Many of the more fascinating machines that help make our world go ‘round – like airplanes, spacecraft, missiles, and satellites – are a direct result of the brilliant minds of aerospace engineers. It’s a captivating area of study, requiring a knack for accuracy and rigorous attention to detail. Utilizing mathematics and science to generate innovative, tangible products, there’s good reason why it’s a field of study that generates buzz. In fact, it may be precisely the type of opportunity you’re looking for.
Those who engage in aerospace engineering higher education have a variety of industries that they may ultimately work in. While entry-level employment is usually found in the aerospace product and parts industry, after only a few years of experience many more doors will open. For instance, governments and national defense requires adept aerospace engineers to develop missiles, rockets, and other navigational equipment. Likewise, both private and public organizations rely upon aerospace engineers for a great deal of research and development.
Still more, firms in analysis and design, and manufacturing may also be in need of an aerospace engineer, depending upon their specialty. In essence, those studying to become aerospace engineers will not find themselves confined to any one industry upon their entrance into the workforce.
Satellite technology, specifically, is an area that is currently rich with opportunity for aerospace engineers. Used for communication, observation, and exploration, satellites are in many ways the foundational underpinning for how we live today. Aerospace engineers are responsible for conceptualizing, building, and operating these multi-million dollar machines by continuously learning about and applying cutting-edge technology.
According to 2010 US Census data, the median pay for aerospace engineers was approximately $98,000 per year, or roughly $50 per hour! A compensation study by Aviation Week reported that the average annual pay among aerospace engineers ranges from $61,379 at entry level to $145,832 for senior-most employees. Considering that the minimum requirement is merely a bachelor’s degree, aerospace engineering can be a lucrative option. For example the internet provider space is in high demand as highly skilled workers are needed by satellite internet providers as they continue to increase their service ranges. For example, at the internet provider Exede there are over 2,500 employees and growing!
The outlook for aerospace engineering careers is bright with approximately 4,000 additional aerospace jobs between now and 2020. This means that those currently studying in the field, or hoping to, will need to be competitive once they enter the job market. Students are strongly encouraged to leverage real life experience through internships and to minor or double major in a complimentary field, such as physics or computer science.
While growth is not huge, there is low projected degree conferral – fewer people are studying the subject – meaning that there will be fewer new graduates to compete with! So if you want to get into a career that is challenging, has a positive impact on the world, and is financially lucrative, now might actually be a great time to investigate aerospace engineering programs and get in on a whole world (and beyond!) of action.
For more information on a degree in Aerospace Engineering, check out our Engineering directory.
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