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However, the two fields overlap a great deal because they both depend on the basic principles of physics.Aerospace engineers are employed in industries in which workers design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft.
Aerospace engineers who work on projects that are related to national defense may need a security clearance. Entry-level aerospace engineers usually need a bachelor's degree.
High school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take courses in chemistry, physics, advanced math, and computer programming and computer languages.
Aerospace engineers work with other professionals involved in designing and building aircraft, spacecraft, and their components.
Therefore, they must be able to communicate well, divide work into manageable tasks, and work with others toward a common goal. Engineers who direct projects must often work extra hours to monitor progress, to ensure that designs meet requirements, to determine how to measure aircraft performance, to see that production meets design standards, to participate in test flights and first flights, and to ensure that deadlines are met.
Aerospace engineers often become experts in one or more related fields: aerodynamics, thermodynamics, materials, celestial mechanics, flight mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, and guidance and control systems.
Aerospace engineers typically specialize in one of two types of engineering: aeronautical or astronautical. They are involved primarily in designing aircraft and propulsion systems and in studying the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction materials.
Much of the work done by aerospace engineers involves meeting federal government standards.
Meeting these standards often requires knowledge of standard business practices, as well as knowledge of commercial law.
They work primarily for firms that engage in manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and for the federal government.
Aerospace engineers now spend more of their time in an office environment than they have in the past, because modern aircraft design requires the use of sophisticated computer equipment and software design tools, modeling, and simulations for tests, evaluation, and training.