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Engineering + aerospace = your launch pad to success

Aerospace engineering

From drone technology to space tourism, the sky’s no longer the limit for aerospace engineering careers

Imagine designing the planes that zip across our skies or the rockets that venture into the cosmos. Welcome to the world of aerospace, a field that combines creativity, technology and plenty of outta-this-world adventure.

Aerospace careers in engineering span the creation and upkeep of aircraft, satellites and propulsion systems. You could be sketching the blueprint for a state-of-the-art jet, ensuring a satellite stays in orbit or developing a propulsion system that will power a spacecraft on its journey to Mars. 

But it’s not just about exploring new frontiers. Aerospace engineers also play a vital role in improving our everyday lives, from enhancing the planes we travel in, to developing satellites that aid in weather prediction and global communications.

With national defence agencies and private companies alike investing in this industry, there’s a constant demand for new ideas and solutions. Whether it’s designing more efficient aircraft, pioneering space travel or enhancing national security, the opportunities in aerospace are as vast as the skies you’ll be working in. 

Hear more about space careers from role models working in the industry! For more STEM career videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Engineering a greener sky

Aerospace engineers are soaring to new heights to protect our environment. Check out some of the ways they’re reducing emissions and waste.

Lighter, stronger aircraft
Engineers and materials scientists are innovating with advanced materials to build aircraft that are lighter yet stronger, meaning more fuel-efficient flights.

Clearing air traffic congestion
By streamlining air traffic control systems, engineers are ensuring fewer planes are left idling. This reduces unnecessary fuel burn and emissions, contributing to cleaner air for us all.

Recycle, reuse, soar
Engineers are figuring out better ways to dismantle and recycle old aircraft parts. By giving these components a new lease on life, we’re moving closer to zero waste in the aerospace industry.

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Reach for the stars

Unleash your potential with these awesome, future-focused aerospace careers:

Aircraft systems engineer
Work on the forefront of technology, integrating systems within commercial and military aircraft. Expect to grapple with avionics, hydraulics and more.

Propulsion specialist
Immerse yourself in the world of jet engines and rocket thrusters. You’ll be optimising power while ensuring safety and efficiency.

Spacecraft engineer
From satellites to interplanetary explorers, you’ll design, test and oversee these high-tech celestial travellers.

Aeronautical analyst
Use your maths and engineering know-how to improve the performance of aircraft and spacecraft.

Defence engineer
Develop advanced technologies for national security, from supersonic jets to missile systems.

Future job alert: Space traffic controller

As space travel becomes more common, managing orbital traffic could become crucial. Think air traffic control, but for satellites and spacecraft. This role will demand strategic thinking, a deep understanding of physics and strong communication skills.

RELATED: Space role models – check out their CVs for inspo!

Who’s hiring?

Linda Hapgood is the program manager for Boeing. Read her aerospace engineering career story here.

Start your aerospace career with these Aussie companies:

Boeing Australia
Contribute to the design and production of some of the world’s most advanced aircraft.

Airbus Group Australia Pacific Limited
Airbus is a leader in aerospace, crafting cutting-edge commercial and military aircraft.

BAE Systems Australia Holdings Limited
BAE Systems specialises in defence and security solutions.

Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia
Australia’s leading airlines need engineers to keep their fleets flying safely and efficiently.

Australian Defence Force / Defence Science and Technology Organisation
The ADF and DSTO provide a range of engineering and research roles for military aerospace.

Australian Space Agency
This is the place to be if you’re interested in space exploration.

Our national science organisation offers exciting research opportunities.

Electives checklist

Choose these subjects in high school to kickstart your aerospace career:

  • Physics
  • Advanced maths
  • Engineering studies

Start your career here

Engineering + aerospace study

  • Bachelor of Technology (Aeronautical), Edith Cowan University
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace Engineering) (Honours), RMIT
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical Engineering) (Honours), The University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical) (Honours), UNSW Canberra

Engineering + aerospace jobs

  • Aeronautical engineer: $58K–$124K
  • Aerospace engineer: $61K–$147K
  • Aerospace systems engineer: $65K–$88K
  • Propulsion engineer: $70K–$123K

Salaries according to

This article first appeared in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2023.

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