The Advantages To Earning An Aerospace Engineering Degree
The field of engineering is a quickly expanding industry which has made significant advancements in recent years. New technology and evolving science fields have created multiple career opportunities for students with an interest in aerospace engineering. Aerospace engineering programs provide students with intensive knowledge regarding technology, structural design, physics, and mathematics. Students also gain specialized knowledge regarding aerodynamics, propulsion, acoustics, instrumentation, mechanics, communication systems, control systems, and the testing and manufacturing of aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. Many students choose to concentrate studies in specific aircraft, production methods, navigational equipment, or other aspects of the field.
Most colleges and universities have extended instruction beyond campus based programs with innovative online programs accessible from any location. Online programs feature virtually the same educational experiences as traditional, brick and mortar programs with several added benefits. Online programs generally offer an increased flexibility in course scheduling and 24 hour access to course materials. Additionally, online classes offer students a more personalized degree with increased interactions between other students and professors through one on one Internet chats. As many students manage work and family obligations in addition to educational responsibilities, the majority find pursuing an online degree is one of the most affordable, convenient, and efficient means of increasing knowledge necessary to advance professional goals.
What Students Learn Within An Aerospace Engineering Degree Program
Students within an aerospace engineering degree program gain a rigorous and extensive knowledge in engineering, math, computer science, and physics as well as specialized information related to the field of aerospace technology, design, and manufacturing. Most employers prefer candidates with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify for entry level employment though many prefer graduates with master’s degrees to qualify for research or managerial positions.
Many students begin studies within an associate degree program in the related discipline of engineering management to gain a basic understanding of the field. Associate level courses include: English composition, oral communications, issues in literature and culture, fundamentals of speech communication, history of architecture, critical thinking and ethics, introduction to philosophy, introduction to psychology, principles of economics, introduction to biology, energy in the natural environment, college Algebra, geometry, statistics, statistical methods, introduction to microcomputer usage, engineering and ethics, fundamentals of AC circuits, programming essentials, digital electronics, programming in C, instrumentation and measurement, fundamental properties of DC circuits, personal finance, electronics, micreconomics, macroeconomics, introduction to chemistry, technical writing, precalculus, physics, and an internship. Graduates who complete associate degree programs may gain entry level employment or continue studies within a bachelor degree program.
A bachelor degree program offers students an expanded understanding in the discipline of aerospace engineering as well as concentrated technical knowledge and means of refining skills necessary for employment. Bachelor level courses include: computing for engineers, college Algebra, introduction to aircraft structures and dynamics, engineering materials, chemistry, physics, electrical systems, process systems analysis, advanced engineering mathematics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, aerospace computational mechanics, aerodynamics, engineering design, flight vehicle dynamics, flight vehicle propulsion, aerospace design project, aircraft structures, aerospace control, computer aided design, aerospace practices, damage tolerance and airworthiness, wing design, instrumentation and avionics, advanced aerodynamics and turbulence, aircraft engines, control systems, advanced dynamics, composite structures, computers in fluids and energy, and an internship. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs may advance to employment or continue studies within master’s degree programs.
Master degree programs in aerospace engineering offer students specialized knowledge in the field as well as an intensive understanding of research methods. Courses at a masters level include: engineering dynamics, aerospace vehicle performance, engineering thermodynamics, manufacturing thermodynamics, manufacturing laboratory, mechanical engineering, fluid mechanics, heat transfer fundamentals, solid mechanics, dynamics of machines, strength of mechanical components, aerodynamics, experimental aerodynamics, aerospace structures, air condition, energy conservation in industry, steam and gas turbines, internal combustion engine fundamentals, design of thermal system, analysis for mechanical engineering design, mechanical engineering design, principles of automatic control, introduction to space flight, boundary layer theory, computational methods in aerodynamics, dynamics and controls, propulsion, rocket propulsion, principles of structural vibration, acoustic radiation, principles of mechantronic control, inertial navigation analysis and design, metrology for precision manufacturing, hypersonic aerodynamics, hydrodynamic stability and transition, space flight orbital mechanics, special topics in mechanical engineering, and an internship. Masters degree graduates may advance to employment or continue to doctoral degree programs.
Doctoral degree in aerospace engineering provides students with the ability to qualify as experts in the field. Courses within a doctoral degree program include: advanced mechanics of materials, experimental stress analysis, airframe analysis, numerical mesh generation, finite element analysis, automatic control of flight vehicles, compressible fluid flow, incompressible flow aerodynamics, viscous flow aerodynamics, applied wing theory, computational fluid mechanics and heat transfer, orbital mechanics, guidance and navigation of aerospace vehicles, systems engineering and analysis, avionics systems engineering, mechanics of composite and combined materials, wind engineering, turbulence, random signal analysis and Kalman filtering, optimal control, introduction to robust control, modern control systems, adaptive control, statistical thermodynamics, advanced conductive heat transfer, multivariate linear systems theory, robust control with convex methods, molecular gas dynamics, dissertation research, dissertation, and a clinical experience. Graduates from doctoral degree programs advance to research or teaching positions as experts in the field.
Prospective Jobs For Aerospace Engineering Degree Graduates
Graduates from aerospace engineering degree programs gain the skills, knowledge, and ability to advance to a number of careers within an evolving industry. Most graduates are required to complete a minimum of a bachelors degree to qualify for employment. Employment is also based upon other factors including level of experience, area/s of specialty, geographic location, and continuing education. Most associate degree graduates gain employment as aircraft mechanics, avionics equipment mechanics, or service technicians. Bachelor degree graduates generally advance to entry level positions as aerospace engineers, mechanical engineer, aeronautical engineers, or astronautical engineers. Graduates who complete master’s degree programs often work as aerospace engineers, design engineers, stress engineers, fluid engineers, project engineers, research and development engineers, principle investigators, manufacturing engineers, repair development engineers, turbine repair engineers, principle propulsion engineers, orbit analysts, dynamics engineers, instrumentation engineers, aircraft electrical design engineers, or vocational school instructors. Doctoral degree graduates gain employment as educators within colleges and universities, lead researchers within private or governmental facilities, or as consultants within self owned, private, or governmental agencies.
Salary Range For Graduates With Aerospace Engineering Degrees
Graduates who complete studies within aerospace engineering degree programs have wide ranging salaries dependent upon factors like: education level, organization of employment, area/s of specialty, and related work experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports average earnings for aerospace engineers range from $76,440 to $120,290 annually. Graduates who complete associate degree programs and work as aircraft mechanics and service technicians earn $43,660 to $62,280 annually. Bachelor degree graduates employed as mechanical engineers earn $59,230 to $94,400 annually. Graduates with master’s degrees who gain employment as aerospace engineers earn $76,440 to $120,290 annually. Doctoral degree graduates who gain employment as college or university professors earn $83,960 to $121,850 annually.
Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Aerospace Engineering Degree Graduates
Graduates with aerospace engineering degrees gain the qualifications necessary to advance as professionals within the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports job growth for aerospace engineers will increase by 11 percent through 2018 at an average rate in comparison to other occupations. Graduates who complete advanced degrees, gain work experience, and specialize studies within research, consulting, service, and development industries will find increased employability in comparison to graduates with less training, education, and experience.
Graduates who complete studies within associate degree programs often begin employment within entry level service or repair positions, gain experience, or continue education in order to advance to positions with greater responsibilities and higher salaries. Bachelor degree graduates often begin employment as aerospace engineers under close supervision or more experienced engineers and advance to positions with greater responsibilities upon gaining relevant knowledge and experience as technical specialists or managers supervising other engineers and technicians. Graduates with master’s degrees generally advance to employment as entry level engineering managers within smaller firms and advance to positions in larger companies with greater salaries and responsibilities upon gaining experience. Doctoral degree graduates often begin employment as instructors or researchers within vocational schools, colleges, or universities and may advance to positions as independent consultants within self owned or operated business upon gaining adequate funding and experience.