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What type of things do aerospace engineers do?

I'm a current high school student interested in engineering. I was curious about the types of things aerospace engineers do. Is it mostly Computer Aided Design? Do you visit launch sites? Do you oversee construction of things or do you work behind the scenes designing components on a computer? What educational qualifications do you need? Could you work for NASA? Is there a high demand for aerospace engineers at the moment? How different is it from aeronautical engineering?
I'll follow my passions regardless but I want to be more informed. :)
#engineer #aerospace-engineering #aerospace


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Marcia’s Answer

Hi Lisa,
Yes to all and more!


Here are some quick answers:
Is it mostly Computer Aided Design? Yes, most engineers need to learn this. But I don't use it. In my work I review the designs done by other engineers.
Do you visit launch sites? You would if you were involved with a project in that field. And if you had "need" to be there.

Do you oversee construction of things or do you work behind the scenes designing components on a computer? May be one or the other or both. You may have a job at a factory where your design (while you do it at the computer) is then produced "on the floor" of the factory. Many engineering design jobs are not at the same location where the item is to be built.

What educational qualifications do you need? Visit a college site and find the list of courses required. You can taylor to what you like. The common ones: math, science, physics, thermodynamics, drafting (these days CAD), chemistry, ceramics (materials), composites..... etc. etc.

Could you work for NASA? yes (see their website, also see FAA.gov site)
Is there a high demand for aerospace engineers at the moment? yes
How different is it from aeronautical engineering? as far as I know they are equivalent, just title variations.


Also - you can be any kind of engineer (mechanical, structural, electrical, etc) to work in the aerospace field. There is high demand for electrical, computer and software engineers. Getting that training with a focus on aerospace would be good.

What I do is aircraft certification. This means that designs need to meet the regulations for safety reasons. So you have to understand the designs and to know how to confirm that they will be safe.
Best wishes,
Marcia Smith


Your answer is so helpful, thank you! Your job sounds very interesting. I hope I learn a lot more about aircrafts in the future-- I feel so ignorant, but I'm glad to hear that engineering is so broad! Lisa P.

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