how much does a PhD in aerospace engineering make

Last Updated on August 30, 2023

You might find it interesting to learn how much a PhD in Aerospace Engineering makes. We’ve researched the average salary of a Aerospace Engineering PhD, or doctorate, based on location and work experience. You can choose to browse by location, occupation and the average annual salary of Aerospace Engineering PhD’s below.

Aerospace engineers, also known as aeronautical engineers, learn how to develop and test aircraft. The top five employers of aerospace engineer graduates are the Federal government, aerospace product and parts manufacturers, research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences sectors, state government and the state-wide government agencies.

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Why did you choose aerospace engineering? - Quora

what can you do with a PhD in aerospace engineering

Job TitleMedian Salary (May 2019)*Job Outlook (2019-2029)*
Postsecondary Engineering Teacher$101,0109%
Aerospace Engineer$116,5003%
Architectural and Engineering Manager$144,8303%
Mechanical Engineer$88,4304%
Industrial Engineer$88,02010%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Immigrate To Canada As An Aerospace Engineer - CanadianVisa.org

is a phd in aerospace engineering worth it

Overview of Careers Related to a PhD in Aerospace Engineering

1. Postsecondary Engineering Teacher

One of the best ways to utilize your PhD is to share your knowledge with others and become an engineering teacher of college or university courses. You’ll lead discussions and conduct seminars with undergraduate and graduate students while grading their assignments and exams. When you aren’t in a classroom, you’ll work on creating lesson plans and providing feedback for student papers and answering their questions in person or through email. Students who are majoring in aerospace engineering may receive your name as an advisor, which allows you to help them select the best courses for their plan of study. Outside of the school environment, you’ll attend academic conferences where you can share your research with colleagues from around the world.

2. Aerospace Engineer

A PhD in aerospace engineering is usually required to work in research and development. These engineers not only come up with the schematics for a potential product, they have to figure out if it’s financially and technically possible. You’ll need to meet the standards of your company/client, and ensure that the final product is good enough to pass the requirements of environmental and consumer law. Depending on your personal interests, you could also choose to become an astronautical engineer, which involves the design of technology and aircraft that operate outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

3. Architectural and Engineering Manager

After some time in the field and sharing your doctoral work in academic journals or industry trade publications, you could use your work experience and education to transition into a management position as an architectural or engineering manager. You’ll use what you have learned to create plans for new products within your company or organization and hire the right people to continue successful product design. When a new product enters the testing phase, you’ll need to spot any potential issues before it hits the market. Your design philosophy will extend to the rest of your staff, and you’ll need to reach across departments and coordinate your plans with those in other branches of your company.

4. Mechanical Engineer

Your engineering expertise and research from your PhD may lend well to designing some of the components that an aircraft uses. Mechanical engineers design thermal devices, as well as update them when new technology or design practices become available. During the prototype phase, you’ll test new devices and provide feedback to the rest of your company or clients to update them on the development process. When you determine the correct changes to make, you’ll make notes of them for the future, keeping a detailed log of each redesign and update. If something happens and the equipment fails, the investigation might be your responsibility. Many research and development programs in this field require a PhD, which could also help with staying abreast of new technologies.

5. Industrial Engineer

You could also choose to focus on the production side of aerospace engineering and take a position as an industrial engineer. This career involves plenty of review during the manufacturing process, ensuring that every piece of equipment is designed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Quality control is a major component of your job, and you’ll create standards to ensure that cost is minimized while production ramps up. You’ll discuss the details of your clients’ purchases, including specifications and any changes in cost. A PhD is typically required to work in research and development.

A PhD in aerospace engineering may open the door to several different fields as an engineer. You could design something yourself, or you might use your doctorate to focus on research and teaching.

The Complete Guide to Aerospace Engineering

PhD in aerospace engineering in USA Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • CAD technician
  • Design engineer
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Maintenance engineer
  • Manufacturing systems engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Mechanical engineer

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Automotive engineer
  • Control and instrumentation engineer
  • Patent attorney
  • Product designer
  • Production manager
  • Quality manager
  • Sales executive
  • Technical sales engineer
10 Countries With The Highest Aerospace Engineer Salaries | Naibuzz

Scope of MS in Aerospace Engineering in USA

The demand for graduates of MS in Aerospace Engineering in USA is not much. Only 1,900 jobs are expected to be created by 2029 according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can start working as an Aerospace Engineer immediately after getting a degree at entry-level positions. However, for further advancement in career, a Professional Engineering (PE) license is required. The process of acquiring this license is as follows:

  • Pass Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. A title of Engineer in Training (EIT) is given to them after passing this exam. 
  • Complete 4 years of on-the-job training.
  • Pass the PE exam.

Bachelors students can also apply for a Professional Engineering license. Aerospace Engineers work in aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft. They engage in manufacturing, analysis and design, research, and development for the federal government.

The chart shows the industries hiring aerospace engineers after a masters degree:Sectors hiring in MS Aerospace Eng. Graduates

masters in aerospace engineering salary

The table below shows the average annual salary for MS in Aerospace Engineering graduates in USA: 

TitlesAverage Annual Salary(in USD)
Aerospace Engineer100,000
Aerospace Technician79,300
Aeronautical Engineer85,700
Aircraft Manager96,500
Aircraft Mechanic76,500
Air traffic controller87,100
Aircraft Engineer92,600
Aircraft Quality Assurance106,000
Airlines Sales Manager85,000

An aerospace engineer helps design, maintain, test the performance of civil, military aircraft, missiles and satellite, and space vehicles meet the customer requirements.

aerospace engineer max salary

Salary for aerospace engineers differs from state to state. The following table shows the stats:

StateAverage Annual Salary (in USD)
California125,540
Texas122,570
Alabama115,820
Ohio112,480
Maryland127,330

One of the top US recruiters for aerospace engineers, SpaceX heading projects like Falcon 9 under its wing, offers vast opportunities to graduates. They hire graduates for mission management and space operations to Vehicle engineering. On average, an aerospace engineer earns 117,700 USD per year according to BLS. This makes MS in Aerospace Engineering a lucrative degree for students who aspire to fly high in the sky.

A Look at Aerospace Engineering Salaries Worldwide

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