May 26, 2017

How to Become an Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineering will become more and more necessary as our need for air transportation and our desire for ever-expanding space exploration continues to grow. We will continute to rely on aerospace engineers to design and develop advanced technologies and new aircraft and spacecraft to meet our needs.

What does an aerospace engineer do?

Aerospace engineers are responsible for the design, development and testing of missiles, rockets, commercial aircraft, spacecraft, helicopters, military jets and other products that fall into the categories of aircraft or spacecraft. There are two subfields within aerospace engineering, astronautical engineers, who work solely with spacecraft and aeronautical engineers who work with aircraft.


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Aerospace engineers also work to develop and assess new and more advanced technologies for defense systems and aviation.

What kind of training does an aerospace engineer need?

To become an aerospace engineer, a higher education is necessary. Most entry-level positions for aerospace engineers will require a minimum of a bachelor degree in aerospace engineering. A bachelor-level program in aerospace engineering will consist of advanced mathematics classes, basic engineering courses and aerospace engineering classes.

While a bachelor degree may be sufficient to enter the field, most aerospace engineers choose to further their education and their career by earning specialty certificates or a graduate degree in a specialized discipline within aerospace engineering. Some examples of aerospace engineering specialty areas include propulsion, guidance systems, structural design, navigation systems, instrumentation and communication, aerodynamics, thermodynamics and astronomical mechanics.

Engineers providing services to the public are required to obtain a license to practice in the state in which they intend to work. The first part of the licensing process, passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), can be completed upon graduation. The second licensing exam, the Principles and Practice of Engineering, can be completed after gaining four years of work experience in engineering. Those fascinated with aerospace mechanics who do not want to earn an advanced degree may prefer to become an aircraft mechanic or avionics technician.

What are the prospects for a career as an aerospace engineer?

As of 2015, there were approximately 90,000 aerospace engineers working in the United States. Career opportunities for aerospace engineers are expected to increase by 10% by the year 2016, which is just below the average rate of growth expected across all industries. New aerospace engineering job openings will largely be in relation to advancing commercial aircraft technology and working on military and defense projects. 

Aerospace Engineer Salary: How much do aerospace engineers make?

Entry-level aerospace engineer salaries vary widely depending on level of training and education, certifications earned and geographical location. The average base salary range for aerospace engineers in entry-level positions, such as Aerospace Engineer I, is $47,943 to $66,443, with most entry-level aerospace engineers making between $52,435 and $62,118. Median salaries by geographical region are $60,300 for the Northeast; Middle Atlantic, $59,600; South, $54,300; Midwest, $56,000; and West, $58,500.

Students who want to be a part of space exploration and advancing aviation technology well beyond our current limits will find a career as an aerospace engineer incredibly rewarding. If you are interested in how to become an aerospace engineer, you may also be potentially interested in the broader field of mechanical engineering.

Becoming an Aerospace Engineer Requires Skills & Training Start Today

Do you know what the top highest-paying engineering jobs are? Set yourself up for a good salary job with an engineering degree!

Are you serious about becoming an Aerospace Engineer? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

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