For aerospace engineers, working with aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and rockets is a luxury. They develop new techniques and technologies to improve current systems. It might be a truly great career choice.
How challenging is aerospace engineering, though? What level of education is necessary for aerospace engineering?
Yes, it is challenging to pursue a career in aircraft engineering. But if math and science are your strong suits, this might be the course for you.
In this post, we’ll talk about what aeronautical engineering comprises, how difficult it is, and what it’s like to work in the field.
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What is Aerospace Engineering?
Aerospace engineering is the study and practice of designing aircraft, rockets, satellites, and spacecraft. Basically, any aircraft. It necessitates an understanding of physics, mathematics, computer programming, materials science, propulsion systems, and aerodynamics.
An “aerospace engineer” is someone who designs, constructs, tests, and operates spacecraft, missiles, rockets, and other objects that are meant to soar through the air. Additionally, engineers working in the aerospace industry contribute to the creation of fresh tools and technology.
Propulsion systems, guidance and control, structures, avionics, thermal protection, flight dynamics, materials, and safety are a few examples of the specializations available to aerospace engineers. They might even work on initiatives related to aeronautics, satellite technology, or rocketry.
Aerospace engineering may be the ideal profession for you if you enjoy using your hands to create, construct, test, and fly aircraft.
Is Aerospace Engineering Hard?
Because it is a very sophisticated discipline, aerospace engineering is challenging. Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, statistics, thermodynamics, fluid physics, and many other topics will be covered in your classes.
In order to apply the complex ideas from these disciplines to real-world issues, you’ll need to grasp them. It will take a lot of work and preparation.
Aerospace engineers also need to be able to use their knowledge to solve challenging mathematical puzzles. You’ll need to hire a tutor, join study groups, and/or find other ways to obtain more support if math and science aren’t your strong suits.
To earn a degree in aerospace engineering, you will deal with subjects like:
- Propulsion systems (including jet engines)
- Guidance and control, structures (like wings, fuselages, and landing gear)
- Avionics (electronics)
- Thermal protection
- Flight dynamics (how aircraft move through the air)
- Materials (such as composites)
- Safety (things like parachutes).
All of these subjects and more will be important to understand. So that you can solve issues, you’ll need to fully comprehend them.
Spacecraft that go through space must be built to resist harsh environmental conditions, such as heat, cold, pressure, and others. Aerospace engineers are in charge of developing these vehicles.
Spacecraft that land on planets and moons are likewise designed by and built by aerospace experts. Aside from that, they produce the tools that astronauts use in space. Additionally, weather forecasting, defense, and research initiatives may be undertaken by aerospace engineers.
In the initial years of a major in engineering, there are certain parallels between the fundamental engineering courses in mechanical, chemical, aerospace, and other engineering disciplines. Student enrollment in specialist aerospace engineering courses begins in the third and fourth years, though.
To become fully educated in aircraft engineering takes years of study. You’ll also need to continue learning about new technologies after you’ve acquired this knowledge. Because technology is developing so quickly, there is always something new to learn.
Why Study Aerospace Engineering?
One might wish to pursue aerospace engineering for a variety of reasons. Others select this degree to develop spaceships or airplanes, while some choose it to become astronauts.
Some students choose to major in aerospace engineering because they believe it is a great way to combine their passion for science and math with a well-paying career. Others simply desire an engaging and thrilling activity.
In the classroom and through projects and laboratories, you’ll learn about the most recent innovations in technology and apply them to real-world scenarios. By working part-time and interning at various businesses while you are a student, you can also get important industry experience.
Aerospace Engineering vs Mechanical Engineering: What’s Different?
In particular, in the freshman and sophomore years when students are taking the foundational courses for engineering majors, studying aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering will be comparable.
They may continue taking some classes that are comparable throughout their junior and senior years, but they will also start separating into advanced specialist courses.
For instance, students of mechanical engineering (ME) and aerospace engineering (AE) both study fluid dynamics, but AE students also enroll in a more challenging high speed fluid course to learn about supersonic air.
The senior project is typically what sets apart mechanical engineering students from aeronautical engineering students. Typically, AE students will end up designing aircraft, whereas ME students will have more possibilities.
Mechanical engineers may find employment at an aircraft company when it comes to careers and workplaces, but not the other way around. It’s uncommon to find graduates of aerospace engineering programs working for non-aerospace companies because AEs are more specialized.
ME graduates have a wider range of employment options. They might work in any industry, including non-aerospace sectors like manufacturing, transportation, and construction. If a ME decides they want to work in aerospace, they can look for a firm to work for and begin to learn more about the industry there.
How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make?
The average annual salary for an aeronautical engineer is $122,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of job openings is also increasing by 8% annually.
Aerodynamics, propulsion systems, structures, flight control systems, and guidance, navigation, and control systems are just a few of the areas in which an aeronautical engineer works. They could create brand-new engine prototypes, build new aircraft parts, or enhance current ones.
Some engineers working in the aircraft industry have areas of expertise, such as avionics or airframe design. Others concentrate on particular types of aircraft, such as military or passenger jets.
Is Aerospace Engineering a lot of Math?
Yes! Math is important in aerospace engineering. If you don’t comprehend basic algebra, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, and linear algebra, earning an AE degree will be exceedingly challenging.
- Related article: How Hard is Calculus?
It’s crucial to keep in mind that a lot of these ideas cross over into other STEM fields, including physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science. However, aerospace engineering faces a variety of particular difficulties.
The largest difficulty is that there are so many different fields involved in the topic that it is difficult to keep track of everything.
The good news is that there are different approaches to learning arithmetic, as well as using university resources for assistance. Additionally, you can hire a math tutor through your institution or online resources. Since you’re all in the same situation, start or join a study group for arithmetic with your peers.
Is Aerospace Engineering Stressful?
Because of the length of time required for study and the difficulty of the subject matter, aerospace engineering can be demanding. Because they were on the verge of failing out, many AE students will leave the program, fail, or switch to an other major.
Dave Schultz, a Georgia Tech AE graduate, said that 80-90% of his classmates in aerospace engineering didn’t graduate with an AE degree. He added, “Georgia Tech students are some of the smartest students in the world, with some never having seen a C in their lives. But then they got to Georgia Tech’s AE courses and they were some of the hardest they’ve ever seen.”
Is Aerospace Engineering Hard?
Aerospace engineering is challenging. Success in the industry necessitates a great deal of commitment, originality, and brainpower. But once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll be able to make a good living and lead a comfortable life.
For more on other majors check out these articles: