Aerospace engineering

Aerospace engineers receive some of the highest wages of all engineering professions, according to 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but training in aerospace technology could also give you access to a challenging and stimulating field. As an aerospace engineer, you could develop new technologies used in top-secret defense systems or test those systems that are integral to the next generation of space exploration. You could use expertise in aerodynamics to make a more efficient commercial aircraft or supervise the manufacture of government missiles. As an aerospace engineer you could specialize in areas such as production methods, guidance, structural design, instrumentation and communication, and navigation and control. Alternatively, you could work for the federal government, but would need security clearance.

Training is required for most engineering jobs, and the preparation you’ll undergo to work the field is as varied as the career itself. Many aerospace workers have an education in mechanical engineering while others seek specialized aerospace engineering degrees. A bachelor’s degree is standard preparation for most engineering careers while a master’s degree could be required for some technically advanced and federal government jobs. Coursework in aerospace propulsion systems, dynamics of flight vehicles and turbulent reactive flow could be part of your aerospace training.

Aerospace engineer salary and employment info

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that aerospace engineers earned mean annual wages of $96,270 in 2009. The job itself is often tied to government spending trends, but the field could see about 10 percent growth in job opportunities between 2008 and 2018, and this could result in about 7,400 new jobs in the field.