The Future Looks Bright
Best Jobs for Aerospace Engineering Graduates
If you have an aerospace engineering degree, you have a fascinating career waiting for you. You might be designing a new spacecraft, for example, or testing flight systems in fighter jets. This list goes through some of your career options as an aerospace engineering graduate. Salaries are accurate as of March 2021.
1. Commercial Aerospace Engineer
As the global population grows, more aircraft are needed to move people and cargo than ever before. People want to be comfortable, and cargo needs to stay secure. More aircraft means more fuel consumption, meaning more CO2 emissions that need to be managed. Aerospace engineers can solve all these problems. Commercial aerospace engineers work at major aerospace companies like Airbus and Boeing designing, testing, and manufacturing aircraft and their associated systems. This could involve designing aircraft prototypes and subjecting them to stress tests, for example, or investigating failed components on an aircraft. Whether you’re interested in design, research and development, inspection, or project management, there’s plenty of opportunity for you as a commercial aerospace engineer.
American aerospace engineers earn an average of $116,500 per year and have an expected job growth of 3% between 2019 and 2029.
2. Military Aerospace Engineer
The capability of any military is limited without planes. Militaries around the world need aerospace engineering graduates to maintain and manage military aircraft and its support equipment. If you’re interested in serving your country and are an aerospace engineering graduate, joining the military might very well be for you. As a military aerospace engineer, you might be responsible for designing, developing, and testing systems to be used on military aircraft, or maybe you’ll be supervising those who service, inspect, and repair these aircraft. If you choose to start a career as a military aerospace engineer, you’ll gain engineering experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
In the United States, an O-1 second lieutenant (the lowest rank on the officer monthly payment table) earns a minimum of $39,445 per year, which increases with experience and rank. O-6 colonels (the highest rank on the officer monthly payment table) earns a minimum of $83,174 per year. The military is also always looking for new members, especially for those with engineering degrees, meaning that there is plenty of opportunity and job security for aerospace engineering graduates.
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