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Aerospace Engineering

Earnings Potential

The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,300, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $110,070.

Facts at a glance

  • Regional and low-fare airlines offer the best opportunities; pilots attempting to get jobs at the major airlines will face strong competition. 
  • Pilots usually start with smaller commuter and regional airlines to acquire the experience needed to qualify for higher paying jobs with national or major airlines. 
  • Many pilots have learned to fly in the military, but growing numbers have college degrees with flight training from civilian flying schools that are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • Earnings of airline pilots are among the highest in the Nation.

Summary of what this career entails

A flight engineer is a trained professional that transports passengers and cargo. A flight or aerospace engineer is usually a profession held by new airline pilots. He/she is usually the third pilot on the plane and helps the other pilots with the monitoring and operating many of the instruments and systems that are on the plane, as well as making minor repairs during the flight, and cabin crew communications. One problem for prospective aerospace engineers is with the new technology that has taken shape over the years; many flights need only two pilots. With that said, an aerospace engineer is also in charge of constructing, testing, and maintaining aircraft and space vehicles. Not only does an aerospace engineer test equipment, he or she also may be in charge of finding out about the how’s and why’s of equipment malfunction. He or she also tests records and data via computer. The types of principles that an aerospace engineer should be familiar with include aeronautics, astronautics, and biomechanics.

Examples and or details of work

Aerospace engineers are the people that would be in charge of what happened with plane crashes such as the one that recently took place with New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle. Since the attacks of September 11th, aerospace engineers’ jobs seem to take on more importance, because any time there is an accident with a plane, the public wants to be assured it was not an act of terrorism.

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees needed for a career in aerospace engineering include engineering, physical science, math, engineering technology, business administration, aerospace engineering, engineering technology, and pre-engineering. 360 Colleges offer bachelor degree programs in engineering that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). 230 colleges offer have accredited programs in engineering technology. 

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific jobs in the aerospace engineering field include aerospace engineering and parts manufacturing, and pilots.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Engineers, on the Internet at 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers, on the Internet at

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.