By Dan Tashlykov, BSME
Aerospace engineering is a field of study that combines the principles of mathematics, engineering, and science to develop, construct, and test aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.
This degree opens doors to exciting opportunities in exploration, research, and development. You can learn skills that give you the ability to design, manufacture, and maintain commercial and military aircraft and aerospace products. You can also gain hands-on experience with practical skills in computer simulation, aerospace robotics, aircraft systems integration, and much more.
With a master’s degree in aerospace engineering, you’ll be positioned to step into leadership roles in advanced aerospace projects and embark on an exciting career full of possibilities.
What is Aerospace Engineering?
Aerospace engineers apply principles of physics and mathematics to design, build, and maintain aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and other related technologies.
By pursuing an engineering master’s degree on top of an undergraduate education, students can gain even greater credibility and respect from employers, as well as the specialized knowledge required to work on complex projects such as satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and rockets. With extensive research and advancements being made each year, a degree in the aerospace industry is full of potential.
From aerospace testing and inspection to space exploration and systems management, this area of study prepares graduates for success in a wide range of high-paying positions. It’s the perfect foundation for engineers who wish to pursue further studies in aerospace, astronautical engineering, and beyond.
In the upcoming sections, we’ll dive into aerospace engineering on a deeper level and discuss concepts such as career potential, salaries post-graduation, coursework, and other key concepts. This includes all the critical information you’ll need to know if you wish to pursue a master’s in this rapidly expanding industry. Let’s jump right in!
Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Degree Programs
Pursuing an advanced degree in Aerospace Engineering opens up a world of exciting opportunities.
With a master’s, you can find yourself working on a variety of projects, ranging from space and aircraft design to analysis and manufacturing. As a master’s level graduate, you’ll have the capacity to develop and expand your professional knowledge in the field of aerospace engineering, gaining specialized skills for research, design, and technology development.
In this guide, we’ll take you through all that you need to know about finding the right online aerospace engineering master’s degree program.
From concentrations/specializations to what earning a master’s can do for your career, we’ll cover it all for aspiring aerospace engineers looking to follow their dreams.
Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Online Program Overview
A master’s in aerospace engineering is an advanced degree program designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to pursue a career in the aerospace industry.
During their coursework, students can expect to develop a thorough understanding of advanced aeronautical topics, including aircraft control systems and engineering design principles. Through lectures, laboratory experiments, and simulations, students will gain experience in the areas of flight mechanics, guidance and navigation, propulsion dynamics, propulsion systems, and advanced aircraft structures.
Pursuing an online MAE degree program can provide many benefits to those who wish to study from the comfort of their own homes. Students have the opportunity to pursue their studies at their own pace, allowing them to accommodate other commitments like work or family.
Additionally, remote learning offers increased flexibility for those living in rural or remote locations, making it much easier to access all the resources needed for success. With rigorous coursework, professional mentorship, and support from academic advisors, students who choose the online route can easily find their way to successful academic achievement.
There are numerous concentrations and specializations available to aerospace engineering master’s students:
- Aircraft Structures: Focuses on the design and evaluation of aircraft structures. Students learn about materials and manufacturing methods for aircraft, as well as stress analysis, fatigue and corrosion analysis, and other topics related to aircraft construction.
- Propulsion: Focuses on how rocket engines work, as well as the design of components like compressor systems and turbines. Students will also learn about fuel efficiency, emissions, and safety.
- Aerospace Vehicle Dynamics: Explores the systems used to define and control the motion of aircraft and spacecraft, including flight controls and navigation systems. Students will also learn about airplane stability, aircraft performance, and aircraft maneuvers.
- Aircraft Systems: Teaches the different components and systems used to plan, control and manage the performance of an aircraft. Topics include systems architecture, communication networks, navigation sensors, avionics systems, and aircraft safety systems.
- Aerospace Materials: Focuses on advanced materials used in aerospace engineering, such as composites, plastics, metals, and ceramics. Students will learn about materials testing, selection, and processing as applied to aerospace applications.
- Computational Aerospace Engineering: Walks through the use of numerical methods, programming, and computer simulations to analyze issues in aerospace engineering. Students learn about computational fluid dynamics (CFD), computational structural analysis, flight simulation, and more.
Why Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering?
Pursuing an online master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering can lead to a rewarding career as a professional engineer. With this degree, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of aeronautical and astronautical engineering principles and be prepared to work on projects related to aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and more.
The flexibility of online learning makes it possible for busy professionals to pursue their dreams without sacrificing their career or family commitments. Through coursework that covers topics ranging from propulsion design and analytical methods to avionics and systems integration, you can acquire the skills necessary to become a successful aerospace engineer.
As an additional benefit, earning an online master’s degree in aerospace engineering will give you access to a vast network of experienced engineers who are eager to share their expertise. From developing new aircraft technologies to creating innovative solutions for space exploration, you can engage your creative side and make an impact.
Using your aerospace engineering degree will open doors to dynamic positions in the field, with demand growing in the public, private, and government sectors.
When it comes to aerospace engineering, the sky is literally the limit – equip yourself with the qualifications and knowledge needed to achieve your goals and embark on a path toward meaningful success.
The Benefits of Earning an online master’s degree in aerospace engineering:
- Gain the specialized knowledge required to pursue a career in the field of aerospace engineering, such as aeronautical principles, advanced mathematics, and engineering principles.
- Learn to develop and design spacecraft, aircraft, and other objects used for air and space travel.
- Acquire the ability to make informed decisions related to safety, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability when designing aerospace systems.
- Expand your connections with peers and professionals in the aerospace engineering field.
- Develop problem-solving skills through hands-on training and working on complex projects.
- Become a more attractive job candidate by displaying competency in aerospace engineering-related fields.
Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Curriculum and Common Courses
With the world pushing toward further advancements in air and space travel, aerospace engineering has become a field of ever-expanding possibilities, as well as an incredible opportunity for those looking to make their mark on the future.
Pursuing a master’s degree in aerospace engineering requires not only an unparalleled commitment, but also the perseverance to follow through and complete a rigorous engineering curriculum.
In the following sections, we’ll be looking into the core courses that are typical for a master’s in aerospace engineering program.
Aerospace Engineering Curriculum
- Aerospace Structural Materials: Learn the principles of aerospace material science and the design and behavior of airframes and components.
- Aerospace Design: Study aircraft layout and structural design, including structural loading, aerodynamics, engine-mounting requirements, and design synthesis.
- Aerothermodynamics: Understand the flow of air and thermal properties over a body in motion, with applications to aircraft and missiles.
- Aerospace Propulsion: Investigate propulsion systems for aircraft and spacecraft, emphasizing engine systems and rocket technology.
- Flight Dynamics: Learn the principles of the three-axis control of flight and the mathematics of maneuvering flight around the earth.
- Astronautics: Explore the historical foundations, contemporary concepts, and future trends of spaceflight engineering.
- Avionics: Examine the performance and control of airborne systems, such as navigation, communication, autopilots, flight data recorders, automated weather systems, control systems, surveillance systems, and air traffic control.
- Aeroservoelasticity: Investigates the effects of flight-control models on an aircraft’s dynamic response to optimize performance.
- Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD): Learn the principles of computing fluid-flow problems, including meshing, numerical solution strategies, and interpretation of flow physics.
- Computational Structural Mechanics: Study the fundamentals of finite elements and finite difference analysis methods.
Aerospace Engineering Common Courses
- Aerodynamics – Focuses on the principles of airflow over wings and bodies in steady and unsteady flow systems. It examines the forces, moments, and performance characteristics associated with flight.
- Aerospace Propulsion – Investigates the basic theory and principles of rocket and jet propulsion systems, including design, analysis, and component testing. It also covers jet engine components, rocket motor design and analysis, chemical rockets, rocket performance, and related computer applications.
- Control Theory – Provides an overview of the basics of control system design and implementation, from classical analog control techniques to modern digital techniques. It looks at topics such as open loop, feedback, stability analysis, root locus techniques, frequency response techniques, digital control systems, and two degrees of freedom design.
- Aircraft Structures – Covers the concepts related to aircraft structural design, including component selection, stress analysis, fatigue analysis, buckling analysis, and finite element analysis (FEA). It also looks at issues related to material selection and manufacturing processes.
- Flight Dynamics – Examines the general principles of aircraft dynamics in both steady and dynamic conditions. Topics include aircraft attitude control, trajectory prediction, linearization, and aircraft response to external disturbances.
- Aircraft Design – Covers the fundamentals of aircraft design in terms of mission requirements, configuration optimization, and propulsion system integration. It examines a wide range of topics, such as configurational design techniques, structural-aerodynamic-propulsion integration, stability and control considerations, aircraft performance assessments, and regulations.
- Space Systems Engineering (SSE) – This course provides an overview of the principles of space systems engineering, from initial concept to mission completion. It looks at topics such as spacecraft design, mission planning, systems integration and testing (SI&T), and space launch technologies.
Accreditation for Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Degree Programs
Attending an accredited Aerospace Engineering Program is critical, as accreditation ensures that you receive a high-quality education that meets established standards of excellence.
The accreditation process includes a review of the curriculum, faculty, and facilities to ensure they meet rigorous academic requirements. Specific accreditations for a master’s in aerospace engineering degree program from organizations such as ABET help provide assurance that students receive comprehensive training in the profession with courses designed to meet their learning needs.
With the proper accreditation, you can feel confident about the quality of your graduate program and future job prospects.
ABET Accreditation is an essential factor to consider when exploring engineering programs. It’s a recognition awarded to degree programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology that meet high-quality standards established by the ABET organization.
ABET-accredited degree programs have been evaluated for their adherence to rigorous criteria related to curriculum, faculty qualifications, facilities and equipment, student curricular activities, and institutional support. For Aerospace Engineering professionals, attaining an ABET-accredited degree is critical for success in the field. ABET accreditation means that the program has been assessed according to industry standards and specifications – ensuring that graduates possess the skills required in this highly specialized profession.
An ABET-accredited degree also demonstrates to employers that you’ve received an education with rigor and intensive training in the field of Aerospace Engineering; it provides assurance to students that their program fulfills the expectations of the aerospace engineering industry and other professional organizations.
What Can I Do with a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering?
With a master’s degree in aerospace engineering, graduates can pursue an exciting and lucrative career path. Aerospace engineering is one of the most multifaceted and forward-thinking engineering disciplines that combines core principles and innovative technologies in the study of air and space transportation, allowing individuals to develop skills in aircraft design, testing, and operation.
Professionals with this degree can find job opportunities to become aeronautical engineers, aircraft designers, and research and development scientists. There are numerous opportunities for aviation professionals to embark on international projects with cutting-edge technology solutions.
Whether you are eager to explore the world or stay close to home, a career in aerospace engineering will certainly provide you with an unforgettable experience.
Aerospace Engineers use their engineering skills to design, develop and evaluate the performance of aircraft, spacecraft, and other related technologies.
Median Salary according to the BLS: $122,270
Aerospace Program Manager
Aerospace Program Managers lead teams in planning and directing the development of aerospace technology and manage the development of projects related to aerospace engineering and prototyping.
Average Salary according to the BLS: $154,900
Aerospace System Safety Analyst
Aerospace System Safety Analysts examine safety engineering systems to evaluate the design and effectiveness of aerospace products.
Median Salary according to the BLS: $122,270
Missile Test Engineer (Aerospace)
Missile Test Engineers assess the performance of weapons and defense systems prototypes and trial them to select the best ones for production.
Median Salary according to the BLS: $122,270
Aerospace Consultants provide advice on solutions related to air or space travel, ultimately optimizing risk mitigation methods while improving cost
Average salary according to the BLS: $112,100
Aerospace Engineer Researcher
Aerospace Engineer Researchers investigate materials, behavior, and manufacturing processes relating to aerospace and aviation products.
Median Salary according to the BLS: $122,270
How Much do Aerospace Engineering Graduates Make?
Aerospace engineering is a growing industry, as more innovative aircraft and spacecraft designs are needed to meet the needs of an evolving industry. Graduates of aerospace engineering programs can experience high earning potential in their chosen field.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aerospace engineers average an annual salary of $122,270 – making them some of the highest-paid engineers in the world. Furthermore, those pursuing careers in research, consulting, or management can expect even higher wages.
Starting Salary for Aerospace Engineering
A career in Aerospace Engineering can be very rewarding, with a competitive starting salary ranging from $70,000 – $85,000 per year, depending on experience and location. An entry-level professional in this field will typically start with an average salary of approximately $80,000 per year, with much room for growth. With specializations in the areas of propulsion, aerodynamic analysis, systems engineering, and more, experienced Aerospace Engineers can expect to make much higher salaries.
Average Salary for a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering
Individuals with a master’s in aerospace engineering can expect an average annual salary of $128,020 as of May 2021. This is significantly higher than the median national salary for all occupations, which was $58,260 in the same time period. Indeed, aerospace engineering remains one of the highest-paid fields in the discipline, particularly due to the high demand for skilled professionals and their ability to innovate solutions and technologies that are essential for business and government sectors. Professionals who are ambitious and highly skilled tend to receive annual bonuses, additional incentives, and promotions as well, making this field even more lucrative.
What’s the Most an Aerospace Engineering Graduate Makes?
Aerospace engineering is a highly sought-after profession that takes years of study and experience to reach the peak of one’s career. At its highest salary level, aerospace engineers can make over $168,370 annually, depending on their experience and the exact position they hold. In addition, many aerospace engineers receive annual bonuses that range from 3-15% of their base salary. For those in the upper echelons of the field, salaries can reach $200,000 or more. As with any job, salaries vary based on geographical location and demand for experienced aerospace engineers.
Tips for Increasing Salary Potential
Gaining an advantage in today’s competitive job market requires maximizing salary potential.
As an aerospace engineer, there are several ways to increase your salary potential and demonstrate your value as a professional. From networking to honing your skill set, there are specific steps you can take to stand out from the crowd and maximize your salary potential.
How to Increase Aerospace Engineering Salary Potential:
- Develop expertise in cutting-edge technologies needed for aerospace engineering projects. Take extra classes or research online to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in the field.
- Network with people working in the industry and build professional relationships that can lead to better job opportunities.
- Attend industry conferences and trade shows to make contacts and pick up tips from successful professionals in the field.
- Pursue additional relevant skills, such as communication and project management, to increase your salary potential.
- Explore additional growth job opportunities in both the public and private sectors to broaden your salary potential.
- Negotiate salaries during job offers to maximize potential salary opportunities.
Continuing Education After a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering
A master’s in aerospace engineering provides a strong foundation for those looking to work in the aerospace industry, but continuing education can give you the extra edge you need to reach the top of the field.
From advanced certificates to a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Aerospace Engineering, there are plenty of options available to help engineers take their careers to the next level.
In this section, we’ll explore these opportunities in more detail and discuss why pursuing additional qualifications may be the best choice for your professional development.
Pursuing advanced certificates in Aerospace Engineering can help current professionals and those with a master’s degree further advance their technical knowledge, gain specialized skills, and increase their marketability. Examples of potential certificates (certifications) include Aircraft Structures, Aerospace Propulsion, Aerospace Vehicle Dynamics and Control, Flight Simulation, and Avionics System Design.
While these certifications may not always be offered at colleges/universities, most aerospace engineering corporations/enterprises have internal certification programs that allow engineers to work and/or operate additional equipment and perform tasks with increased responsibilities.
Advanced certificate programs are typically shorter in duration than traditional degrees and target content relevant to their field of study. By actively pursuing an advanced certificate, aerospace engineers can stay up to date on the latest advances in technology and regulations while honing their professional skills. This can be especially beneficial for those seeking career advancement, as it provides a competitive edge in the job market. Employers may recognize the value of an advanced certificate and favor those candidates who have invested in themselves to stay current with industry standards.
Pursuing an advanced certificate is an excellent way for aerospace engineers to continue their education at a fraction of the cost, time, and effort associated with achieving a full degree.
Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering
Pursuing a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Aerospace Engineering is an excellent option for those seeking a higher level of knowledge and expertise in the field.
A doctorate degree not only allows you to become an expert in aerospace engineering, but it also provides access to cutting-edge research and technology, advanced industry connections, and increased job opportunities. It can also open up new possibilities for collaboration with institutions worldwide.
By pushing the boundaries of current aerospace engineering research, a doctoral degree can help you make a real impact in the field. With a Doctorate, you can also become a mentor or advisor to students or peers looking to expand their understanding of aerospace engineering.
Scholarship and Financial Aid Information
Earning a master’s in aerospace engineering is an exciting and rewarding opportunity, but it’s also an expensive commitment.
Fortunately, there are some resources available to help ease the financial burden. This section will provide an overview of scholarships and financial aid specifically designed for students pursuing a master’s in aerospace engineering.
We’ll then segue into the next section, which offers a more comprehensive discussion of financial aid and scholarship assistance for all types of engineering programs.
Federal grants are a great starting point for funding your education, as they typically do not require repayment and only need to be applied for once. One such option is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – an application form that allows students to apply for additional funding from the federal government.
Some employers may also offer tuition reimbursement programs for students pursuing a master’s degree. It’s important to talk to your employer about any potential educational support benefits they may have. Student loans are another option to consider when financing a master’s in aerospace engineering; however, loan repayments should be taken seriously as they must be paid back with interest.
Exploring all of your financial aid options will help you make the most informed decision regarding your funding.
Scholarships are available from numerous sources, including universities, government agencies, and corporations.
To apply for scholarships, most programs require students to submit an essay or statement of purpose outlining their career goals. Other application requirements may include letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and personal interviews. A successful scholarship candidate should be able to demonstrate excellent academic achievement, leadership qualities, and a commitment to their field of study.
The benefits of receiving a scholarship are many. Most scholarships offer ongoing support throughout the duration of the degree program, and can include a generous monthly stipend and coverage of fees associated with attending the college/university. Additionally, some scholarships offer travel opportunities to research seminars and conventions, where students can build relationships with other scholars in the same field.
Ultimately, a scholarship offers peace of mind knowing that a portion of one’s educational costs are taken care of and thus allowing the student to focus on their studies.
Internships provide an invaluable opportunity for those aspiring to build a career in the aerospace engineering field. Not only do they provide essential hands-on experience, but they also offer insight into day-to-day industry procedures and practices.
In this section, we’ll discuss why internships are so important for master’s students in aerospace engineering and look at what to expect from a typical internship program. We’ll then move on to discuss some of the best opportunities currently available in this field.
Aerospace engineering Internships offer a number of benefits:
- Gain valuable industry experience: Internships offer invaluable, real-world experience in Aerospace Engineering that can’t be taught in the classroom. Interns can work closely with experienced Aerospace Engineers and use what they learn to plan their own career paths.
- Explore career possibilities: Internships give Aerospace Engineering students a chance to explore different areas of the field and find what interests them most. Students can also expand their professional network by connecting with fellow interns, employers, and professionals in their area.
- Earn academic credit: Internships can be used to earn academic credit at some universities, allowing students to better focus on their studies and graduate on time.
- Receive career guidance: In addition to gaining knowledge and skills in Aerospace Engineering, internships provide mentorship and advice from professionals in the field, helping students make informed decisions about their future careers.
- Grow your skills: Through hands-on experience with advanced technology and projects, interns can hone their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, preparing them for a successful future in Aerospace Engineering.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How Much Does a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Cost?
The cost of a master’s degree in aerospace engineering will vary depending on the institution offering the degree, the specific program, and whether the student is studying full-time or part-time. Generally, students can expect to pay anywhere from $32,000 to $80,000 for a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.
Is a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Degree Worth It?
A master’s degree in aerospace engineering is a valuable asset for students who have already earned an aerospace engineering bachelor’s degree in the field, as it can help them expand their knowledge and skills as well as increase their opportunities for promotion or career advancement within the field. Additionally, a master’s degree can provide higher salaries and job prospects than those available with a bachelor’s degree.
How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering?
The length of time required to earn an online master’s degree in aerospace engineering depends largely on the specific program and the student’s ability to complete coursework while balancing other commitments, such as personal and/or professional tasks. Generally, full-time students can expect to complete their degree within two years, while part-time students usually complete the program within three years.
Is a Master’s Degree Required to Advance in Aerospace Engineering?
While having a master’s degree is not always required for advancement within the aerospace engineering field, it does demonstrate extensive knowledge and experience and may provide access to higher-level positions or promotions. Having a master’s degree may also make it easier for aerospace engineers to find employment in research and development positions, where such qualifications are often a prerequisite.
Are Aerospace Engineering Jobs in Demand?
Yes, aerospace engineering jobs are highly in demand due to the growing need for skilled professionals in the field. Growth in aircraft production and innovations in space exploration are creating an increased demand for aerospace engineers across various industries. Aerospace engineers have the opportunity to work in numerous specializations such as propulsion, avionics, structures, guidance, or aerodynamics.
What Industries Are Hiring Aerospace Engineering Graduates that have a Master’s Degree?
Aerospace engineering graduates with a master’s degree typically work in the fields of aircraft and spacecraft construction and operations, transport technology and maintenance, aircraft electronics, and aerospace engineering research. The most common employers of these graduates include the defense and aerospace industry, aerospace design and manufacturing companies, airlines, and universities.
Is an Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering the same as an On-Campus Degree?
No, an online master’s in Aerospace Engineering is not the same as an on-campus degree. While both traditional and online engineering degrees share similar coursework, the online program offers more flexibility in schedule, requires fewer in-person lectures or lab classes, and allows students to specialize quickly.