As the name suggests, the jobs of aerospace engineering services primarily revolve around designing aircraft and spacecraft. Design refers to everything from basic research on materials feasibility and equipment efficiency analysis to creating prototypes and compiling performance evaluation reports. Whether working for private companies or the government, aerospace engineers ensure that the aerospace products are functional, safe, effective, and working as intended.
Aerospace products encompass everything that flies and is essential for flights, including but not limited to aircraft, aerostats, spacecraft, satellites, missiles, UAVs, navigational equipment, sensors, and control instruments. With the proliferation of fuel-efficient propulsion systems, such as electric and hybrid engines, aerospace engineers are also expected to develop innovations to help minimize the environmental cost of aviation, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial.
Aerospace engineering service rates
The average rate for aerospace engineering services in the United States is $58.78 per hour, the equivalent of an annual wage of $122,270. It is generally a high-paying job, although the rates vary depending on location. For example, an aerospace engineer in Nebraska can earn an annual wage of up to $150,000 or an hourly rate of $72.05; the rate is much lower in Kansas at $51.59 per hour. Based on the latest U.S. BLS data, the top five industries and the average pay for aerospace engineers are as follows:
|Industries||Annual wage||Hourly rate|
|Research and development (engineering and physics)||$128,020||$61.55|
|Aerospace manufacturing (products and parts)||$126,780||$60.95|
|Navigations, sensors, and control instruments manufacturing||$121,530||$58.43|
Most aerospace engineers work full-time, especially those assigned as project leaders. They often have to work extra hours to determine design requirements, keep track of progress, monitor manufacturing efficiency, and evaluate product performance. Aerospace engineers hold nearly 60,000 jobs in the United States. While the R&D industry offers the highest rates, it only accounts for 9% of aerospace engineers’ employment in the country.
The federal government in the U.S. (except for the postal service) hires twice as many similarly qualified professionals. Sitting at the top by a wide margin on the list is the aerospace manufacturing industry, accumulating almost a third (about 19,600) of all the filled jobs. Control instrument and engineering service sectors contribute 10% and 15% (respectively) to the total employment.
Aerospace engineer specializations
Most aerospace engineers specialize in either the aeronautical or astronautical field. The aeronautical profession mainly involves designing aircraft and propulsion systems, emphasizing construction materials and aerodynamic performance. Aeronautical engineers focus on the science, technology, and applications of terrestrial flights. In contrast, astronautical engineers work primarily on spacecraft, including satellites, and study how they work within and beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
Aircraft and spacecraft design works now require – or are somewhat improved with – modern CAD and virtual simulation tools. The shifts from manual drawings and expensive physical mockups into computerized modeling and digital prototypes mean aerospace engineers spend more time in an office environment than they used to. Crucial steps of the design process, from ideations to flight tests, are now almost entirely done on screens with sophisticated software. Although a physical prototype remains indispensable for the ultimate flight tests, it is only necessary during the final stage of the design process.
Aerospace engineering duties
Like most professions, aerospace engineers work with other professionals on the job. The design process is typically divided into many small categories for better manageability and further subdivided into more specific tasks for greater efficiency in the team.
Core duties of aerospace engineers
Although aeronautical and astronautical engineers deal with different technical challenges and applications, the two professions have overlapping skills and technical proficiency. Both are aerospace engineers whose core duties include the following:
- Design aerospace product concepts and develop them in a regulation-compliance fashion. When the client’s design requirements indicate otherwise, an aerospace engineer should offer alternative solutions to the problem.
- Evaluate project proposals to verify aerospace products’ technical feasibility, cost estimate, and design time expectation.
- Verify product design and data to ensure everything complies with aviation regulations and quality standards. Just because an aerospace product is built to the customer’s specifications, it doesn’t always guarantee conformity with engineering principles.
- Determine the criteria for an aerospace product design project. The requirements may include timeframe, budget limitation, testing methods, quality standards, performance specifications, and project workflow.
- Devise the mathematical formula, algorithms, or computer programs to analyze an aircraft or spacecraft’s design and performance. Based on the evaluation, aerospace engineers can develop a new aerospace design or modify an existing model following the client’s requirements.
- Organize and coordinate engineering activities by the personnel involved in the design process, parts fabrication, manufacturing, modification, and performance test of aerospace products.
- Conduct and supervise flight tests of a physical prototype. The tests may include a series of flights to determine the onboard systems’ performance limits, environmental effects, and overall efficiency.
- Coordinate investigations into reported technical issues with aircraft or spacecraft vehicles. Such reports may come from customers, test pilots, passengers, or routine maintenance documents.
- Compile documentation of known issues, evaluation results, modifications, system upgrades, and technical reports for use by clients, pilots, engineering staff, management, or the public.
Aerospace engineers are also responsible for regularly maintaining records of all engineering activities on aerospace products and performance evaluation report for future use.
Supplemental duties of aerospace engineers
In addition to the core responsibilities, aerospace engineers are expected to perform some supplemental duties as follows:
- Direct and supervise research and development programs for aerospace products.
- Research and analyze new materials for technical and manufacturing feasibility.
- Verify a selection of vendors or sub-contractors in an aerospace product project.
- Review aerospace engineering designs before further development. Key findings may include potential performance issues, adverse environmental effects, and conflicts with aviation regulations.
- Analyze discovered issues, such as performance problems or safety hazards, based on reports from customers or field engineers.
- Evaluate fuel-efficiency matters and propose new designs to reduce harmful emissions.
- Conduct research into new types of fuel for aerospace applications.
An aerospace design project is a massive undertaking, even for companies that sell drones for hobbyists or small aircraft for recreational use. There can be dozens of engineering divisions for various design components in a massive development project, such as for new aviation technology or brand-new aircraft. The aerospace engineer leading the project must assemble, organize, and coordinate a large assortment of teams working on many applications, for example, robotics, propulsion and combustion, control and navigation, communication and instrumentation, structural design, and aerodynamics, to name a few.
Some aerospace engineers are highly specialized or assigned to specific design departments in a company, becoming experts in one or more aviation-related fields: flight mechanics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), and radars. In the military industry, they may also design weapon systems like guided missiles, rockets, and combat drones.
Aerospace engineering services on Cad Crowd
An aerospace engineer may perform the duties mentioned above for a company or individual clients in the engineering service industry. Drone companies usually hire aerospace engineers specializing in aeronautical rather than astronautical to develop professional and consumer UAVs.
Regardless of the project scale and approach, the independent aerospace engineers at CAD Crowd provide technical assistance and design consultancy for clients and companies of all levels. Whether the project needs additional hands to keep up with tight deadlines or requires fresh perspectives for objectivity, CAD Crowd offers a broad range of services, including:
- Concept design: during the early phase of the project, when the design is still just a concept, the aerospace engineers at CAD Crowd’s aerospace product design consultancy can help determine the idea’s feasibility. By transforming the idea into realistic 3D models, it becomes easier to find room for improvements and summarize and explain the subsequent actions planned for the project.
- Isometric drawings: a set of 360-degree images to be used as the base scale of the aerospace product design. As the design development progresses and changes over time, isometric drawings maintain dimension accuracy.
- Finite Element Analysis (FEA): technical evaluation of aerospace design that determines the structural strength and durability of the vehicle. FEA tests and FEA engineering services aim to determine how well the vehicle withstands heat, wind, atmospheric pressures, and impact. In addition, the analysis makes sure the design meets safety standards and complies with aviation regulations.
- 3D rendering and animation: when all the technical issues have been resolved, the 3D rendering services highlight the interior and exterior designs of the aircraft or spacecraft. Depending on the client’s brief, the 3D modelers and render artists at CAD Crowd can focus on developing visualizations for the cockpit, cabin, galley, or the baggage compartment if necessary. As for the exterior, 3D renders can showcase the vehicle in different paint schemes from many angles for marketing or design development purposes.
The ultimate goal of CAD Crowd aerospace engineering services is to ensure that all product designs, including aircraft, spacecraft, drones, and equipment, adhere to regulations. Before the project moves forward to the next level, clients should also be aware of potential design flaws and performance limitations.
How Cad Crowd can help
Cad Crowd Services provide rendering services and has been an expert for many years. We assist architects, contractors, construction companies, aerospace, manufacturing, technology users of 3D CAD, and other defense industries. Innovative companies worldwide rely on us for their models, 3D CAD Perfect works. We are Thankful to all the customers we have – no matter if someone is among the premier CAD organization or if you’re a consumer. Size does not matter, but your order is our prime concern at 3D CAD services. Every 3D order is important to us. Contact us for a free quote.