Aerospace Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Aerospace Engineers perform engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.

  • Formulate mathematical models or other methods of computer analysis to develop, evaluate, or modify design, according to customer engineering requirements.
  • Plan or conduct experimental, environmental, operational, or stress tests on models or prototypes of aircraft or aerospace systems or equipment.
  • Formulate conceptual design of aeronautical or aerospace products or systems to meet customer requirements or conform to environmental regulations.
  • Plan or coordinate investigation and resolution of customers’ reports of technical problems with aircraft or aerospace vehicles.
Read more about what does an Aerospace Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$117100 per year

Average hourly wage
$56 per hour

Aerospace Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $71640 and $89830 while the more experienced ones can earn over $143340 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
DC $67 $138,480
VA $61 $127,390
MD $61 $127,330
CA $60 $125,540
CO $60 $124,070

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Aerospace Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Aerospace Engineers are DC, VA, MD, CA and CO.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Aerospace Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Aerospace Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Read more about how to become an Aerospace Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Aerospace Engineer.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who wants job security and a good working condition
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
One of the highest paid careers in the world
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

71% of Aerospace Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 64% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

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Aerodynamicist, Aeronautical Design Engineer, Aeronautical Engineer, Aeronautical Project Engineer, Aeronautical Research Engineer, Aeronautical Test Engineer, Aerospace Engineer, Aerospace Stress Engineer, Aircraft Designer, Aircraft Engineer

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