What Is an Aerospace Engineer?

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Whether you want to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground or soar into the wild blue yonder, there are many different career paths an online degree in aerospace engineering may teach you about. For example, operations technicians work in offices, laboratories and in industrial plants to produce aircraft or spacecraft equipment or run simulations about the latest technology in aircrafts via computer-based programs. Engineers may work in teams to build and design the newest aircraft for commercial purposes or for the federal government for matters of national security. While working on planes may be the goal of some, others may become involved in designing missiles or even satellites – all of which is made possible through advanced aerospace engineering studies.

The options are very diverse for people with aerospace engineering skills. Airliners need mechanics that can keep passenger planes in working order. The federal government needs engineers that can design the latest and greatest devices that will ensure national security and defense. Even some private entities are looking for capable professionals that can help create aircrafts that can journey into space and back. From the lab to the landing strip, aerospace engineers are free to choose where they’d like to work and what they’d like to work on.


If you’re fascinated by complex machinery, travel and the miracle of flight, an online degree in aerospace engineering may be the perfect way to earn the education necessary to pursue a career. Aerospace engineers concern themselves with everything pertaining to airplanes and other aircrafts. They work in both the public and private sector to fix and maintain everything from commercial airplanes to private jets. A portion even attempt to become pilots themselves.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career as a pilot for the military or a mechanic for cargo planes, a degree in aerospace engineering may help you achieve your goals.


Some common courses include:

Aeronautics: Learn the laws of air and space flight. This course may cover everything that goes into building and flying a spacecraft.

Aerodynamics: Dive into the study of how air works with and against objects. You could learn all about flows, drag, and designing airfoils.

Dynamics: Discover how motion works, including the forces at play in movement. You could also learn how to engineer systems that use motion.

Aircraft Design: Take a close look at all that goes into designing a plane. A course like this may cover tail sizing, wing loading, and everything in between!

Propulsion: This course is all about how aircrafts use heat, fuel, and air to get moving. You might study both chemical and engineering concepts.

Space Systems Design: This course may cover the ins and outs of planning a space mission. You could study everything from power systems to communications.


Your salary as an aerospace engineering professional is largely decided by your specific job title, your level of education, your experience and your skill. Consider the following careers, with statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016.


Aerospace engineers focus on designing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. They dedicate time to creating and testing prototypes, ensuring they align with their intended design and function effectively.

According to 2023 BLS data:

Median Salary: $130,720  per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 6% (Faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree


Aerospace engineering and operations technicians are involved in operating and maintaining equipment essential for developing, testing, producing, and maintaining new aircraft and spacecraft. They increasingly utilize computer-based modeling, simulation tools, and advanced automation and robotics in their tasks.

According to 2023 BLS data:

Median Salary: $77,830 per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 8% (Faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Associate’s degree

Additional skills required for a career in aerospace engineering.

Aerospace engineering relies very highly on expert skills in math and related sciences. Moreover, mistakes can sometimes be a matter of life and death. That being said, employers frequently look for the most capable and qualified professionals that have a firm inside and outside understanding of all the math and related skills involved. Enhancing your career in this field frequently means being well above average when it comes to using math and formulas.

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Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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This is an offer for educational opportunities, not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.

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