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Career Profile: Aerospace Engineers

Perform engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 61,400 people employed as aerospace engineers in the United States. The median annual salary is $118,600. Entry level employees earn approximately $72,770 per year and senior employees earn approximately $171,220 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Direct aerospace research and development programs.
  • Research new materials to determine quality or conformance to environmental standards.
  • Evaluate and approve selection of vendors by studying past performance or new advertisements.
  • Review aerospace engineering designs to determine how to reduce negative environmental impacts.
  • Design new or modify existing aerospace systems to reduce polluting emissions, such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, or smoke emissions.
  • Analyze project requests, proposals, or engineering data to determine feasibility, productibility, cost, or production time of aerospace or aeronautical products.
  • Maintain records of performance reports for future reference.
  • Diagnose performance problems by reviewing reports or documentation from customers or field engineers or by inspecting malfunctioning or damaged products.
  • Formulate mathematical models or other methods of computer analysis to develop, evaluate, or modify design, according to customer engineering requirements.
  • Plan or conduct experimental, environmental, operational, or stress tests on models or prototypes of aircraft or aerospace systems or equipment.
  • Formulate conceptual design of aeronautical or aerospace products or systems to meet customer requirements or conform to environmental regulations.
  • Plan or coordinate investigation and resolution of customers' reports of technical problems with aircraft or aerospace vehicles.
  • Write technical reports or other documentation, such as handbooks or bulletins, for use by engineering staff, management, or customers.
  • Direct or coordinate activities of engineering or technical personnel involved in designing, fabricating, modifying, or testing of aircraft or aerospace products.
  • Evaluate product data or design from inspections or reports for conformance to engineering principles, customer requirements, environmental regulations, or quality standards.
  • Develop design criteria for aeronautical or aerospace products or systems, including testing methods, production costs, quality standards, environmental standards, or completion dates.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
61,400
Annual Openings:
4,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
8%
Annual Salary Range:
$72,770 - $171,220
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree