Is Aerospace Engineering Degree All Worth It?

It may sound fancy, but Aerospace Engineering Degree is more than meets the eye. If you want to join the throng of successful aerospace engineers in the future, consider this as your make-or-break guide on whether to take this for a college degree.

At any rate, being an aerospace engineer is a feat in itself — considering how tedious the process of finishing this degree is. For someone who will be in-charge of aircraft and spacecraft systems, a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering is one of the promising engineering degrees that can help you land high-paying and satisfying careers.

What Is An Aerospace Engineering Degree?

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Aerospace Engineering (AE) is a branch of engineering that focuses on the design, development, and production of air and space vehicles.

The aerospace engineering curriculum covers topics such as aircraft design and production, aerodynamics, thermodynamics, propulsion systems, control systems and aerospace structures. It also provides students with hands-on skills in areas such as computer programming, robotics and flight simulation.

How Hard Is Aerospace Engineering Degree?

Aerospace engineering degree is considered one of the most difficult degrees in terms of difficulty. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to succeed in this field. The curriculum includes such challenging topics as aerodynamics, structures, propulsion systems, avionics and materials science.

Furthermore, aerospace engineering students will have to learn how to use computer simulation and other software to design their projects. This requires a lot of knowledge of mathematics, physics and engineering principles.

In the end, it all comes down to how motivated you are in pursuing this type of degree. With sufficient dedication and hard work, aerospace engineers can be successful in achieving their goals.

How Long Will It Take To Finish Aerospace Engineering Degree?

The average length of time to complete an aerospace engineering degree is four years. However, some universities offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as two years, depending on the student’s background and academic performance.

In addition to coursework, students must also take part in internships and other experiential learning opportunities. Such activities will provide them with valuable hands-on experience in their field and can help them to better understand the principles they have studied.

What Can You Do With an Aerospace Engineering Degree? (Career Options)

General Score for Career Path and Job Market Demand: 8/10

Will finishing an Aerospace Engineering bachelor’s degree be rewarding in terms of career options after graduation? To answer this, I turned to official government data to gauge the effectiveness and the return on investment after the four-year grueling engineering coursework.

Aerospace engineering is a field with promising prospects, expected to grow in the coming decade at just above average rate, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. On an annual basis, there will likely be about 3,800 positions opening up for aerospace engineers; many of these openings are anticipated due to normal labor rotation such as retirement and pursuit of alternative occupations.

Aerospace Engineering Jobs

Here are some of the jobs you can possibly land with a degree in Aerospace Engineering:

Aerospace Engineer

An Aerospace Engineer is responsible for designing, developing and testing aircraft, spacecraft and related components. They research new technologies and materials to be used in the development of aerospace systems. An Aerospace Engineer must understand aerodynamic principles as well as mathematics, physics, mechanics and computer science to design a structure that meets safety requirements.

Additionally, they need to ensure the system functions within its physical limitations. To keep up with current developments in technology, an aerospace engineer often takes part in seminars or educational programs learning about new advancements in their field. In addition to conceptualizing products from scratch they also troubleshoot existing designs making needed changes or improvements as required by customers or authorities/regulators.

Aircraft Design Engineer

Aircraft Design Engineers are responsible for the design, maintenance and testing of aircraft parts. They examine existing models to identify component deficiencies and create solutions that meet safety standards. Additionally, they analyze customer’s requirements and suggest modifications for their needs.

They also provide technical support to production engineers regarding the manufacturing process and help them understand the impact of design changes to an existing product. To develop new components and products, they use computer-aided designs (CADs) and other software tools to create prototypes that meet customers’ requirements while staying within the available budget.

Avionics Systems Engineer

Avionics Systems Engineers specialize in designing, developing and testing aircraft communication systems. Their job involves understanding how to integrate communication systems into an airplane’s complex network of computer and hydraulic systems to ensure that they meet safety standards as well as customer expectations.

To do so, ionics Systems Engineers must have knowledge of basic electronic principles such as frequency Modulation, Amplitude Modulation and Pulse-code modulation. They also need to be able to work with analog circuits, digital circuits and use computer aided designs (CADs) to create sketches of their systems. Additionally, they must have a clear understanding of avionics components including antennae systems, receivers and transceivers in order to effectively design and install systems.

Robotics Engineer

Robotics Engineers are responsible for designing, developing and testing robotic systems for aerospace applications. They create programs that allow robots to be able to complete complex tasks used in various aerospace operations such as assembling parts or performing maintenance activities. To do so, they must have a strong understanding of robotics principles and be able to program robotic systems that respond to their environment. Additionally, they must know how to design mechanical and electronic components for the system as well as sensors that accurately detect objects in the surrounding.

Job Outlook for Aerospace Engineering

General Score for Job Outlook: 8/10

The BLS likewise projects that come 2031, projected employment for aerospace engineers could balloon to 62,400. This as the aerospace engineering industry has weathered the storm of technological advancement, coming out stronger than ever.

Recent developments in electric and hybrid-electric aircraft have buoyed demand for these engineers as consumers are looking to reduce noise pollution while boosting fuel efficiency. Space exploration is also seeing a surge with lowered costs on satellite launches and an upsurge in interest surrounding small satellites that can be used commercially; this will help drive future employment growth within Aerospace Engineering fields.

Are Aerospace Engineers Paid Well? (Aerospace Engineering Salary)

General Score for Job Outlook: 11/10

With the growing demand, it is no wonder that aerospace engineers and those related jobs are paid well. According to the BLS, Aerospace engineering is a lucrative profession: according to data from May 2021, half of all aerospace engineers earned more than the median wage of $122,270. Those in the top 10%, however, could make upwards of $168,370 annually – considerably higher than those at lower levels (bottom 10% earn below 77,440).

ZipRecruiter discovered six lucrative states for Aerospace Engineers, with Nevada leading the way. At 14.7% higher than average salaries across America, and an extra $15,374 in wages on offer compared to the national figure of $104402 annually. Other notable performers include Massachusetts at 11% over-average salary rates and Alaska 9.3%, verifying that engineers who choose these locations can look forward to greater earning potentials beyond the US norm.

The BLS likewise reported that the following fields are lucrative for those with aerospace engineering majors:

Let us now look at the user-reported salaries by actual aerospace engineers on Glassdoor:

Aerospace Engineers in the state of Florida have reported a median annual salary of $75,792 with an additional estimated pay per year at $11,378. The “Most Likely Range” for this position’s salaries fall within 25th and 75th percentile baselines — meaning that their total potential earnings annually can reach up to approximately 87 thousand dollars. Cash bonus commission tips and profit sharing account for the extra earning capacity offered by these opportunities.

Aircraft Design Engineer salaries in the Massachusetts area are estimated to be around $98,478 annually. Additionally, the additional wage component totalling up to $12,861 per year which could arise as bonuses or other forms of payment such as commissions and tips was also reported by users. Moreover, the “Most Likely Range” reveals figures within 25th-75th percentile range creating greater insight into potential earning capacity when compared with industry averages alone.

To be sure, an Aerospace Engineering program will surely prepare aeronautical engineers with the much-needed skills to thrive in such a collaborative and inclusive environment at work. Aerospace Engineering programs should be able to help students be successful at work in solving complex engineering problems, such as designing aircraft and more.

Here’s a video about how much aerospace engineers make:

Are Aerospace Engineering Students Satisfied and Happy at Work?

General Score for Job Outlook: 8/10

Aerospace engineers may not be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to career options, but they are amongst those who find substantial happiness in their occupation. With a 3.4 star rating out of 5, they place themselves within the upper third percentile range with regards to overall satisfaction and enjoyment levels from job performance.

This tends to be the trend for most engineering programs, like computer engineering, software engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering.

Real-World Examples: How Do Graduates of Aerospace Engineering Degree Program Fare In The Real World?

Accordingly, Aerospace Engineering courses are deemed to be challenging. However, learning them undeniably solve complex engineering problems such as flight mechanics, spacecraft systems, systems engineering, fluid mechanics, gas dynamics, structural design, and structural dynamics. The technical electives that come with an aerospace engineering program also prove to be challenging.

However, it should be noted that all of these course in an Aerospace Engineering Program will prepare students to gain practical experience in Aerospace Engineering.

I turned to Reddit for some clues on how learning these things helped them in the real world of work. Here’s what I got, among others:

How Hard Is Aerospace Engineering?

Is it really that hard? These students have this to say:

An Advice to Aerospace Engineer Wannabes

This one is lengthy but sounds like a good advice for anyone who would want to engage himself into an Aerospace Engineeering Program:

What Hiring Managers Are Looking For From Aerospace Engineers?

What follows are practical advices that can guide you in the job hunting process after completing the Aerospace Engineering Degree:

Getting Jobs Other Than Aerospace Engineering

Apparently, getting into lucrative jobs in the aviation industry will not only cater to those with a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, as this Reddit user has shared:

Is Aerospace Engineering Degree for You?

Before you decide to take up an Aerospace Engineering program, it’s important to consider whether or not it’s the right fit for you. Aerospace Engineering is a challenging field that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Here is a checklist to help you make a decision:

INTEREST: Do you have a genuine interest in aerospace?
JOB PROSPECTS: Are there good job opportunities in the field of aerospace engineering?
REQUIRED SKILLS: Do you possess the necessary skills to become an aerospace engineer? (Required skills)
CURRICULUM: Is the aerospace engineering curriculum something that you would like to pursue?
COST: Will the cost of pursuing an aerospace engineering degree fit within your budget?
TIME COMMITMENT: Are you willing to commit the required amount of time to complete an aerospace engineering degree program? 
PREREQUISITES: Have you completed the prerequisite courses necessary for the aerospace engineering program?
ACCREDITATION: Is the aerospace engineering program accredited by the relevant authorities?
FACULTY: Do you believe the quality of faculty teaching the aerospace engineering program is satisfactory?
CAREER GOALS: Does obtaining an aerospace engineering degree align with your long-term career goals? (Career goals)

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then software engineering may be the right career for you. You may want to consider a different career path if you answered no to any of these questions.

Tips for Choosing the Best Aerospace Engineering Schools

To choose the best aerospace engineering school, consider accreditation, faculty research, available resources, internship opportunities, location, reputation, and cost. Look for accredited programs with experienced faculty, access to research facilities, and partnerships with aerospace companies.

Consider schools located in areas with a high concentration of aerospace companies and research centers. Look into the reputation of the program, including alumni employment and rankings. Finally, consider the cost of tuition and financial aid options.

All of these factors will help you select the best aerospace engineering school for your needs and career goals.

Pros and Cons of an Aerospace Engineering Degree

Before committing to an aerospace engineering degree, you should consider the pros and cons of this field.

Pros include high salaries, interesting work, and job security. Aerospace engineering graduates can also find opportunities in a variety of industries such as defense, robotics, avionics, computer science, and space exploration.

Cons include long working hours, complex problem-solving, and the need to stay up-to-date with technological advances. Also, aerospace engineers typically have a difficult time finding jobs outside of their field due to the specialized skills they possess.

FAQs about Aerospace Engineering Degree

Q: Are Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Just the Same?

A: No. While aerospace engineering involves many of the same principles and technologies as mechanical engineering, it is an independent field of study with its own unique focus. Aerospace engineering focuses on the design, construction, testing, and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft.

Q: What skills do I need to be an aerospace engineer?

Aerospace engineers need strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as a solid foundation in math and physics. They also need to be able to work collaboratively in teams and communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.

Q: What industries employ aerospace engineers?

Aerospace engineers may work in a variety of industries, including commercial aviation, military defense, space exploration, and satellite communications. They may also work for government agencies, such as NASA or the Department of Defense.

Final Verdict for Aerospace Engineering Degree

Here’s my final assessment of this degree

Salary: 11/10

Aerospace Engineering graduates can fairly expect decent pay over the coming years, which makes it an attractive college degree for those who want to pursue a successful career in the aerospace industry

Satisfaction: 8/10

Based on my research, aerospace engineers seem to be happy and satisfied at work. With this alone, aerospace engineering can be a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Demand: 8/10

There are many opportunities available in the aerospace engineering industry, both in the private and public sectors. This makes it an attractive degree for those who are looking to break into this exciting field.

X-Factor: 8/10

The x-factor of an aerospace engineering degree is the combination of technical knowledge and critical thinking skills that allow graduates to tackle complex problems and develop innovative solutions in the field of aerospace engineering. This x-factor includes the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams, to apply knowledge of physics and mathematics to real-world problems, and to adapt to rapidly changing technologies and demands in the industry. Aerospace engineering graduates also bring a passion for exploration and discovery to their work, which drives innovation and advances in the field.

 aerospace engineering final score: 8.75/10

Final Score: 8.75/10

Whether or not pursuing an aerospace engineering degree is a wise decision depends on several factors, including your interests, career goals, and personal circumstances. If you have a passion for space exploration, aviation, and technology, and are interested in pursuing a career in a dynamic and cutting-edge field, then aerospace engineering may be a great fit for you.

However, it’s important to note that aerospace engineering is a challenging and rigorous degree program that requires a strong foundation in math, physics, and materials science, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It can also be a relatively expensive degree program, with high tuition costs and a significant time commitment.

Before deciding to pursue an aerospace engineering degree, it’s important to consider your career goals and whether an aerospace engineering degree will help you achieve those goals. It may be helpful to research the job market for aerospace engineering graduates in your area, as well as to talk to professionals in the field to gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that come with a career in aerospace engineering.

So, is an aerospace engineering degree worth it?

Alternatives to Aerospace Engineering Degree

Mechanical engineering: Mechanical engineering is a broad field that covers many of the same principles as aerospace engineering, including thermodynamics, materials science, and control systems. Mechanical engineers may work on the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft, as well as other mechanical systems and devices.

Electrical Engineering: Electrical engineering is another broad field that can be applied to aerospace and other industries. Electrical engineers may work on the design and development of communication systems, navigation systems, and other electronic systems used in aircraft and spacecraft.

Computer Science: Computer science is becoming increasingly important in the aerospace industry, as more and more systems and processes are automated and controlled by software. Computer science graduates may work on the design and development of software systems used in aerospace and related industries.

Physics: Physics is the foundation of many engineering disciplines, including aerospace engineering. Physicists may work on the design and development of new materials and technologies used in the aerospace industry, as well as on the modeling and simulation of complex systems and processes.

Digital certifications can also be a viable alternative to a traditional degree program in aerospace engineering or related fields. These certifications are typically offered by online learning platforms or professional organizations, and can provide targeted training in specific areas of aerospace engineering or related disciplines.

For example, there are digital certifications available in areas such as aircraft maintenance, avionics, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

These certifications may cover topics such as aerodynamics, propulsion systems, flight controls, and more. Digital certifications can be a more cost-effective and flexible option than a traditional degree program, as they can be completed entirely online and often require less time and money to complete. However, it’s important to note that digital certifications may not carry the same weight as a traditional degree program in some industries or job markets, so it’s important to research the specific requirements and expectations of potential employers before pursuing a digital certification as an alternative to a degree program.

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