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Salary and Career Info for an Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the education and job duties to see if a career in aerospace engineering is right for you.

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Aerospace engineers design and provide manufacturing oversight to the production of aircraft, spacecraft or missiles. These positions require a bachelor's or master's degree and may require state licensing. The job growth for these careers is in decline, and their average salary is about $111,000.

Essential Information

Aerospace engineers help in all aspects of manufacturing airplanes, missiles and spacecraft. A bachelor's degree in engineering or a similar subject is required for most aerospace engineering positions, while a master's degree is required for managerial roles. Four years of work experience and a state license are necessary for this career.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree
Other Requirements State licensure
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -2%
Average Salary (2015)* $110,570

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Information for Aerospace Engineers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aerospace engineers had a mean hourly wage of $53.16 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). This contributes to an average yearly salary of $110,570. Aerospace engineers in the lowest ten percent made about $67,850 or less, while those in the top ten percent made upwards of $158,700 or more, as reported by the BLS.

Job Outlook

The BLS reported that job growth for this occupation would decline in comparison to other occupations. This amounted to a projected two percent decline over the 2014-2024 time period.

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Career Information

Aerospace engineers are divided into two different major choices. The first specialization works with aircraft, and workers are referred to as aeronautical engineers. In the second group, aerospace engineers who work with spacecraft are called astronautical engineers. These workers oversee, assess and outline the manufacture of these devices along with developing new technology. Sometimes, workers specialize in specific vehicles like missiles, helicopters or commercial airplanes or with certain aspects of manufacturing, such as production methods or structural design.

State Licensure

Aerospace engineers working in the United States need licensure to provide public services. Licensed engineers may use the title professional engineer (PE). Graduating from an educational program accredited by the ABET (www.abet.org) is the first step to attaining this licensure. Additionally, four years of experience must be obtained along with a passing score on the state licensing examination.

The examination can be taken in two parts. The first part is taken after the completion of an educational program and results in the title of engineer intern (EI) or engineer in training (EIT). After obtaining the necessary work experience, candidates can take the next examination for full licensure. In some cases, continuing education requirements need to be completed on a regular basis to maintain licensure.

Aerospace engineering positions usually require a bachelor's degree; a master's degree is sometimes required and usually necessary for managerial positions. Licensing is required for those providing public services, which includes meeting education and work experience requirements as well as passing a two-part exam. Jobs for aerospace engineers are projected to decline from 2014-2024, and salaries in 2015 averaged about $110,000.

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