What Is an Aerospace Engineer?

Basics of Aerospace Engineering

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.


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 (i)

In general, Aerospace engineers will work on designing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. They also spend time on creating and testing prototypes to ensure they function according to their design.

  • Median Salary: $113,030 per year 
  • Job growth through 2026: 6%  (As fast as average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians: (ii)

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians usually work on operating and maintaining equipment used for the development, testing, production, and maintenance of new aircrafts and spacecrafts. Increasingly, these workers are using computer-based modeling and simulation tools and processes in their work, as well as advanced automation and robotics.

  • Median Salary: $67,240 per year 
  • Job growth through 2026: 7%  (As fast as 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.

(i) bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/aerospace-engineers.htm | (ii)bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/aerospace-engineering-and-operations-technicians.htm