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Aerospace engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or another field of engineering or science related to aerospace systems. Aerospace engineers who work on projects that are related to national defense may need a security clearance. U.S. citizenship may be required for certain types and levels of clearances.Education
Entry-level aerospace engineers usually need a bachelor’s degree. High school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take courses in chemistry, physics, and math, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
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.
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.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to identify design elements that may not meet requirements and then must formulate alternatives to improve the performance of those elements.
Business skills. Much of the work done by aerospace engineers involves meeting federal government standards. Meeting these standards often requires knowledge of standard business practices, as well as knowledge of commercial law.
Critical-thinking skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to translate a set of issues into requirements and to figure out why a particular design does not work. They must be able to ask the right question, then find an acceptable answer.
Math skills. Aerospace engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Problem-solving skills. Aerospace engineers use their education and experience to upgrade designs and troubleshoot problems when meeting new demands for aircraft, such as increased fuel efficiency or improved safety.
Writing skills. Aerospace engineers must be able both to write papers that explain their designs clearly and to create documentation for future reference.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an aerospace engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires:
The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.Advancement
Eventually, aerospace engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Some may even become engineering managers or move into executive positions, such as program managers.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Aeronautical Engineer
Top Careers After Aeronautical Engineer
Hispanic or Latino9.5%
Black or African American0.5%
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Georgia Institute of Technology -13.8%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach13.8%
Southern Methodist University7.7%
Wichita State University7.7%
University of Central Florida6.2%
George Washington University4.6%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute4.6%
Arizona State University3.1%
State University of New York Buffalo3.1%
University of Phoenix3.1%
Southern Polytechnic State University3.1%
University of Alabama at Huntsville3.1%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology3.1%
California State University - Northridge3.1%
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo3.1%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Senior Aeronautical Engineer-Research & Development||Spectral Sky||Henderson, NV||Nov 28, 2016||$140,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Quiet Wing Aerospace LLC||Redmond, WA||Apr 01, 2015||$123,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Triumph Engineering Corp.||Cincinnati, OH||Sep 21, 2009||$110,251|
|Aeronautical Engineer Inventory Inspector||Banyan Air Services, Inc.||Fort Lauderdale, FL||Nov 04, 2013||$100,429|
|Aeronautical Engineer||SGT, Inc.||Fieldbrook, CA||Dec 15, 2011||$100,006|
|Engineer, Aeronautics||Element Technica, LLC||Los Angeles, CA||Oct 01, 2010||$100,000|
|Aeronautic Engineer 4||L-3 National Security Solutions, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 16, 2012||$98,384|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Aircrafters, LLC||Watsonville, CA||Oct 01, 2009||$95,125|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Structural Integrity Engineering||Mukilteo, WA||Nov 12, 2014||$89,960|
|Lead Aeronautical Engineer||Aerocine Ventures Inc.||New York, NY||Aug 25, 2016||$85,010|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Triumph Engineering Corp.||Cincinnati, OH||Jul 02, 2010||$83,200|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Sky Creation, Inc.||Gardena, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$80,955|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Sky Creation, Inc.||Long Beach, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$80,955|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Sky CR||Gardena, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$80,955|
|Aeronautical Engineers||Air Elements, Inc.||Torrance, CA||Oct 01, 2010||$80,266 -
|Aeronautical Engineer||Desktop Aeronautics, Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Oct 01, 2009||$80,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Fraunhofer USA, Inc.||Plymouth, MI||Jan 29, 2010||$72,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Design, Analysis and Research Corporation||Lawrence, KS||Sep 14, 2013||$72,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Aerosonic LLC||Clearwater, FL||Jan 09, 2016||$70,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Castor Aviation Ltd||Wasilla, AK||Oct 01, 2013||$63,570|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Cessna Aircraft Company||Wichita, KS||Aug 28, 2013||$63,107|
|Associate Aeronautical Engineer||Sonnet Technologies, Inc.||Irvine, CA||Sep 22, 2016||$63,086|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Atlantic Aviation Group, Inc.||Miami, FL||Oct 01, 2012||$62,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||National Aerotech Aviation, Inc.||Hampton, GA||Nov 12, 2012||$60,335|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Design, Analysis and Research Corporation||Lawrence, KS||Jun 08, 2011||$60,000|
|Aeronautical Engineer||Design, Analysis and Research Corporation||Lawrence, KS||Jun 13, 2011||$60,000|
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