Aeronautic Engineering: Job Description and Career Information

Research the educational and skill requirements needed to become an aeronautic engineer, as well as the job description and employment and salary outlook. Read on to decide if this career is right for you.

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Career Defined for an Aeronautic Engineer

An aeronautic engineer is the individual who is responsible for the design, building and science of aircraft. The field is closely related to astronautical engineering; both aeronautical and astronautical engineering are branches of aerospace engineering. The topics involved in aeronautic engineering include propulsion, materials science, avionics and aerodynamics.

Education Bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering, although pursuing a master's degree in aeronautic engineering will improve job opportunities
Job Skills Skills in math and physical science, mechanical and technical skills, writing and business knowledge, analytical, critical-thinking, and the ability to work well with others
Median Salary (May 2015) $107,830
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 2% decline (Aerospace engineers)

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Duties

Job duties may include research and development, testing, parts assembly and/or the maintenance of aircraft or missiles. Some aeronautic engineers specialize in studying the effects of aircraft on the environment, the potential dangers of new aircraft technologies or fuel efficiency. Within aeronautical engineering, a person may focus on the design of aircraft systems, also called avionics, or materials research and selection.

Educational Requirements

Individuals who have an interest in becoming an aeronautic engineer are encouraged to prepare for the career path well in advance by focusing their studies on science and mathematics in high school. Bachelor's degrees in fields relating to aerospace engineering are typically required of aeronautic engineers. Some firms may be willing to accept applicants who hold related engineering or science degrees. Opportunities for employment increase for those with a master's degree in aeronautic engineering. Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs or internship opportunities that allow students to gain hands-on experience as they finish their degree programs. No licensing is required for entry-level engineering positions; however, engineers in higher-level positions must be licensed as professional engineers.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that aeronautic engineers needed the below traits:

  • Skills in math and physical science
  • Mechanical and technical skills
  • Writing and business knowledge
  • Analytical and critical-thinking skills
  • Ability to work well with others

Employment and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, growth of the aerospace engineering field was expected to decrease by 2% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary of all aerospace engineers was $107,830 in May 2015. The bottom 10% of these workers earned $67,850 or less per year, as reported by the BLS in the same year.

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