Career Path Forecast
According to the U.S. Department of Labor,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment aerospace
engineers is projected to decline 2 percent from 2014 to 2024. Aircraft are
being redesigned to cut down on noise pollution and to raise fuel efficiency,
which will help sustain demand for research and development. However,
growth will be tempered because many of these engineers are employed in
manufacturing industries that are projected to grow slowly or even decline.
Most of the work
of aerospace engineers involves national defense–related projects or the
design of civilian aircraft. Research-and-development projects, such as
those related to improving the safety, efficiency, and environmental
soundness of aircraft, should sustain demand for workers in this
engineers who work on engines or propulsion will continue to be needed as
the emphasis in design and production shifts to rebuilding existing
aircraft so that they are less noisy and more fuel efficient.
In addition, as
governments refocus their space efforts, new companies are emerging to
provide access to space beyond the access afforded by standard space
agencies. The efforts of these companies will include low-orbit and
beyond-earth-orbit capabilities for human and robotic space travel.
Unmanned aerial vehicles will create some opportunities for aerospace
engineers as authorities find domestic uses for them, such as finding
missing persons lost in large tracts of forest or helping to put out forest
Aerospace engineers who know how to use collaborative engineering tools and
processes and who are familiar with modeling, simulation, and robotics
should have good opportunities. Employment opportunities also should be
favorable for those trained in computational fluid dynamics software, which
has enabled companies to test designs in a digital environment, thereby
lowering testing costs. Finally, the aging of workers in this occupation
should help to create openings in it over the next decade..
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
Statistics. Photos are courtesy of NASA.