What They Do
Aerospace Engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and space
exploration, often specializing in areas such as structural design, guidance, navigation and
control, instrumentation and communication, or production methods. They often use Computer-
Aided Design (CAD) software, robotics, and lasers and advanced electronic optics to assist them.
They also may specialize in a particular type of aerospace product, such as commercial transports,
military fighter jets, helicopters, spacecraft, or missiles and rockets. Aerospace Engineers may be
experts in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, or
guidance and control systems.
Aerospace Engineers typically are employed within the aerospace industry, although their skills
are becoming increasingly valuable in other fields. For example, Aerospace Engineers in the motor
vehicles manufacturing industry design vehicles that have lower air resistance, increasing fuel
efficiency in vehicles.
Formulate conceptual design of aeronautical or aerospace products or systems to meet
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.
What They Do
Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities
California’s Job Outlook and Wages
Where Do I Find the Job?
Where Can the Job Lead?
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