There is a high demand for space aerospace engineers across the country because these STEM professionals perform a wide variety of critical roles and duties. Most people base their knowledge of aerospace on Hollywood blockbusters, but aerospace engineers work in a variety of industries with a plethora of unique duties. Keep reading to learn why the job demand is so high and what career options are available for an aerospace engineer.
See our ranking of the 30 Best Values for Aerospace Engineering.
Sustainable Job Growth
The aerospace industry will continue to grow and create job opportunities for Americans. NASA's annual budget was almost 20 billion dollars in 2019. This means there is plenty of funding for new research and job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the job outlook for an aerospace engineer is growing at six percent, which is as fast as average.
Bear in mind that the aerospace research industry is not just focused on stereotypical things like rockets and astronauts. Instead, there are hundreds of associated universities and research centers across the country that use aerospace science and engineering to drive technology advancements and push humanity forward.
An aerospace engineer may not spend most of their time dealing with science and space travel. Most of these engineers are employed by aerospace product or service providers. Some aerospace engineers are employed by the federal government, engineering consultation films and university-based science research and development programs.
An aerospace engineer may find themselves working in management, traveling sales, parts distribution, data administration or field inspection. Possible job titles include Aerospace Systems Analyst, Information Systems Administrator, Hardware Systems Engineer and Tool and Equipment Designer. Some aerospace engineers will work in national defense that will require the top security clearance.
Aerospace sales engineers enjoy a customer-facing position that is both social and technical. They are responsible for driving sales for new and existing customers. They independently assess the potential application of company products and services to offer viable solutions that meet needs and exceed customer expectations.
This position requires a high level of business acumen that is blended with engineering knowledge, field experience, and social skills. Aerospace sales engineers will negotiate with customers, review contracts, problem solve, compile bid opportunities and lead sales initiatives.
Technical Field Work
Many aerospace engineers do technical work in the field. For example, aerospace inspectors review products and documentation to ensure conformity to employee training, design specifications, federal law, and safe operating conditions. They may issue FAA airworthiness certification and documentation. These must be impeccably accurate with 100 percent conformity.
These aerospace engineers will regularly travel to vendor locations to perform conformity inspections. They must properly and timely communicate and document all non-conformances. Then, they must assist with recommendations, containment actions and fulfilling regulatory requirements. They may work with FAA representatives to ensure component quality control and compliance with all regulatory requirements.
Clearly, there is career diversity for graduates with a degree in aerospace engineering. Aerospace engineers usually are paid at least 54 dollars an hour, which equals about 113,000 dollars per year.