Aerospace engineers design and develop the technology that is used in commercial aircraft, space exploration, national defense systems, and in private air and space ventures. They design flight vehicles and the systems that are used to operate them. Aerospace engineers may be those who design the structure of the vehicle itself or may be involved in the design, development and construction of various vehicle components and systems. Some engineers are involved in all of these processes.
Aerospace engineers are required to possess a high degree of scientific knowledge in several disciplines, including, but not limited to: statistics, thermodynamics, aerodynamic, propulsion, and structural design.
Braches of the Aerospace Field
Aerospace jobs fall into two major categories: Aeronautic and Astronautic. Aeronautical engineers work with aircraft development, design, construction and testing. Astronautic engineers are those who develop and deploy spacecraft.
Some of the highest paid and most skilled aerospace engineers are those who are able to cross into both the aeronautic and astronautic realms. These individuals often find themselves working with organizations on the development of vehicles and other crafts which are able to perform well in both the Earth's atmosphere and in space.
Specialization within the Field
Many aerospace engineers specialize in a particular area of aerospace engineering. They may work primarily with the design and development of specific systems necessary to operate air and space vehicles, or they may be specialists in the structural design of air and spacecraft.
Other engineers may specialize in the design and production of certain kinds of craft, including helicopters, military planes, commercial transportation, rockets, missiles, satellites, or spacecraft.
There are also aerospace jobs that require specialization in specific sciences and the technologies that result from them. These may include thermodynamics, propulsion systems, or guidance and control systems.
Aerospace engineers may work within several sectors of the job market. Many find employment in the product and parts industry of aerospace manufacturing facilities. Others will find jobs as researchers for publicly or privately held corporations. Still others will work for the government or in nationally funded research and development programs.
Those who work for national agencies and organizations are usually involved in the development of aerospace projects for military defense purposes, or in developing vehicles, satellites and other crafts for the purposes of space travel, research, and exploration.
Aerospace engineering is a competitive field. Successful candidates must have a minimum of a graduate degree, with many positions requiring PhD credits. That being said, the field offers a promising career for those who enter it.
Aerospace jobs are fairly well compensated in both the public and private sector. There are also a number of job openings currently in the field, with even more predicted to become available in the near future.