Although private companies build the military’s aerospace equipment, military engineers are responsible for seeing that all equipment meets service needs.
Aerospace engineers design and direct the development of military aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft.
What They Do
Aerospace engineers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Plan and conduct research on aircraft guidance, propulsion, and weapons systems
- Study new designs for aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft
- Help select private companies to build military aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft
- Monitor production of aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft
- Decide what tests should be conducted of prototypes (full-scale test models)
- Conduct stress analysis and wind tunnel tests with aircraft and missile prototypes
Helpful attributes include:
- Interest in concepts and principles of engineering
- Interest in planning and directing research projects
- Interest in working with mathematical formulas
No initial job training is provided to officers in this occupation.
Aerospace engineers work in offices or laboratories.
Civilian aerospace engineers usually work in the aircraft manufacturing industry.
Some work for the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other government agencies.
As in the military, civilian aerospace engineers may specialize in one type of aerospace product, such as aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles. They may also specialize in engineering specialties such as product design, testing, or production research.
Depending on their specialty, they may be called aeronautical engineers, aeronautical test engineers, or stress analysts.