What's the Economic Outlook for Jobs in the Aeronautics Industry?

The aeronautics industry is a sub-field of the aerospace sector, which is a major contributor to the U.S. economy, including the areas of national security, commerce and transportation. Read on to learn about this industry, specific careers within it and their outlook. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Employment Outlook for Popular Jobs in the Aeronautics Industry

The aeronautics industry is a key part of the aerospace industry and the U.S. economy. The industry encompasses commercial airlines, national air freight and global air freight shipments. The aeronautics field includes jobs at a wide range of skill and wage levels.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Aircraft and Avionics Equipment TechniciansAirline and Commercial PilotsAerospace Engineers
Entry-Level EducationHigh school diploma + on-the-job training or graduate from FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technician SchoolCommercial=high school diploma; Airline=Bachelor's degreeBachelor's degree
TrainingMost receive on-the-job training, work under supervision right after they are hiredCommercial pilots receive on-the-job training; most airline pilots gain experience by first working as commercial pilotsStudents can apply for cooperative programs that work with the industry to receive hands on experience
Certification/LicensingFAA certification is highly preferred by employers and is necessary to work unsupervisedNeed commercial pilot's license from the FAA + Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificateNot required at entry level; experienced engineers may earn their Professional Engineer (PE) license
Similar OccupationsAerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians, Automotive Body and Glass Repairs, Automotive Service TechniciansAir Traffic Controllers, Flight Attendants, Truck DriversArchitectural and Engineering Managers, Industrial Engineers, Mechanical Engineers


Aeronautical Engineers

These engineers design, develop and test aircraft that operate within the earth's atmosphere. The employment rate for aerospace engineers, which includes aeronautical engineers, was expected to expand about 6% between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In May 2019, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $115,220 for these workers (www.bls.gov).

Pilots/Flight Engineers

According to the BLS, there were about 84,000 airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers holding jobs in 2016, and another approximately 40,800 were employed as commercial pilots flying helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled routes. Employment for airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers was projected to increase by 3% between 2016 and 2026, while commercial pilots will see 4% growth, according to the BLS. In May 2019, the BLS reported a median salary of $140,340 for airline pilots or flight engineers working for commercial airlines, while commercial pilots earned $82,240 in median annual wages.

Aircraft Technicians

Aircraft technicians maintain and repair aircraft. They are also known as airframe mechanics, power plant mechanics and avionics technicians. Job opportunities for aircraft technicians were expected to grow little or not at all between 2016 and 2026, as reported by the BLS. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians earned $63,060 in median wages, while avionics technicians had a median of $62,920 as of May 2019, the BLS noted.

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