Let’s start with the basics. What, exactly, is aerospace engineering? At its simplest, it involves the design, manufacturing, and testing of aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and other aeronautical products. It’s innovative and rooted in exploration; it’s what has pushed us beyond our limits for decades (hello, NASA!), and it’s a field that is growing fast (just look at SpaceX or Ursa Major or Axiom Space or Pixxel).

So why should you be excited about working in this booming industry? Here are a few of our thoughts:

  1. You’ll work at the forefront of space exploration. Aerospace engineering specifically refers to the area of work that leads exploration outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. If you’re fascinated by space and want to help our world explore this new frontier, pursue work in aerospace!
  2. There are many options for hands-on, creative work across all sorts of roles in the industry. There are roles and specialties like aerodynamic or aeronautical engineering, drafting, aircraft and spacecraft design, flight systems testing, rocket engineering, data processing, and more! You’ll often work on a team in these jobs—often with other engineers, mathematicians, and scientists who are doing elements of these important tasks, each an important piece of the puzzle.
  3. You can help develop new technologies. Aerospace engineers explore both theoretical and practical concepts, applying this knowledge to the development of cutting-edge aerodynamic, aviation, defense system, and spacecraft technologies. Your love of physics and problem-solving can reach new heights in this work— literally!
  4. There’s work in commercial and governmental markets. Aerospace engineers are necessary for the design and development of the planes that take us all on our work trips or much-beloved vacations each year, as well as the aircraft that are currently being developed to take us to space or into combat, and everything in between. Their engineering expertise is needed to create safe, efficient travel from point A to B.
  5. You can contribute innovative ideas in this young and growing industry. If you enter this field of work, you will be helping shape the development of this relatively new branch of engineering. The work is in high demand as the industry expands, offering competitive salaries and room for growth in your career. Aerospace engineer employment will grow by about 6% from 2021 to 2031, making it one of the fastest-growing industries.

We hope this list inspires you to pursue a career in aerospace engineering—or another STEM field. Ready to learn more? Jump into Base 11 Digital to explore career pathways, access exclusive education, and get connected with peers and mentors!