How to Become an Aeronautical Engineer

How to Become an Aeronautical Engineer
How to Become an Aeronautical Engineer

Learn how to work as an aeronautical engineer. Also, learn about the requirements for applying for aeronautical engineering credentials, such as a P.E. license. The minimum educational requirement for an entry-level job as an aerospace engineer is a 4-year bachelor’s degree in engineering or applied science. However, most advanced specialist engineers in the aerospace industry have at least a master’s degree. Aeronautical engineering is a branch of aerospace engineering that uses physics, mathematics, and other sciences to build airplanes.

Aeronautical engineers ensure that propulsion systems are functioning correctly and that an aircraft’s aerodynamic performance is adequate. A bachelor’s degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering is required for aspiring aeronautical engineers, while other related fields may suffice. Although no license is required for entry-level aerospace engineers, higher-level professions may require a P.E. or professional engineering license.


How to Become an Aeronautical Engineer


Aerospace Engineer Job Duties

The job duties of aerospace engineers will vary according to the kinds of jobs that they take. Duties may include:

  • Designing parts of new aircraft
  • Researching and improving safety features
  • Examining previous safety failures to improve aircraft
  • Studying fuel efficiency techniques
  • Creating more aerodynamic craft
  • Training other staff members in aircraft operation and repair


Aerospace Engineering: Requirements

  • Degree Level: Bachelor’s degree
  • Degree Field(s): Aeronautical or aerospace engineering or related major from an ABET-accredited program
  • Licensure/Certification:  Professional Engineering license may be required
  • Experience: None
  • Key Skills: Math and science aptitude; attention to detail, and problem-solving skills
  • Job Outlook (2019-2029): 3% growth
  • Median Annual Salary (2019):  $116,500 (for aerospace engineers)


Aerospace Engineering: Education

To become an aeronautical engineer, candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, commonly in aerospace or aeronautical engineering (ABET). It can take 4-5 years to complete a program. Students often begin their studies by taking essential math, chemistry, and physics courses. Most programs also require students to conduct basic laboratories to test engineering fundamentals related to flight and propulsion.

Once students have fulfilled their core prerequisites, they can enroll in more rigorous seminars that cover anything from airplane body aerodynamics to cockpit electrical systems. For example, students can explore aircraft sensors and electrical components and wing structures and flaps after learning the foundations of flying and stability control. Programs may also include training in aviation power generation, such as combustion engine design.

Students in a bachelor’s degree program in aerospace or aeronautical engineering typically take lab and design courses during their senior year. These classes may necessitate research on topics like construction materials and wing design. In addition, students may be responsible for simulating flight and altering places where methods do not perform effectively while completing their tasks. Students can then use their expertise to modify models, test designs, and prepare class presentations.


Professional Engineering (P.E.) Licensing

To become licensed professional engineers (PEs) in their state, graduates must pass two exams and have four years of work experience. After completing the first Fundamentals of Engineering (F.E.) exam, which can be taken after graduation, they can use the title of EIT or engineer in training. EITs must also complete four years of on-the-job training before taking the P.E. exam to get certified as professional aeronautical engineers.


Employment & Salary for Aeronautical Engineers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for aerospace engineers are expected to grow at a slower-than-average rate of 3% from 2019 through 2029. According to the BLS, aerospace engineers, including aeronautical engineers, earned median annual pay of $116,500 in May 2019.


Top Employers Mean Annual Salary

  • Technical and Trade Schools $130,810
  • Scientific Research $127,800
  • Product Manufacturing $125,100
  • Navigational Instruments Manufacturing $124,960
  • Management of Companies $121,690


State Highest Paying States Mean Annual Salary

Washington, D.C. $140,710
Maryland $135,400
Texas $126,740
Colorado $125,070
California $125,000


Professional Organizations

As an aeronautical engineer, you will have the opportunity to join a number of professional organizations to connect with others working in the same field, learn about new technologies and industry advancements, and more. These organizations include:

  • The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • SAE International
  • Sigma Gamma Tau: National Aerospace Engineering Honor Society


What Degree Do You Need to Become an Aerospace Engineer?

You might be shocked to learn that aerospace engineers do not need a master’s degree; a bachelor’s degree will suffice if the prospective engineer receives licensure. However, some aerospace engineers may pursue a master’s or other higher degree depending on their career requirements.

However, these professionals must get a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering because only these highly specialized programs will meet the training criteria for aerospace engineers. Therefore, if you are looking into a similar program, for instance, one titled ”Aviation” rather than ”Aerospace Engineering,” look very carefully to ensure that your chosen program will still prepare you for your desired career.


How Long Does it Take to Become an Aerospace Engineer?

Bachelor’s degree programs in aerospace engineering tend to be slightly longer than most other undergraduate programs, taking four or five years to complete. After completing this degree, prospective aerospace engineers will need to get P.E. licensing, which takes four years of training. A dedicated student could become a fully licensed aerospace engineer in eight years.


What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an Aeronautical Engineer?

Aeronautical engineering training requirements consist only of a relevant bachelor’s degree and a P.E. license. These engineers will receive further training upon getting any given job, but they will be expected to be highly competent in their field before that point.


Aeronautical engineers

need a bachelor’s degree in aerospace or aeronautical engineering. , as of May 2019, they earned a median salary of $116,500 a year.