerospace-engineers.htm (visited ).