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Aerospace Engineer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Aerospace Engineers Career Video



Performs 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.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science, Technology, Engineering and Math pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Formulates mathematical models or other methods of computer analysis to develop, evaluate, or modify design, according to customer engineering requirements.
  • Plans or conducts experimental, environmental, operational, or stress tests on models or prototypes of aircraft or aerospace systems or equipment.
  • Formulates conceptual design of aeronautical or aerospace products or systems to meet customer requirements or conform to environmental regulations.
  • Plans or coordinates activities concerned with investigating and resolving customers' reports of technical problems with aircraft or aerospace vehicles.
  • Writes technical reports or other documentation, such as handbooks or bulletins, for use by engineering staff, management, or customers.
  • Directs or coordinates activities of engineering or technical personnel involved in designing, fabricating, modifying, or testing of aircraft or aerospace products.
  • Evaluates product data or design from inspections or reports for conformance to engineering principles, customer requirements, environmental regulations, or quality standards.
  • Develops design criteria for aeronautical or aerospace products or systems, including testing methods, production costs, quality standards, environmental standards, or completion dates.
  • Analyzes project requests, proposals, or engineering data to determine feasibility, productibility, cost, or production time of aerospace or aeronautical products.
  • Maintains records of performance reports for future reference.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Aeronautical Engineer --
  • Aerospace Stress Engineer -- Performs strength, stability, residual strength, fatigue, and fracture analyses of detail design of landing gear and flight control structural components using both computer modeling and analysis methods and classical calculation methods.
  • Avionics Engineer --
  • Design Engineer -- Researches and develops ideas for new products and production systems.
  • Flight Controls Engineer --
  • Flight Test Engineer --
  • Structural Analysis Engineer --
  • Systems Engineer -- Analyzes technical and business problems and recommends solutions to clients and engineers. Responsible for designing and implementing improvements to hardware and software of computers.
  • Test Engineer --