What are the Different Types of Aerospace Jobs?

Patrick Roland
Patrick Roland
Some aerospace engineers help design and build spacecraft.
Some aerospace engineers help design and build spacecraft.

Aeronautics is the science of space flight and spacecrafts. There are many aerospace jobs in this field that cater to a wide range of skill sets and interests. Whether it involves designing crafts, teaching, test piloting or even sales, a career in the aerospace field can take people anywhere on the Earth or even into space. These jobs all work together to help advance the cause of exploring the solar system and the farthest regions of outer space.

The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aerospace engineers.
The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aerospace engineers.

One of the most popular aerospace jobs is working as an engineer. An aerospace engineer is responsible for thinking up and designing the aircraft and associated mechanical elements that travel through space, such as satellites. This job requires a strong understanding of physics, aerodynamics and math. This job also requires a firm understanding of materials, their physical properties and how they would react to space travel. Many times, the engineer also is responsible for overseeing the construction of prototypes of the designs.

Commercial jet pilots may operate aircraft like the Boeing 747.
Commercial jet pilots may operate aircraft like the Boeing 747.

After a prototype has been created, one of the most adventurous aerospace jobs is that of a pilot. A test pilot studies how well an aircraft responds to flight stress and helps engineers better understand how a craft will behave if launched into space. This job often is an excellent segue into the role of an astronaut. The physical and mental requirements to perform this role are great, but having an understanding of the aircraft is a major advantage.

Instrument panels are designed by engineers who have studied how humans process information.
Instrument panels are designed by engineers who have studied how humans process information.

Many aerospace organizations are government agencies, but many are private companies. When a new aircraft or product is created, private companies need to utilize a sales force to get these items onto the market. An aerospace salesman understands the finer points of space travel, knows the technical language and makes contacts with the organizations buying these products. It is the salesman's job to discuss the benefits of certain products and convince buyers of the advantage they provide. These aerospace jobs help propel the industry forward, earning revenues that are fed back into the company so that more innovations can take place.

Many pilots who live in rural areas fly for crop dusting services.
Many pilots who live in rural areas fly for crop dusting services.

Before any spacecraft is sold, designed or even conceptualized, education helps prepare individuals for aerospace jobs. An aerospace career as a teacher is centralized at a university and educates students on the basics necessary for space flight. Some colleges might employ specific professors for aerospace, but more frequently, they incorporate these lessons into engineering, physics and chemistry courses.

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    • Some aerospace engineers help design and build spacecraft.
      By: Mechanik
      Some aerospace engineers help design and build spacecraft.
    • The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aerospace engineers.
      By: SDASM Archives
      The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aerospace engineers.
    • Commercial jet pilots may operate aircraft like the Boeing 747.
      By: hallucion_7
      Commercial jet pilots may operate aircraft like the Boeing 747.
    • Instrument panels are designed by engineers who have studied how humans process information.
      By: pixel974
      Instrument panels are designed by engineers who have studied how humans process information.
    • Many pilots who live in rural areas fly for crop dusting services.
      By: Sly
      Many pilots who live in rural areas fly for crop dusting services.
    • Aeronautical engineers who work for defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, which built the stealthy F-22 Raptor, must usually pass background checks.
      By: dreamnikon
      Aeronautical engineers who work for defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, which built the stealthy F-22 Raptor, must usually pass background checks.