Career Profile: Aerospace Engineer

Career Profile: Aerospace Engineer

by Stephanie Hughes
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

The aerospace engineer is an engineer that specializes in aircraft and other air-based mechanic parts. This includes developing propulsion or control systems for different forms of aircraft like fighter jets and commercial airliners, running maintenance and repairs on existing engines, and designing and developing missiles and other airborne weapons. These engineers have a strong knowledge of aerodynamics, mechanics, robotics, thermodynamics, military and commercial aircrafts and systems, etc. To prepare to embark on this career, students will have to earn a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering up to a master’s degree in the same field.

What are the perks of the job?

For students who enjoy taking apart machines, finding out how they work, and putting them back together, this career already has its fair share of perks. Other perks include a hefty annual median income of $110,570 as of 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau or Labor Statistics (BLS). However, it is important to consider that novice engineers or technicians who pursue a lower standard job in the same career will earn significantly less. Another benefit, especially for those who are passionate about the field of aircraft and aerodynamics, is that as an engineer creating designs that will be used in real life, you can ensure that you work will be making a difference in the world. Finally, if you know math and science like the back of your hand, the career has been expected to soar in the next few years, raising 6% between 2016 and 2026 since new aircraft development is looking to create a less pollution-creating model, according to the BLS.

What are some of the setbacks?

A few of the setbacks include the fact that it is a special-interest kind of career, which means that if you do not have an aptitude for math and science, this job will not come naturally to you. Some other setbacks could be having to relocate around the country to an airfield, major airport or military base that focuses on aircraft development. In testing jet engines and aircraft, the engineer could potentially be put in harms’ way or be exposed to dangerous chemicals on the job. While such instances tend to be rare, there is an element of a risk factor there.

How can I grow with this career?

Many engineers get into positions as flight or aircraft technicians who perform regular maintenance and repairs on aircraft models. Engineers can grow in this profession by excelling and becoming aerospace designers who create blueprints to military craft and commercial designs and are expected to earn more as an annual salary.

That’s all great, but could I be hired for other careers?

If trained in other forms of engineering, it’s likely that an aerospace engineer could cross platforms and pursue other forms of engineering (for example, nautical engineering). However, it’s not as simple as flipping a switch, you only have a leg up because of the similar set of fundamental skills required for both jobs. If you were an aerospace engineer looking to change specializations or careers, you would still need an extra amount of schooling and on-the-job training to be able to pursue the vocation of your choice.


Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Aerospace Engineers”


Chron: “Pros & Cons of Aerospace Engineering & Operations Technicians”


Study.com: “Aerospace Engineer: Job Description, Duties and Outlook”


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