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Details for Aerospace Engineers


Perform a variety of engineering work 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.


  • Formulate conceptual design of aeronautical or aerospace products or systems to meet customer requirements.
  • Direct and coordinate activities of engineering or technical personnel designing, fabricating, modifying, or testing of aircraft or aerospace products.
  • Develop design criteria for aeronautical or aerospace products or systems, including testing methods, production costs, quality standards, and completion dates.
  • Plan and conduct experimental, environmental, operational and stress tests on models and prototypes of aircraft and aerospace systems and equipment.
  • Evaluate product data and design from inspections and reports for conformance to engineering principles, customer requirements, and quality standards.
  • Formulate mathematical models or other methods of computer analysis to develop, evaluate, or modify design according to customer engineering requirements.
  • Write technical reports and other documentation such as handbooks and bulletins, for use by engineering staff, management, and customers.
  • Analyze project requests and proposals and engineering data to determine feasibility, productibility, cost, and production time of aerospace or aeronautical product.
  • Review performance reports and documentation from customers and field engineers, and inspect malfunctioning or damaged products to determine problem.
  • Direct research and development programs.
  • Evaluate and approve selection of vendors by study of past performance and new advertisements.
  • Plan and coordinate activities concerned with investigating and resolving customers' reports of technical problems with aircraft or aerospace vehicles.
  • Maintain records of performance reports for future reference.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Physics - 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.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • 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.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Related Careers

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  • Electrical Engineers
  • Engineering Managers
  • Industrial Engineering Technicians
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Marine Architects
  • Marine Engineers
  • Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
  • Petroleum Engineers
Wages for this career
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