Aerospace VS Aeronautical

July 24, 2015
Off the launch-pad: Aerospace

A degree in aerospace engineering and a degree in aeronautical engineering both prepare students to design aircraft. In fact, aeronautical engineering is a branch of aerospace engineering. Though the two degree programs teach similar engineering principles, there is a critical distinction between designing for air and space. Schools offering .

Engineering for Air or Space Flight

Aerospace engineering is concerned with designing and building aircraft and spacecraft. Aerospace engineering can be divided into two specializations: aeronautical engineers, who handle aircraft, and astronautical engineers, who design spacecraft, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering would likely include both specializations, whereas a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering would focus solely on those vehicles that fly within the Earth's atmosphere. Both options usually require students to take some similar courses, like dynamics, propulsion and fluid mechanics.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Pay In 2012, the median pay for aerospace engineers was $103, 720.
Job Outlook Employment of individuals in this field is expected to grow more slowly than usual, 7% from 2012 to 2022.*
Entry-Level Education Minimum of a bachelor's degree. Some occupations, such as those in academia or research and development, may require a master's degree.
Work Environment The main employers of aerospace engineers are the federal government and companies that work in manufacturing, design, development, or analysis of aircraft, missiles, national defense systems, or spacecraft. Most of the work will be done in an office using specialized computer systems.


Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical engineering is the practice of designing and building aircraft, like airplanes and helicopters. Students earning a degree in aeronautical engineering take classes such as:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Aircraft Structures
  • Flight Mechanics
  • Aircraft Stability and Control
CAREER PROFILE - Aerospace Engineer
CAREER PROFILE - Aerospace Engineer
A Career in Aeronautical Engineering (JTJS12007)
A Career in Aeronautical Engineering (JTJS12007)
How to become an Aerospace Engineer
How to become an Aerospace Engineer
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