What are the Different Aeronautics Jobs?

Helen Krasner

Aeronautics is often defined as the science of studying, designing, or operating aircraft, and includes the techniques of aircraft operation as well. The term aviation is often used interchangeably with aeronautics. Some people, however, would say that aeronautics includes lighter-than-air flying machines such as balloons and airships, whereas aviation does not.

An aircraft plan designed by an aeronautical engineer.
An aircraft plan designed by an aeronautical engineer.

There are a wide variety of different aeronautics jobs. Aeronautical careers include aircraft designers, scientists in various specialties, different types of engineers, and a variety of technicians. Some of the aerodynamics jobs one can find advertised are for aerodynamicists, avionics personnel, aerospace engineers, aircraft mechanics, electrical engineers, physicists, technical support personnel, and a variety of supporting office roles. The list is long and depends to some extent on one's definition of an aeronautics job. Some people would say that those who work in information technology (IT), sales and marketing, or as technical authors have aeronautics jobs so long as they work in the aviation sector.

The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aeronautical engineers.
The Lockheed SR-71, which was designed by aeronautical engineers.

Although there are many different aeronautics jobs, all of them do have a number of things in common. Most of the jobs require a good understanding of scientific subjects and engineering. People who are interested in aviation and are thinking of working toward one of the aeronautics jobs would do well to study scientific subjects at school. A strong background in mathematics, physics, or chemistry could be useful. Also, a degree in engineering or anything that relates to aviation or aeronautics would be a good idea for those who are aiming toward any of the various aeronautics jobs.

Individuals who want to become commercial pilots must be able to work in a team.
Individuals who want to become commercial pilots must be able to work in a team.

Young people who hope to be airline pilots often ask if there is any point in going to college since commercial pilot training is quite specialized – they will need to complete it whether they have a degree or not. Often, there are too many people seeking airline jobs; therefore, it can be sensible to have something else to fall back on if one is unsuccessful. There usually is far less competition for jobs as an aeronautical engineer, or any of the other ground-based jobs relating to work with aircraft.

Many pilots who live in rural areas fly crop dusters.
Many pilots who live in rural areas fly crop dusters.

Overall, the field of aeronautics provides a great deal of interesting work for those who want to work with or around aircraft. There is a lot of choice, but it is a good idea for potential candidates for aeronautics jobs to make sure they are as well qualified as possible. Also, it can be a good idea to keep all options open.

Aeronautical engineers who work for defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, which built the stealthy F-22 Raptor, must usually pass background checks.
Aeronautical engineers who work for defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, which built the stealthy F-22 Raptor, must usually pass background checks.
Airship pilots fly today's non-rigid dirigibles over sporting events and public gatherings.
Airship pilots fly today's non-rigid dirigibles over sporting events and public gatherings.

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