What does an Aerospace Engineer do?

Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing and testing products that serve both the aeronautical and space industries. This role requires advanced materials knowledge and experience using specialized computer tools to draft designs for airplanes, helicopters, spacecraft, rockets, and other related machines.

Aerospace engineers require a Bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, mathematics, or a similar science-based field of study. As many aerospace engineers work on government contracts, a security clearance is likely necessary. Security clearances can be acquired either through military service or through an employer. This role requires individuals with distinct math and other technical skills. Individuals should also be strongly detail-oriented.

What responsibilities are common for Aerospace Engineer jobs?
  • Receive design requests and draft designs
  • Work collaboratively with team members to verify efficiency and functionality of designs
  • Utilize drafting tools to test and verify designs
  • Research and report on new technology implementations
  • Coordinate with various departments and other staff on design projects
  • Generate and deliver reports to managers and senior-level officers
  • Travel to conferences and meetings related to ongoing and proposed projects
  • Offer troubleshooting assistance to other engineers and staff
What are the typical qualifications for Aerospace Engineer jobs?
  • Masters degree in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, mathematics or related field may be preferable
  • 1-3 years of experience of entry-level positions
  • Confidental, Secret, or Top Secret security clearance may be required for government projects
  • Advanced knowledge of aeronautical machines, including airplanes, rockets, spacecraft, helicopters, and UAVs
  • Intermediate to expert-level background using CAD software, such as Solidworks, AutoCAD, or ProEngineer
  • Proven experience working within different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and MacOS
  • Experience using computational software, such as MATLAB and Simulink
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to quickly and easily assess problems
  • Ability to work collaboratively and seek assistance to solve problems
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.8 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.8 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Aerospace Engineer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$85,993 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$62K
Median: $86K
$120K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Aerospace Engineer Career Path

Learn how to become an Aerospace Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Aerospace Engineer
$85,993/yr
L3
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
8%
2 - 4
44%
5 - 7
25%
8+
23%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Aerospace Engineer Insights

Read what Aerospace Engineer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Naval Air Systems CommandNaval Air Systems Command
Aerospace Engineer
May 31, 2021

“unlikely layoffs; promotions are almost automatic if you do your job and are good to work with.”

NASANASA
Aerospace Engineering Intern
Nov 20, 2021

“Not really any except the pay is not exceptional relative to other aerospace engineering internships.”

Rocket LabRocket Lab
Senior Aerospace Engineer
Jul 7, 2022

“Awesome and innovative launch vehicle and spacecraft engineering.”

SpinLaunchSpinLaunch
Aerospace Engineer
Apr 3, 2021

“Inexperienced and unskilled engineering management.”

American Honda MotorAmerican Honda Motor
Aerodynamics Engineer
Feb 1, 2021

“Good pay good job fun dream job”

Northrop GrummanNorthrop Grumman
Aeronautical Engineer
Mar 5, 2020

“Interesting work and good pay”

Virgin OrbitVirgin Orbit
Propulsion Engineer
Oct 29, 2020

“Balance work and life load”

Kuehne+NagelKuehne+Nagel
Aerospace Manager
Mar 14, 2022

“nice place to work and development”

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Aerospace Engineer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of an Aerospace Engineer

When working as an Aerospace Engineer, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Written Communication, MATLAB, Security Clearance, Problem Solving and Systems Development.

The most similar professions to Aerospace Engineer are:
  • Mechanical Designer
  • Design Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer

The most common qualifications to become an Aerospace Engineer is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Mechanical Designer
$63,167
No skills overlap
Design Engineer
$75,789
13% skills overlap
Mechanical Engineer
$74,562
25% skills overlap
Manufacturing Engineer
$71,337
13% skills overlap

Aerospace Engineer jobs