Major in Aerospace Engineering - An Overview

Human beings have always thought of flying both through the air and into outer space and this longed dream are made true by the technological advancement in the field of science and technology i.e., with the help of Aerospace engineers. The 21st century can be regarded as the “space stations and rocket science age”.  Aerospace engineering is that field of engineering that encompasses aircrafts and spacecrafts designing, development, construction, and testing.  Aerospace engineering deals with the design, construction, and study of the science behind the forces and physical properties of aircraft, rockets, missiles, flying craft, and spacecraft.

You can catch your dream career rocket by right mix of education and planning well ahead of your college admission right from high school. We have prepared Aerospace Major Guide to let you know what it takes to be in the best grad school.

Aerospace engineering has two branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.

Aeronautical engineering: deals with the aircrafts that operates in the earth’s atmosphere.

Astronautical engineering: deals with the spacecrafts that operates outside the earth’s atmosphere. Aerospace engineering in context to aeronautics is often referred as “rocket science”.

You can choose Aerospace as career depending upon your interest. Those who have a bent towards the motion of air and its interaction with other objects such as aircrafts can go for aeronautical engineering and those who prefer science and technology of spaceflight can opt for astronautical engineering.

Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and space. Aerospace activities are now essentially included in the development program of many advancing countries. Aerospace engineering involves the products of various technological and engineering disciplines such as aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics, fluid mechanics, materials science, mathematics, structural analysis and manufacturing. This discipline offers a wide variety of opportunities with high job satisfaction and excellent compensation. The end result of this area of study is thriving. There are many career options available to aerospace engineering.

Why Aerospace Engineering?

High Salaried Jobs

Studying aerospace engineering opens many job opportunities with good pay. The average salary for an Aerospace Engineer is $90611 per year in 2023. Actual figures and salary range may vary depending on highest qualification, position in the organization and types etc.

High Employability

Employment of aerospace engineers is expected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. As the growing population will require more air transportation, jobs for aerospace engineers are expected to increase. Aerospace engineers are responsible for developing extraordinary machines, from airplanes to spacecrafts. Aerospace engineers typically are employed in many fields. Their skills and expertise are becoming increasingly valuable in almost all the sectors.

Career Opportunities

With aerospace engineering, one can have various career options:
  • Pilots or Crew Members of a Spacecraft: Aerospace engineering offers to be a Pilot Astronaut or Mission Specialist or a Payload Specialist.

  • Physical Scientists: Scientists are knowledge seekers. They are inquisitive. One can have following job titles-Astronomer, Meteorologist, Oceanographer and Physicist

  • Aerospace Engineers: Aerospace engineers are commonly regarded as experts in the design, manufacture and innovation of existing and new aerospace components.  Overall, aerospace engineers will be working to improve fuel efficiency, safety, speed, weight, incorporate new technologies, meet changing customer needs, or even create new needs, such as space tourism.

  • Aerospace Technician: Technicians are an important part of the aerospace team. They work closely with scientists and engineers in support of their research. Their skills are used to operate wind tunnels, work in laboratories, construct test equipment, build models and support many types of research.

  • Aerospace engineering offers a wide range of roles in research, design, development, testing, manufacture and maintenance. The current trend indicates that it is bound to grow very rapidly in the coming years. The growth prospects are quite high of this discipline.
Also, the task involved varies according to the role, specialism and employer. Few activities undertaken by the aerospace engineers are as follows:
  • Formulating the  conceptual design of aeronautical or aerospace products or systems

  • Undertaking systematic manufacturing, involving the assembly and modification of components;

  • Supervising the assembly of airframes and the installation of engines, instruments and other equipment;

  • Participating in flight test programs to measure take-off distances, rate of climb, stall speeds, and landing capacities;

  • Collating information, interpreting data and publishing the results of specific projects in technical report form;

  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) software to create designs and plans;

  • Maintaining aircraft for full operation including making regular inspections, maintenance and servicing;

  • Measuring and improving the performance of aircraft, components and systems.
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