3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . Blast Off into an Aerodynamic Engineering Job

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Three . . . Two . . . One. It's time to launch and blast off into a new career in the aerospace industry. Aerodynamics is the study of the motion of air and how it affects objects. Aerodynamic engineers in the field of aerospace work on designing airplanes and rocket ships that are efficient and high tech. Understanding how air travels around and through objects (often called an air&ndash-flow field) allows for the examining of forces and moments acting on the object. Aerodynamic engineering principles are considered in many aspects of flight including performance, stability, control, dynamics, and flight mechanics.

Aerodynamic engineers take the principles of aerodynamics and apply them to ensure that their products (mostly for flight and space) are designed to be highly efficient. They may work on designing and manufacturing airplanes, jets, aircraft parts, rockets, and even space shuttles. Aerodynamic engineers can be expected to use a variety of resources and tools to calculate airframe aerodynamic qualities. They may take part in wind tunnel tests to study and understand aerodynamic characteristics and turn data into aerodynamic models. Aerodynamic engineers might develop and sustain flight simulation models. They participate in new developments as well as independent research. Aerospace engineers work on big projects for multi-billion-dollar companies. Some of the biggest aerospace companies in the United States, according to Forbes magazine, include: Boeing, General Dynamics, Goodrich, Lockheed Martin, Moog, Precision Castparts, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, and Teledyne Technologies.

Many aerodynamic engineering opportunities are found in military aerospace, or the government sector. The job being connected to the military doesn’t necessarily mean that employees have to be enlisted in the armed services. They may be civilians, but because of government confidentiality, they may be required to obtain certain security clearances.

The people working as aerodynamic engineers in the aerospace industry are smart. It takes some brains to be able to apply the dynamics of aerodynamic principles to a multi-million- (sometimes multi-billion-) dollar aircraft. And if you were the pilot of one of those high tech aircrafts, you’d want to be ensured that someone with some intelligence had your back when they designed the airplane you’re about to fly 40,000 feet high in the sky. An aerodynamic engineer needs to have a bachelor’s degree in science, a master’s degree, or a PhD in some sort of aerodynamic, aeronautical, or mechanical engineering field. More experience will get a higher-level job, with a bigger title and more responsibilities.

Salaries for an aerodynamic engineer, listed by experience, can expect to be around:
  • Less than one year experience $50,000 / year
  • 1–4 Years Experience $55,000 / year
  • 5–9 Years Experience $75,000 / year
  • 10–19 Years Experience $95,000 / year
  • 20 + Years $105,000 / year
Of course, there are many factors that come into play with salaries, such as location and region of the job, company size, industry, company’s annual revenue, sales and profit, and the person’s own background and experience.

So, to launch into a career as an aerodynamic engineer in the aerospace industry it takes smarts, a good education (a bachelor’s degree or higher), and a drive to work in a fast-paced high tech industry.

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Popular tags:

 Teledyne Technologies  Rockwell Collins  General Dynamics  Precision Castparts  principles  developments  engineering  methods  industry  Forbes

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