Careers in Aircraft Stability and Control

Explore the career requirements of an aircraft stability and control engineer. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and licensure information. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Career Options in Aircraft Stability and Control?

Aerospace engineers can specialize in aircraft stability and control, which is a system that allows an aircraft to return to its proper position after a disturbance. These engineers oversee the designing, manufacturing and testing of aircraft and aircraft parts, including aircraft stability controls. Using these tests they determine if aircraft parts work as they should and ensure the safety of the passengers and crew. Each part they approve must comply with engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental regulations. They are also brought in to assess aircraft components when they malfunction, and come up with solutions. Learn about training requirements and average salary from the following chart.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Aerospace engineering
Mechanical engineering
Key Skills Understanding of airplane technology and software design tools, detail oriented
Job Growth (2014-2024) -2% (for all aerospace engineers)*
Median Salary (2015) $107,830 (for all aerospace engineers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of an Aircraft Stability and Control Engineer?

Aeronautical stability and control engineers design the instrumentation that pilots use to ensure safe navigation. Considerations such as speed and ability of the aircraft to turn quickly and fly through turbulence are taken into account in their design of the systems. Design of controls affecting the take off and landing of aircraft is involved as well.

What Education is Necessary?

A bachelor's degree is needed for a career as an aeronautical stability and control engineer; majoring in aerospace or mechanical engineering is typical. An aerospace engineering curriculum may include courses specifically in flight vehicle stability and control, as well as chemical engineering, space flight navigation and wind tunnel testing. In a mechanical engineering degree program, you'll study topics in fluid mechanics, analytical physics, advanced calculus, computer-aided design, engineering design graphics, machine design and material science.

While an undergraduate degree is all that is needed for most entry-level positions, many professionals will benefit from earning a graduate-level degree. You can earn a master's degree or doctorate in aeronautical or aerospace engineering. While these programs do include a variety of engineering courses, a significant portion of your studies will be devoted to laboratory or field research.

How Can I Acquire Work Experience?

Prior to finishing your studies, you can find internship, apprenticeship and co-op opportunities with universities, research laboratories and aerospace companies, or in the U.S. military. Opportunities might also exist for job shadowing, which entails observing an experienced engineer performing his or her job duties.

How Much Money Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aerospace engineers who worked in navigational and control instrumentation manufacturing earned a mean annual salary of $114,650 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Those who worked for the federal government earned a mean annual wage of $114,480. The 25th-75th percentile range for salaries of aerospace engineers was between $84,040 and $133,460 as of May 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer hardware engineers design and test the electronic hardware for computers and computer networks. They use extensive research on the current computer technology to develop new designs. These professionals usually start a career with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering or computer science, however many go on to earn an MBA. Electrical engineers develop and test designs for electrical equipment. This may include electric motors, radar, navigation systems and communications systems. They typically have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering or electrical engineering technology.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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