Aerospace

Aerospace

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Aerospace Engineering

As an aerospace engineer, you might work on a new spacecraft tasked with bringing crew to the International Space Station. Or, you might be involved in developing a new generation of space telescopes, the source of some of our most significant cosmological discoveries. But outer space is just one of many realms to explore as an aerospace engineer. You might develop commercial airliners, military jets, or helicopters for our airways. And getting even more down-to-earth, you could design the latest ground and sea transportation, including high-speed trains, racing cars, or deep-sea vessels that explore life at the bottom of the ocean.

Meet Joan Higginbotham at Collins Aerospace, an electrical engineer, rocket scientist and astronaut whose job took her out of this world!

Overview1

$118,610

Median salary

61,400

Number of jobs in 2020

8%

Expected job growth in next 10 years

Jobs and education

4-year degree:

  • Build a more spacious airliner
  • Create satellites that detect drought around the world
  • Design robots that collect samples on other planets, revealing insights about our galaxy
  • Develop parachutes, using new materials to improve their performance
  • Design and develop new Earthbound vehicles like deep-diving vessels for oceanographic research or high-speed rail systems for safe and energy-efficient transportation.

2-year degree:

  • Maintain, repair and inspect aircraft to ensure passenger safety.
    Oversee the assembly, installation, and other manufacturing operations in the creation of airplanes, satellites, and other produced products.
  • Test avionics equipment using specialized equipment to ensure that products meet quality specifications.

In their lifetimes, aspiring aerospace professionals are likely to see space colonization, space-based solar power stations, an active search for extraterrestrial life, and the ability to travel to any point on Earth in a matter of hours.

Real world engineering projects

James Webb Telescope

Webb will be the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space. With it we may be able to answer the age old questions of “How did we get here? Are we alone in the universe? How does the universe work?”

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Activities

Flight Test

Design a plane that glides down a zipline the fastest.

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Balloon Flinker

See if you can make a balloon flink–neither float away nor sink!

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