Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in aeronautical engineering and their coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Aeronautical Engineering
Engineering students can choose concentrations in either astronautics or aeronautics. A focus in additional areas, such as instrumentation, power systems, propulsion, or mechanical engineering, is also available.
No matter what concentration they choose, students are taught about ways of reading blueprints and applying engineering principles to various problems spanning multiple disciplines. Aeronautical programs usually provide an overview of thermal sciences, flight principles, electronics, and chemistry.
Students also become adept at conducting electrical and stress tests, among others, even as they interpret a variety of data types. Students not only learn to operate test equipment, but also gain knowledge about computer hardware and software employed in the collection and organization of test data. Before the culmination of the program, this knowledge is applied by students in the design of engineering tests for various potential situations.
Coursework in most programs focuses on rudimentary courses in material science, chemistry, energy transfer, thermodynamics, and material strength, in addition to study of aircraft controls, propulsion, and avionics. Aeronautical engineering coursework may also include topic areas such as:
•Active and non-destructive testing
•Orbital and supersonic flight
Job and Wage Outlook
A job growth rate of seven percent has been predicted for aerospace engineers over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $103,720 (BLS).
Employers for this position expect prospective candidates to hold at least a four-year degree. Job growth is expected to be driven mainly by national defense projects and meeting of noise restrictions and consumption guidelines by rebuilding current aircraft.
Continuing Education Choices
Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program that seek continuing education may enroll in master’s degree programs in aerospace engineering, which would be beneficial to those interested in becoming engineering professors, working in research and development, or expanding their knowledge of spacecraft and aircraft.
An advanced certificate or a second degree in mechanical engineering may also be sought by students; aerospace engineers commonly seek additional training in this area owing to the similarities between the fields (BLS).