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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
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Hispanic or Latino8.2%
Black or African American1.3%
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University of Central Florida8.0%
Texas A&M University6.9%
Wayne State University5.7%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute5.7%
University of Texas at Arlington4.6%
University of Florida4.6%
North Carolina State University4.6%
University of Tulsa4.6%
University of Michigan - Dearborn4.6%
University of Alabama at Huntsville4.6%
Tennessee Technological University4.6%
George Mason University4.6%
Cleveland State University4.6%
Air Force Institute of Technology3.4%
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs3.4%
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor3.4%
University of Pennsylvania3.4%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Simulation Engineer||Netpolarity, Inc.||Foster City, CA||Sep 10, 2015||$170,091|
|Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Computer Modelling Group, Inc.||Houston, TX||Feb 12, 2015||$163,488|
|Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Nitec LLC||Denver, CO||Aug 11, 2015||$160,930|
|Petroleum Simulation Engineer||LLOG Exploration Company, LLC||Covington, LA||Jan 09, 2016||$160,000|
|Lead Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Chevron Corporation||Houston, TX||Aug 31, 2015||$156,400|
|EMC Architecture Simulation Engineer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Dec 28, 2015||$149,100 -
|Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Chevron Corporation||Houston, TX||Jun 08, 2016||$140,100|
|Simulation Engineer||Chevron Corporation||Houston, TX||Jan 03, 2016||$133,200|
|Senior Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Chevron Corporation||Houston, TX||Jan 09, 2016||$131,300|
|Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Chevron Corporation||Houston, TX||Jul 15, 2015||$129,022|
|SR. Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Nitec LLC||Denver, CO||Feb 11, 2015||$128,814|
|Unisim Dynamic Simulation Engineer||Honeywell International, Inc.||Houston, TX||Jan 09, 2016||$127,504|
|Reservoir Simulation Engineer||Nitec LLC||Denver, CO||Jan 08, 2016||$127,046|
|SR Dimensional Tolerance and Variation Simulation Engineer||FCA Us LLC||Auburn Hills, MI||Oct 19, 2015||$98,040|
|Modeling and Simulation Engineer||The Procter & Gamble Company||Olde West Chester, OH||Sep 14, 2016||$97,522 -
|Simulation Engineer||Tata Technologies, Inc.||Novi, MI||Nov 14, 2016||$95,992|
|Engine Combustion Simulation Engineer||FCA Us LLC||Auburn Hills, MI||Feb 09, 2016||$95,217|
|Simulation Engineer||BNP Associates, Inc.||Grand Prairie, TX||Jun 20, 2016||$95,000|
|Senior Simulator Engineer||Federal Express Corporation||Memphis, TN||Jul 21, 2015||$94,488 -
|Simulation Engineer||Pratt & Miller Engineering & Fabrication, Inc.||Huntersville, NC||Aug 01, 2015||$94,000|
|Aerothermal System Simulation Engineer||KCM Technical, Inc.||Auburn Hills, MI||Sep 17, 2016||$93,936|
|Simulation Engineer||EASI LLC||Redford, MI||Sep 06, 2015||$84,989|
|Aerospace Systems Modeling and Simulation Engineer||The Boeing Company||Huntsville, AL||May 08, 2015||$84,869 -
|Simulation Engineer||Hanbon-Mi II, Inc.||Auburn Hills, MI||Dec 14, 2015||$82,520|
|Powertrain Simulation Engineer||FCA Us LLC||Auburn Hills, MI||Jan 12, 2016||$82,500|
|Battery Simulation Engineer||A123 Systems LLC||Livonia, MI||Oct 09, 2016||$82,000 -
|Process Simulation & Optimization Engineer||Belcan Engineering Group, Inc.||Champaign, IL||Aug 20, 2016||$81,727|
|Multibody Simulation Engineer||Rivian Automotive LLC||Livonia, MI||Sep 28, 2016||$81,500|
|Simulation Engineer General||Advantage Technical Services, Inc.||Dearborn, MI||Aug 15, 2016||$81,476|
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