Aerospace Engineers

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Engineering and Technology

Projected Growth: Slower than average

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Perform engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.

Common job titles of Aerospace Engineers include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 59.05% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 33.34% said they needed a Master's Degree.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Wondering what Aerospace Engineers REALLY do throughout a day at work? Perhaps you should know what you’ll be doing all day before pursuing a career. So here are some tasks that Aerospace Engineers can be found doing during the work day. Hover over each task for information about relevance and importance. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that have similar tasks.

Essential Tasks

    Design or engineer filtration systems that reduce harmful emissions.

    Evaluate biofuel performance specifications to determine feasibility for aerospace applications.

    Direct or coordinate activities of engineering or technical personnel involved in designing, fabricating, modifying, or testing of aircraft or aerospace products.

    Formulate mathematical models or other methods of computer analysis to develop, evaluate, or modify design, according to customer engineering requirements.

    Diagnose performance problems by reviewing reports or documentation from customers or field engineers or by inspecting malfunctioning or damaged products.

Regular Tasks

    Evaluate product data or design from inspections or reports for conformance to engineering principles, customer requirements, environmental regulations, or quality standards.

    Formulate conceptual design of aeronautical or aerospace products or systems to meet customer requirements or conform to environmental regulations.

    Develop design criteria for aeronautical or aerospace products or systems, including testing methods, production costs, quality standards, environmental standards, or completion dates.

    Design new or modify existing aerospace systems to reduce polluting emissions, such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, or smoke emissions.

    Maintain records of performance reports for future reference.

    Plan or coordinate investigation and resolution of customers' reports of technical problems with aircraft or aerospace vehicles.

    Write technical reports or other documentation, such as handbooks or bulletins, for use by engineering staff, management, or customers.

Occasional Tasks

    Direct aerospace research and development programs.

    Review aerospace engineering designs to determine how to reduce negative environmental impacts.

    Evaluate and approve selection of vendors by studying past performance or new advertisements.

    Analyze project requests, proposals, or engineering data to determine feasibility, productibility, cost, or production time of aerospace or aeronautical products.

    Plan or conduct experimental, environmental, operational, or stress tests on models or prototypes of aircraft or aerospace systems or equipment.

    Research new materials to determine quality or conformance to environmental standards.

What Tools and Technologies do Aerospace Engineers use?

The future of work is gonna be… techy🤖. No matter the career path, you’ll have to understand what the experts use to get the job done. Employers want to see practical experience with these tools and technologies. Use these lists to figure out what tools you need to learn and see trends about up and coming tech. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that use similar tools.



Wave analyzers


Vibration isolation tables

Vacuum facilities

UNIX work stations

Ultrasonic inspection equipment

All Tools

Terminal computers

Surface grinding machines

Strain gauge balances


Signal generators

Reflection polariscopes

Push/pull dynamometers

Propellant combustion chambers


Power microwave generators


Personal computers

Parallel computers

Multi-axis mills

Mainframe computers

Load frames



Laser velocimeters

Laser Doppler velocimeters LDV

Laboratory centrifugal pumps

Impinging jet apparatus

Impact guns

Force transducers

Flow meters

Flight simulators

Flight management systems FMS

Fiber optic interferometers

Fatigue testing machines

Electronic pressure scanners

Electronic flight instrument systems EFIS

Digital voltmeters DVM

Digital pressure gauges

Digital oscilloscopes

Computer numerical controlled CNC milling machines

Cluster computers

Centerless grinders

Axial flow turbines

Axial flow research fans

Axial flow compressor facilities

Atomic force microscopes

Argon-ion lasers

Anechoic chambers

Acoustic emissions systems


Computer aided design and drafting CADD software

Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS

National Instruments LabVIEW

Practical extraction and reporting language Perl

Thermal design software

UGS Solid Edge

Xilinx TMRTool

All Technologies

1CadCam Unigraphics




Altera Quartus II

Analytical Graphics STK Expert Edition


Collier Research HyperSizer

Computational fluid dynamics CFD software

Computer-aided engineering CAE software

Cullimore & Ring Technologies SINDA/FLUINT

Cullimore & Ring Technologies Thermal Desktop

Dassault Systemes Abaqus

Digital Equipment Corporation DIGITAL Fortran 90

ESI Group AutoSEA2

Fatigue analysis software

Finite element analysis FEA software

Finite element method FEM software

Flexible dynamics modeling software

Grid generation software

Harvard Thermal TAS

Hewlett-Packard HP OpenVMS

IBM Rational ClearCase

IBM Rational ClearQuest

IBM Rational DOORS

IBM Rational Requisite Pro

Image processing systems

K&K Associates Thermal Analysis Kit TAK

Maplesoft Maple

Microsoft Visual C#

Microsoft Visual C++

MSC Software Fatigue

MSC Software Nastran

MSC Software Patran

Network Analysis SINDA-G

Phoenix Integration ModelCenter


Southwest Research Institute NASGRO

Stress analysis software

Structure query language SQL

Sun Microsystems Java

TEAM Engineering FEMAP

Tecplot Focus

The MathWorks Simulink

Thermal analysis software

Thermal Radiation Analysis System TRASYS

Thermal Synthesizer System TSS

Universal Technical Systems TK Solver


Wolfram Research Mathematica

What Skills Do Aerospace Engineers Need to Have?

Let’s be real… take a look in the mirror! Do you have the what it takes to join the other Aerospace Engineers? The Skills? The Ability to succeed? If so, and you enjoy using these skills, then this job is for you. If not, GOOD NEWS, you can always pick up a new skill if you’re willing to put in the effort 💪


Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Technology Design

Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.

Quality Control Analysis

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Teaching others how to do something.


Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Everything Aerospace Engineers Should Know…

Aerospace Engineers typically have vast knowledge of the subjects below. Think about this a lot… if you’re not a fan of the subjects, chances are this career isn’t for you. But, there’s plenty of time to learn and continue to learn throughout your career 🎓


Engineering and Technology

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Production and Processing

Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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