Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering

An introduction to the career of aerospace engineering


The primary task of an aerospace engineer is to design, construct, and test various components for an aircraft, spacecraft, or weapon.

Each engineer specializes in a particular area of an aerospace craft on a certain type of aerospace craft.


  • -Use computers to design aerospace products and systems.
  • -Direct and coordinate activities of the teams that design and make aerospace products(chief engineer).
  • -Plan and coordinate the research of the problems in the customer's aircraft


  • -Are sometimes exposed to loud sounds and noise levels that may be uncomfortable.
  • -Must be exact in preforming their job.
  • -Rarely consult their supervisors before making decisions.
  • -Meet strict deadlines weekly.
  • -Work in an environment that is moderately competitive.
  • -Make decisions that can have major effects on a company.


  • -Express ideas clearly when writing and speaking.
  • -Read and understand written materials.
  • -Listen to others, understand, and ask questions.
  • -Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
  • -Judge the costs and benefits.
  • Understand information by studying and working with them.
  • -Determine how a system should work and study changes that affect outcomes.



  • -Engineering and Technology
  • -Design
  • -Physics
  • -Mathematics
  • -Computers and electronics
  • -English language
  • -Production and processing
  • -Administration and management
  • -Safety and security
  • -Clerical
  • -Education and training


  • -Consider good working conditions important
  • -Usually find recognition important
  • -Independence  
  • -Reaching achievements are considered to be important
  • -Investigative interests

PREPARATION: Earning a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering is what most students aim for. However, you can also prepare by majoring in mechanical engineering. Four to five years are often required to fully complete your education.

Such courses as math,basic science, social science, and introductory to engineering are usually part of the engineering program. During the last two years, you will take courses including aerospace structures and design, flight mechanics, propulsion, and aerodynamics.

On most four year degree programs, internships are offered. These provide you with the opportunity to apply what you learned in the classroom to a work situation. They also allow you to build skill. Thus, internships improves your chances of finding a job. On-the-job training is also provided and lasts one to two years. The trainees work under the guidance of experienced engineers. You gain independence as you gain gain knowledge and experience.  


At entry level, employers generally have a preference to hire applicants with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. However, if the employer has difficulty finding people with the aforementioned degree, they may hire engineers that have had similar but different training, such as one who has a degree in mechanical engineering, chemistry,materials science or mathematics.

Employers prefer to hire engineers that are creative, curious, and detail oriented. cooperation and communication skills are also important as well.  


Generally, those who are employed by aircraft manufacturers receive higher pay than those in the government.

The median hourly pay is around $42.The median monthly pay is close to $7,300.  While the annual medium pay is roughly $88,000


Roughly half of all aerospace engineers work with manufacturing. States and provinces with large aerospace manufacturer employ the most aerospace engineers (in the US, California has the most aerospace engineers due to the fact that several companies are based there, including Lockheed, Northrop, Mcdonnell, Rockwell, and North American). Engineers working for the government usually work for the DoD or NASA.

The following examples are major types of employers:

  •   -Aerospace manufacturers
  •   -Federal government
  •   -Engineering companies
  •   -Navigation equipment manufacturers
  •   -Research and development companies

In Oregon, the number of jobs are expected to grow faster than average through the year of 2020. Very few job openings are expected due to the small size of the occupation in this state.

The number of jobs for the commercial aircraft field is expected to generally stay the same. However, the number of jobs for military aircrafts are expected to increase.

Many engineers are also expecting to retire in the next decade. So in effect, job openings should be gradually increasing.

Below is a list of various aerospace manufacturers and employers:

For more information on this career, click on the link below:

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