Aerospace Engineering
Aerospace engineering is a new advanced professional degree program designed specifically for toady's modern engineering world. It is intended for recent engineering graduates and working engineers desiring a broader graduate experience that emphasizes and applications focused engineering education, as well as for seasoned engineers who want to increase their opportunities for career enhancement but may not be able to take full time away from work. The study of this field encompasses the fields of aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Aerospace engineers work in teams to design, build, and test machines that fly within the earth's atmosphere and beyond. This field of engineering draws from such subjects as physics, mathematics, earth science, aerodynamics, and biology. Some aerospace engineers specialize in designing one complete machine; perhaps a commercial aircraft like the Boeing passenger planes. Where others focus on separate components such as for the missile guidance systems.
The roots of aerospace engineering can be traced as far back as to when people first dreamed of being able to fly. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese developed kites and later experimented with gunpowder as a source of propulsion. In the fifteenth century, Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci created drawings of two devices that were designed to fly. Then later in 1783, Joseph and Jacques Montgolifier of France designed the first hot-air balloon that could be used for manned flight. In 1903 the first mechanically powered and controlled flight was completed in a craft designed by the Wright Brothers (Cosgrove 58-69).
High school students that are interested in an aerospace career should follow a college preparatory program. Main emphasis should be put on mathematics, science, computers, and English. Important electives include mechanical drawing and industrial arts, but most colleges want their students to have completed the following courses in high school: four years of English; two years (minimum) of science, including physics, chemistry, and biology; three years of history, including social studies; and mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Then as you enter college, take courses that would take you in depth regarding aerospace engineering. Courses like propulsion, fluids and flight mechanics, thermodynamics, structures, celestial mechanics, acoustics, guidance and control (Cosgrove 58-69).
Bachelor's degree is required for entry into this field, but many aerospace engineers, however, complete master's degree and even doctoral work before entering this field. Advanced degrees can significantly increase an engineer's earnings. Those who are planning to earn advanced degrees should enroll in a bachelor's degree program in aerospace engineering that has been accredited by the Accreditation board of Engineering and Technology. Advanced degree programs are generally restricted to only these who hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited program.
To launch a successful career in the aerospace field, you'll need to develop practical knowledge, get the right education, involve yourself in related activities, and meet the right contacts. Employment in the aerospace industry has been down for many years. Between 1989 and 1995, over 500,000 aerospace jobs were lost. The aerospace industry has gone through difficult times since the late 1980s, and more job losses are predicted for the immediate future. Nevertheless, the aerospace industry remains vital to the health of the national economy. Advances in aircraft design, which have produced quieter and more fuel-efficient aircraft, will make them attractive to airlines seeking to replace their increasingly aging fleets. The growing Asian economy will also bring increasing orders for new aircraft, employment opportunities within aerospace will remain intensely competitive, however. Manufacturers and government agencies will seek only the top students to fill openings that will result as engineers retire or switch to others areas of employment (Aerospace Engineering 168-172).
Many days, starting salaries for aerospace engineers employed by private industry depend greatly on the level or education you have attained. Engineers with bachelor's degrees generally receive starting salaries of about $31,800 per year. With a master's degree, it may rise to about $38,000 per year, and with doctoral degrees, some many engineers start at $54,000 a year. With experience, the salary goes up. The average experience engineers is about $56,700, some with supervisory and managerial responsibilities can earn even higher, from $70,000 to $102,000 per year. Those who employed by the federal government generally learn less than those in the private industry, with an average salary for