I believe you must have gazed at the stars, imagining a day you’ll soar amongst them. Perhaps you have carried your childhood fantasy to a burning passion that has led to inquiring more about Aerospace Engineering.
So, if you’re among those asking ‘Is aerospace engineering a good career,’ then you came to the right place. A quick answer to this is a definite yes. Aerospace engineering is leads to an amazing career if you’re ready to put in the time and work needed.
No doubt that the aerospace industry has always contributed to the economy of the world, no wonder there is always a high demand for professionals in this field. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of aerospace engineers is to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.
From the numbers, you can see that you have a very high chance of getting an aerospace engineering job almost immediately after graduation, and you just need your bachelor’s degree to join this workforce.
However, it doesn’t come cheaply, and it’s a very competitive industry and so are some other hard engineering courses. Well, there are still some very easy engineering courses, so are there very interesting engineering schools in the midwest.
In aerospace engineering, there are some ups and downs you need to take note of, and lots of beauties of becoming one, and we’ll be covering all of them in this blog post. But first, we would love to explain in detail what exactly an aerospace engineer does, so you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into.
What are the Daily Tasks and Responsibilities of an Aerospace Engineer?
- To begin with, an aerospace engineer is responsible for designing the initial blueprints for aircraft, spacecraft, or components, and this can be done with the help of complex computer-aided design (CAD) software.
- With the help of different Finite element analyses (FEAs) like Patran, Nastran, etc, they can accurately conduct simulations and analysis, and even develop and test different prototypes to ensure the products are safe and effective.
- Due to the need for safety, they also have to conduct lots of tests on components and systems, to ensure the pass performance and safety standards.
- Any issue(s) that arises during development or even testing, they have to resolve it/them. They can still collaborate with other engineers, scientists, and business professionals to do this and other activities.
- There is still a need to prepare technical reports to communicate the results of the work to colleagues, clients, and regulatory bodies.
- Some of them, due to their experience in the field, contribute to research and development to improve existing technologies.
It’s worth noting that aerospace engineers usually specialize in specific areas like Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, Structures, Composite Materials, Guidance and control, Aircraft Propulsion, Spacecraft Engineering, etc.
Now we’ve listed some of the responsibilities of an aerospace engineer, let’s list some of the important things you should know about becoming an aerospace engineer, including the pros and cons.
Things to Know About Aerospace Engineering
Even though becoming an aerospace engineer is exciting, you also need to look at it from a more realistic perspective. That’s why we’ll be listing both the advantages and disadvantages of furthering your career in aerospace engineering.
Pros of Aerospace Engineering
1. Future of Aerospace Engineering
Let’s begin with the future of this profession, as we said earlier, US BLS projected that employment of aerospace engineers is projected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This demand is mostly because of more demand for air traveling, especially now the world is pushing towards environmentally friendly aircraft.
Also, seeing what SpaceX, Blue Origin, ABL Space Systems, etc, are fighting to achieve in space which is expanding private and public space programs, increases the demand for skilled aerospace engineers.
The future of aerospace engineering is promising if you have the right skills and passion for it.
2. Competitive Salary
According to U.S. BLS, the median pay for aerospace engineers is $126,880 per year. Well, this depends on your geographic location, level of education, years of experience, etc, so you can earn higher or lower than this depending on these factors.
So you can earn as high as $176,280 if you have more years of experience and perhaps specialize in the research and development aspect of aerospace engineering. Or you can earn as low as $78,170.
You can also earn benefits like insurance coverage, retirement planning services, etc, depending on your role and employment status.
3. Pioneering New Technologies
It’s no longer news that aerospace engineers are among those that are at the forefront of innovation, at least SpaceX has exposed that. The kind of aircraft, and spacecraft that can be created in the future are boundless, and better and more sophisticated softwares to perform complex simulations, and analyze performance will be created alongside.
Aerospace engineers have the privilege of pushing boundaries in their experiments. You see there are lots of fun things to learn, and if you love using your creativity to build technical solutions then an aerospace career is meant for you.
4. Challenging and Rewarding
Even though the academic progress of aerospace engineering comes with rigorous mathematics, physics, and engineering principles, and years of intense study and complex problem-solving it all leads to lots of breath-taking accomplishments. The joy of seeing your design come to life, take flight as aircraft, spacecraft, or any other technology is not just measureable.
We can’t deny the challenges that come with becoming an aerospace engineer, but they are what lead to incredible rewards.
5. Global Impact
For some seconds, can you imagine a world without airplanes, space exploration, and satellites, it will look like something is missing, right? (Even though it still looks like a lot is missing in our world, that’s by the way, I believe you got my point).
The global impact is another proof that aerospace engineering is a good career because of how it impacts our lives whether through tourism, exploring the continents, or providing faster traveling. Now we have drones that easily deliver packages and even medical supplies which can save lives.
Hope you remember that satellites are the reason we can have global phone calls, GPS navigation, and even internet access.
6. Diverse Options
The truth is you can’t build an entire aircraft or spacecraft alone, aerospace engineering allows you to specialize in a particular area. Whether it’s Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. Structural Dynamics and Aeroelasticity, Guidance and Control, Composite Materials, Aircraft Propulsion, Aircraft Control, Spacecraft Engineering, etc.
You can also choose to focus on a particular industry such as Commercial Aviation, Defense and Aerospace, Research and Development, Space Exploration, etc.
Now we’ve mentioned the good side of choosing an aerospace engineering career, let’s see some disadvantages.
Cons of Aerospace Engineering
7. Demand and Stressful
The educational path requires lots of time in studying and intense calculation in mathematics, physics, and engineering. You should even expect midnight cramming.
Because you are dealing with lots of peoples’ lives, there is no room for mistakes else, it will lead to catastrophic consequences.
You should also expect to be stressed as an aeronautical engineer, especially when fighting to meet high-stakes project deadlines. That leads us to the next disadvantage.
8. Work-life Balance
Depending on the project, position, and company you are working for, you should expect long hours of work. Also, since they always push to meet deadlines, it usually lead to overtime work, and this can lead to poor work-life balance.
9. Significant Time on Computers
Since lots of modern designs now happen through sophisticated softwares, lots of data are collected during testing using software too. You also need to document with the help of a computer and also communicate by creating presentations.
All of these keep you glued to your computer if you’re not in the field work, and this can lead to eye strain, musculoskeletal issues, and reduced physical activity.
It’s worth noting that the time an aerospace engineer spends on a computer depends on specialization and project phase.
I believe we have answered your question on “Is aerospace engineering a good career,” it now depends on you. We are not here to paint a picture of an “all rosy,” ride, but to tell you that if you have a burning passion for science, technology, and flight, then aerospace engineering might be perfect for you.
The decision is all yours, if you need to talk to a professional, please don’t hesitate.