Best paying jobs for Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical and Space Engineering - Updated 2020

Because these jobs are highly desirable, candidates can expect competition for openings. Those with technical knowledge, strong communication skills, and years of related work experience, especially working on complex projects, will likely be in the best position to become managers. In addition, because architectural and engineering managers are involved in the financial, production, and marketing activities of their firm, business management skills can be beneficial for those seeking management positions.
Job Title 2018 median Pay Education Number of Jobs Job Outlook What they do
Architectural and Engineering Managers $140,760 Bachelor's degree 180,100 Employment of architectural and engineering managers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will largely reflect the growth of the industries in which these managers are employed. Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in architectural and engineering companies.
Petroleum Engineers $137,170 Bachelor's degree 33,700 Employment of petroleum engineers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Oil prices will be a major determinant of employment growth. Higher prices can cause oil and gas companies to increase capital investment in new facilities and expand existing production operations, along with exploration. Petroleum engineers design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface. Petroleum engineers also find new ways to extract oil and gas from older wells.
Natural Sciences Managers $123,860 Bachelor's degree 56,700 Employment of natural sciences managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth should be affected by many of the same factors that affect employment growth for the scientists whom these managers supervise. Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.
Physicists $119,580 Doctoral or professional degree 19,900 Overall employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Federal government spending for physics and astronomy research is not likely to grow as in past years, and this will dampen the need for physicists and astronomers at institutions heavily dependent on such funding. Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. Theoretical physicists and astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. Some physicists design and perform experiments with sophisticated equipment such as particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and lasers.
Aerospace Engineers $115,220 Bachelor's degree 69,600 Employment of aerospace engineers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Aircraft are being redesigned to cause less noise pollution and have better fuel efficiency, which will help sustain demand for research and development. In addition, as international governments refocus their space exploration efforts, new companies are emerging to provide access to space beyond the access afforded by standard governmental space agencies. Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. In addition, they create and test prototypes to make sure that they function according to design.
Computer Hardware Engineers $114,600 Bachelor's degree 73,600 Employment of computer hardware engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. A limited number of engineers will be needed to meet the demand for new computer hardware because more technological innovation takes place with software than with hardware. Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers.
Computer Network Architects $109,020 Bachelor's degree 162,700 Employment of computer network architects is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for computer network architects will increase as firms continue to expand their information technology (IT) networks. Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Intranets. These networks range from small connections between two offices to next-generation networking capabilities such as a cloud infrastructure that serves multiple customers.
Nuclear Engineers $107,600 Bachelor's degree 17,700 Employment of nuclear engineers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment is projected to decline in electric power generation, but projected to increase in research and development in engineering, and in management, scientific, and technical consulting services. Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. Many of these engineers find industrial and medical uses for radioactive materials—for example, in equipment used in medical diagnosis and treatment.
Software Developers, Applications $105,590 Bachelor's degree 1,256,200 Employment of software developers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software. Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
Chemical Engineers $104,910 Bachelor's degree 32,700 Employment of chemical engineers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for chemical engineers’ services depends largely on demand for the products of various manufacturing industries. Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.
Industrial Production Managers $103,380 Bachelor's degree 170,600 Employment of industrial production managers is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026. Most of these managers are employed in various manufacturing industries, and may experience growth or decline along with the industries in which they are employed. Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.
Electronics Engineers, Except Computer $99,070 Bachelor's degree 324,600 Overall employment of electrical and electronics engineers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The change in employment is expected to be tempered by slow growth or decline in most manufacturing industries in which electrical and electronics engineers are employed. Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, including broadcast and communications systems, such as portable music players and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.
Marine Engineers and Naval Architects $92,560 Bachelor's degree 8,200 Employment of marine engineers and naval architects is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The need to design environmentally friendly ships and systems to transport energy products, such as liquefied natural gas, across the globe will help to spur employment growth for this occupation. Marine engineers and naval architects design, build, and maintain ships, from aircraft carriers to submarines and from sailboats to tankers. Marine engineers are responsible for the internal systems of a ship, such as the propulsion, electrical, refrigeration, and steering systems. Naval architects are responsible for the ship design, including the form, structure, and stability of hulls.
Materials Engineers $92,390 Bachelor's degree 27,000 Employment of materials engineers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Materials engineers will be needed to design uses for new materials both in traditional industries, such as aerospace manufacturing, and in industries focused on new medical or scientific products. However, most materials engineers work in manufacturing industries, many of which are expected to have declines or little change in employment. Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a wide range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and biomedical devices. They study the properties and structures of metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, nanomaterials (extremely small substances), and other substances in order to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers $92,250 Bachelor's degree 7,300 Employment of mining and geological engineers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth for mining and geological engineers will be driven by demand for mining operations. In addition, as companies look for ways to cut costs, they are expected to contract more services with engineering services firms, rather than employ engineers directly. Mining and geological engineers design mines to safely and efficiently remove minerals such as coal and metals for use in manufacturing and utilities.
Health and Safety Engineers, Except Mining Safety Engineers and Inspectors $89,130 Bachelor's degree 25,900 Employment of health and safety engineers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as average for all occupations. As buildings, products, and processes continue to become more complex and new regulations are created, these engineers will be needed to reduce costs, save lives, and produce safe consumer products. Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to protect people from illness and injury and property from damage. They combine knowledge of engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other products will not cause harm to people or damage to property.
Biomedical Engineers $88,550 Bachelor's degree 21,300 Employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increasing numbers of technologies and applications to medical equipment and devices, along with the medical needs of a growing aging population, will require the services of biomedical engineers. Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.
Environmental Engineers $87,620 Bachelor's degree 53,800 Employment of environmental engineers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. State and local governments’ concerns regarding water availability and quality should lead to efforts to increase the efficiency of water use.  Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.
Mechanical Engineers $87,370 Bachelor's degree 288,800 Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be best for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.
Industrial Engineers $87,040 Bachelor's degree 257,900 Employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Firms in a variety of industries will continue to seek new ways to contain costs and improve efficiency. Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.