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Careers in Aerospace Technology

A new century has begun. As a student you will be spending your life in the 21st century and the future may offer many unpredictable opportunities.

It will be a time of space stations and robotic probes. Manned missions to other planets and moon outposts are future possibilities. All this, and more scientific accomplishments that have not even been dreamed of, will happen because Americans wants to live and work in space.

Where Will You Be in 10 Years?

The world will continue to need aerospace scientists, engineers, technologists and technicians to be ready for the 21st century.

What Could An Aerospace Technology Career Mean for You?

Aerospace workers are professionals who work independently or as part of a team. They conduct research, and de-sign and develop vehicles and systems for atmospheric and space environments. Individuals who are successful in aerospace careers have the proper educational background, possess good communications skills, and are committed to being part of a team. A wide variety of aerospace career fields offers opportunities for high job satisfaction and excellent compensation.

What Education Will You Need Beyond High School?

A career in aerospace as a scientist or engineer requires four to seven years of college study following high school. A bachelor’s degree requiring four years of study is the minimum necessary to enter this field. Colleges and universities also offer graduate programs where students can obtain master’s and doctoral degrees. The master’s program usually takes two years. An additional two to four years is needed to earn a doctorate.

A starting position as an engineer, mathematician, physical scientist, or life scientist requires a bachelor’s degree. (A master’s and/doctoral degree is highly desirable in life sciences.) Some examples of engineering degrees required are electrical/electronics, aerospace, and mechanical. Other types of bachelor’s degrees that may lead to aerospace careers are: physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, mathematics, experimental psychology and biology.

Engineering technicians typically earn a two-year Associate of Science degree. Some may continue for two additional years and obtain a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology. Others may earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering or one of the physical sciences. A few complete a five-year apprenticeship program offered at some NASA field centers.

How Do You Know if You Want An Aerospace Career?

If you think you would be interested in a career in aerospace technology, check your potential for success by answering these questions:

  • Do you enjoy math and science?
  • Do you have an inquisitive and searching mind?
  • Are you interested in knowing what makes things work?
  • Do you like to solve problems and puzzles?
  • Do you like to create things?
  • Do you enjoy learning?
  • Do you enjoy working with computers?
  • Do you like to build things?
  • Are you prepared to study hard and do homework?
  • Do you achieve good grades?

If you answered yes to most of the questions, you may want to consider an aerospace career. Some of the recom-mended high school courses are listed on the reverse side.

What Should You Do To Prepare For An Aerospace Career Now?

Education is a critical requirement. What are your favorite subjects?

Mathematics and science are the basis for as aerospace technology career. Decisions you make in school can affect your career possibilities. Some of the recommended high school courses are listed below.

  • Algebra
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Mathematics
  • English
  • Geometry
  • Math Analysis
  • Physics
  • Trigonometry

How Can You Find Out More About Aerospace Jobs?

Contact people working in the aerospace field such as scientists, engineers and technicians. Your teacher or guidance counselor should be able to arrange this for you or your class. Visit your school and public libraries to get names of professional organizations you can contact for more information. Contact the NASA personnel office closest to you if you would like additional information. Visit the following web sites for more information.

Some Kinds of Aerospace Careers

Pilots or Crew Members of a Spacecraft

  • Pilot Astronaut
  • Mission Specialist
  • Payload Specialist

Physical Scientists

  • Astronomer
  • Chemist
  • Geologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Physicist

Life Scientists

  • Biologist
  • Medical Doctor
  • Nutritionist
  • Physiologist
  • Psychologist

Social Scientists

  • Economist
  • Sociologist


  • Computer Scientist
  • Mathematician
  • Statistician
  • Systems Analyst

Other Fields

  • Quality Control Inspector
  • Ground Radio Operator
  • Teletypist


  • Aerospace/Astronautics
  • Biomedical
  • Chemical
  • Civil
  • Computer
  • Electrical
  • Environmental
  • Industrial
  • Materials
  • Mechanical
  • Nuclear
  • Petroleum
  • Plastics
  • Safety
  • Systems


  • Aerospace Model
  • Aircraft
  • Avionics
  • Electrical/Electronics
  • Engineering
  • Fabrication
  • Materials
  • Pattern Maker and Molder

Engineers Designers

  • Architectural
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical

Technical Communicators

  • Artist
  • Audiovisual Specialist
  • Editor
  • Education Specialist
  • Photographer
  • Public Relations
  • Writer

What Are Engineers?

Engineers are people who make things work. The work and ideas of engineers make achievements possible. They put power and materials to work. Engineers have moved America into skyscrapers, high speed cars, jets, and space vehicles. They make life interesting, comfortable, and fun. Computers, television, and satellites — products of the communication industry — depend on engineers. Engineers will stations for the 21st century.

What Are Technicians?

Technicians are an important part of the aerospace team. They work closely with scientists and engineers in support of their research. Their skills are used to operate wind tunnels, work in laboratories, construct test equipment, build models and support many types of research.

What Are Scientists?

Scientists are knowledge seekers, al-ways searching out why things happen. They are inquisitive. This means they are always questioning. They possess a sense of wonder. Nature, Earth, and all the universe are what fascinate the scientist. The scientist questions, seek answers, and expands knowledge.