Aerospace Engineering Degree

Aerospace engineering programs can vary both in scope and depth, not to mention cost. Some schools have fewer requirements for admission than others, while some are so expensive that nearly ninety percent of the student body requires financial aid to attend. How is the potential student to choose between potential programs?

Programs of study in aeronautical engineering often follow a comparable course. Most offer the same types of concepts, practical applications of concepts learned in the classroom, as well as basic engineering courses. The student that is trying to make a decision between one school or another should go to the university's website and compare course catalogs. A visit to the school to take a tour in person and to speak to those involved in the program is also highly advisable.

Those who work in the aeronautical engineering field often describe it as exciting, challenging, and profitable. However, competition for the high paying jobs in this field is keen. Possessing the best degree possible from one of the top aeronautical engineering schools can greatly increase the potential employee's chances for rising to the top. Many of the top aviation universities specifically tailor their programs of study to coincide with the demands of the industry, thus insuring that their graduates have the advantage.

Engineering Degree Finder

Typical Education Requirements for Aerospace and Aeronautics Programs

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an aeronautical engineer, take some time to learn about general aeronautical engineering requirements and education needed to be successful in this field. The field of aeronautics is fairly broad but aeronautic engineers are trained to develop, design and test various types of aircraft and other aeronautical systems. Some work with satellite systems, while others work with missiles and other military systems. You will have the chance to take a variety of courses in various fields when you are fulfilling your aeronautical engineer education requirements at an accredited college or university.

All candidates interested in becoming an aerospace or aeronautical engineer must have at least a bachelor's degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering. Look for programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The bachelor's degree program can take between four to five years to complete, depending on the specialized courses the student chooses to take, and any labs or flight testing components that are must be completed as part of the degree program.

After taking core courses in this field, students can take advanced courses in aerodynamics and cover topics such as electrical components, flight and stability control, and cockpit systems amongst others. Most students are required to complete hands-on training and lab work during their final year of study. The final year ensures that students are able to work with flight simulations, get adequate training in computer programs and systems used in the industry, and also apply their knowledge to design and test various systems. Aeronautical engineer requirements for the final year typically include presentations and the completion of larger projects under the direction of an instructor.

After graduating from college with a bachelor's degree, students must acquire at least four years of work experience in the field and pass two examinations. Fulfilling these two requirements puts the candidate in a position to get their licensed professional engineer credential (PE), or their engineer in training title (EIT). The EIT is earned after passing the first exam. The PE credential is earned after the candidate has acquired necessary work experience and passed the second exam.

Aeronautical Engineering Requirements for a Successful Career

You will need to complete a significant amount of hands-on training in several field of study to become an aeronautical engineer. Keep in mind that some jobs do require a master's degree in the field.

Some of the most common branches, specializations, or fields of study for careers in this field include:

  • Structural analysis - studying static and dynamic loads of aircraft
  • Aerodynamics - study of airflow over an aircraft and working with scale models
  • Propulsion - the intensive study of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), as well as thermodynamics, and material strength
  • Systems and subsystems of aircraft and missiles
  • Manufacturing and production processes
  • Avionics - studying flight instrumentation, radar, computers, navigation equipment and communication systems
  • Servo and power systems - lightweight and compact servo-control and power systems, as well as hydraulic and electric systems
  • Certification - some engineers can become certified to work with various types of flight systems

Specialized courses and training are offered at various levels at colleges and universities around the country. Check with your academic advisor to find out what types of advanced courses and training are available as you fulfill your aeronautical engineering requirements.

What is Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering?

Aerospace and Aeronautical engineering is, in short, the study of aircrafts. The study of airfoils (wings) and propulsion (which includes engines) are two main components that make up the aeronautical field. Airfoils help the plane counteract the force of gravity. They can also be used to help the aircraft change directions. Without propulsion the aircraft would have a significantly smaller amount of air time because there would be no force to keep the aircraft afloat. Because the basic dynamics of aeronautical engineering are putting an object into flight and keeping it there, there is the constant material issue of strength verses weight. The object must be made of strong enough materials to be able to withstand the forces pushing against it, but it must also be light enough to have the ability to fly through the air.

A related field is Astronautical engineering. Astronautical engineering is the study of flight and navigation outside of the Earth's atmosphere. One of the biggest concerns in the astronautical field is the maximizing of payload, the carrying capacity of the spacecraft, while keeping the mass and weight of the spacecraft as small as possible. Astronautical engineers must find ways for the spacecraft to withstand extreme temperatures (and extreme temperature changes), high-grade vacuums, and magnetic belts. They must also be conscious of the changes space will have on elements of the spacecraft. For instance, fluids have to be confined and extruded, liquids my evaporate or freeze, and heat must come from radiation.

Both aeronautical and astronautical engineering fall under the larger category of aerospace engineering. Both branches are concerned with the flight and navigation of an object and both require intelligent, creative people to pave the way to a new tomorrow.

Popular Programs

According to most recent reports by popular college search engines the most selective aeronautical engineering program is Stanford University. This is partly due to the fact that it is a privately owned university. Additionally, this school requires that average SAT scores be at least 2010 and the ACT scores around 30 or higher. Only 8% of those who apply are accepted. The program of study is all inclusive, focusing on all elements of aeronautical engineering. Both propulsion and aerodynamics tracks of study are offered as well as interdisciplinary options. Students who graduate from these programs generally find upper level jobs right away.

Compare that with the less selective aeronautical engineering program at Missouri University of Science and Technology. This school is publicly funded and thus the tuition is priced reasonably. The program of study includes both propulsion and aerodynamics, but is limited in its ability to offer on campus research opportunities. Most who gain their undergraduate degree through this program of study apply to other universities to continue their advanced program work.

The largest aeronautical engineering university would be Arizona State University. 90 percent of the students that apply for admittance to this school are accepted. Engineering students that leave this school either continue their advanced degrees with ASU, or have created an outstanding academic portfolio for themselves and are able to garner attention from the more selective colleges. With a campus as large as ASU, the opportunities to study a diverse and broad spectrum of aeronautical engineering principles, research, and developmental interdisciplinary projects is great. Many of the courses are taught by professors that have been in the field of aeronautical engineering and have returned to the academic environment after brilliant careers in aviation. Most who take the programs of study at ASU rate it as an excellent experience.

Embry Riddle University is one of the top names that come up when aviation education is mentioned. Founded 22 years after the Wright Brothers' flight, this school has focused ONLY on aviation and aerospace education. The programs of study rival those in any of the other universities, though as it is privately owned, the price tag is also high. Financial aid is available for those going into various programs. Aeronautical engineering majors have opportunities to gain firsthand experience by working through internships with various partner companies. One such company is NASA. Additionally, ERAU offers many online opportunities for those who need to take a non-traditional route to their degree. ERAU has satellite universities around the world, making it truly a global university.

Aeronautical Engineering School Accreditation

The student must practice due diligence in planning out their career path and the required educational components to meet that goal. Part of that involves researching the prospective college or university offering aviation or aeronautical engineering degrees. Many prospective students make the mistake of enrolling in a school only to find that the courses are aviation education courses, but not necessarily aeronautical engineering classes. The astute student needs to ask direct questions from the college's counselors to ascertain whether or not the college offers a degree program that will result in a degree in aeronautical engineering or a Master's of Science degree. Also, one of the critical questions is that of accreditation. Is the prospective college recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education? If not, it is possible that the education and the degree earned will not be considered viable by an employer, nor recognized by other colleges if advanced degrees are sought.

The purpose of accreditation is to guarantee that the education received by students meets acceptable levels of quality to keep America competitive globally. Additionally, the college's accreditation determines how much money is granted to that school for financial aid.

Cost of Aviation Engineering Schools

The average tuition can cost between $10,000 dollars a semester and $15,000 dollars a semester. Why the disparity? Most of it has to do with location and reputation of the school, size of the school, and types of specialized degrees offered. Most universities offer financial aid in one form or another. Financial aid money is highly sought after and one must apply early and often to obtain it. Reports state that Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most economical schools to offer a true aeronautical engineering degree, while MIT is pricier. Those who find this type of education out of their reach financially opt to go into the Air Force where they may receive training in engineering.

Top Five Aeronautical Engineering Schools

The following are among the top engineering schools in the United States. They were selected on criteria based on amount of graduates, salaries earned on average by graduates, number of graduates working in their field of study, and degrees offered.

California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California). Those pursuing a Master's degree often manage to complete it in one year's time, as opposed to other programs that take up to two years to complete. They also have research centers that are located on campus as well as combined degrees between their medical facilities and the engineering departments. Tuition: $35,000/year.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Nearly half of those attending MIT are in the engineering programs, and many specialize in aeronautical engineering. They also have many working research centers that often have breakthrough discoveries each year. Those already working as engineers, but wanting to specialize in another field can apply to MIT's career reengineering program. Tuition: $40,000/year.

Stanford University. Stanford boasts 65 centers and labs across its campus that offers students the ability to become involved in numerous research projects. Located near Silicon Valley, students often have no problem interning or finding employment after graduation. Tuition: $40,000/year.

Purdue College of Engineering. With 70 academic programs and over 600 programs of study, Purdue Engineering is a powerhouse when it comes to any engineering field, including aeronautical engineering. Indications show that competition for enrollment is high for the aeronautical engineering school, so it would be wise to apply early and often. Tuition: $30,000/year

University of Michigan: Ann Arbor. This university supports project-based teaching curriculum allowing students to learn firsthand and apply what they have been learning in the classroom. Multiple curriculums are aimed specifically for the aeronautical engineering student. Tuition: $ 40,000/year

Aerospace Engineering Scholarships

The following is information on Aerospace Scholarships by organization or memorial. Be sure to check their website for the most up to date information.

A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

American Indian Science and Engineering Society. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to Native American or Alaskan Native students majoring in science, engineering, medicine, natural resources, math or technology. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate or graduate student and a member of a Native American tribe or Alaskan Native and members of AISES. Amount: $1,000-$2,000. Deadline: June 15. http://www.aises.org

ADA I. Pressman Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support female engineering students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and a college sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student majoring in any type of engineering. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: February 15. http://www.swe.org

Admiral Grace Murray Hopper Memorial Scholarships

Purpose of this scholarship is to support women in engineering. Eligible applicants must be females enrolled in their freshman year at an accredited engineering or computer science program and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Amount: $1,000. Deadline: May 15. http://www.swe.org

AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) ROTC Scholarships

This scholarship is set up to help ROTC sophomores or juniors who are majoring in aerospace engineering, electronics, computer science, computer engineering, physics or mathematics. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: March 1. http://www.afcea.org

AFCEA Scholarship for Working Professionals

This scholarship is meant to aid science and technology professionals who are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and currently employed in the science or technology field. Graduate students or undergraduate sophomores, juniors or seniors. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: September 1. http://www.afcea.org

AGCO Corporation FFA Scholarship

This scholarship helps support students in select majors (engineering) who are in the FFA. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: February 15. http://www.ffa.org/

AIAA Foundation Scholarships

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Includes the Abe M. Zaram Award and Joseph Freitag Sr. Award). These scholarships are given to students enrolled in aerospace engineering programs who have at least attained their sophomore year of study. Amount: Up to $2,500. Deadline: January 31. Website: http://www.aiaa.org/. Scholarship link: http://www.aiaa.org/Secondary.aspx?id=3199

Air Force ROTC Express Scholarships

This scholarship is for U.S. college students that have passed the Air Force ROTC Physical Fitness Test and the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test. Student must be majoring in a select engineering field. Amount: Up to $18,900. http://www.afrotc.com

Amelia Earhart Fellowships

The purpose of this scholarship is to support women in science and engineering. Eligible applicants must be pursuing graduate PhD/doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences and aerospace-related engineering. Amount: Up to $10,000. Deadline: November 15. http://www.zonta.org

American Society of Naval Engineers Scholarship

This scholarship fluctuates in its availability as it is dependent on the foundation's fundraising successes. Generally speaking, the candidate should be an undergraduate, applying for support in their last year in an engineering program, and be a citizen of the United States. Scholarships can run from $3,000 to $4,000. There is also a fellowship available for graduate students.

Anne Maureen Whitney Barrow Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support female engineering students. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited engineering program with 3.5 GPA or higher. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: May 15. http://www.swe.org

Boeing Scholarships

These scholarships are not awarded directly to individuals, but through the colleges and universities. Check with your school's financial aid office. Find the link below for the Boeing University Relations webpage: http://www.boeing.com/educationrelations/

B.J. Harrod Scholarships

The purpose of this scholarship is to aid female engineering students. Eligible applicants must be freshmen with a GPA of 3.5 or higher and majoring in any type of engineering. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: May 15. http://www.swe.org

BMW/SAE Engineering Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support engineering student with high potential. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Students must rank in the 90th percentile in math and critical reading on the SAT or ACT and must pursue an engineering degree.

David Alan Quick Scholarship

Applicants must be in their junior or senior year at an accredited college or university pursuing a degree in aerospace or aeronautical engineering. Amount: $500.00. Deadline: February 28. http://www.youngeagles.org

Department of Homeland Security Undergraduate Scholarships

The purpose is to support students studying in fields relevant to homeland security. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. They must major in a homeland security engineering, mathematics, science or technology field. There are other stipulations such as participating in a 10-week internship. See the website for more information. Amount: Tuition plus stipend. Deadline: January 5. http://www.orau.gov/dhsed/

Ellison Onizuka Memorial Scholarship Fund

This scholarship offers financial assistance to Hawaiian students who plan to major in aerospace engineering. Applicants must be graduating high school in the year of application. Amount: Varies. Deadline: March 1. http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org

Ford Motor Company Engineering and Leadership Scholarship

The purpose is to provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in engineering. Eligible applicants must be Golden Key National Honour Society members and must be majoring in engineering. Amount: $10,000. Deadline: October 15. http://www.goldenkey.org

Future Engineers Scholarship

The purpose is to support engineering students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and a full-time undergraduate students who are enrolled in or who have been accepted into a school of engineering at their postsecondary institution. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: October 15. http://www.kellyengineering.us

Gary Wagner, K3OMI scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support engineering students who are involved in amateur radio. Applicants must have an amateur radio license of Novice Class or higher and be pursuing a bachelor's degree in engineering. Available to residents of the following states only: Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia. Amount: $1,000. Deadline: February 1. http://www.arrlf.org

General Electric Foundation Scholarship

The purpose is to support female freshmen undergraduates who plan to study engineering. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are rising undergraduate freshmen planning to major in engineering. Amount: $1,500. Deadline: Mid-May. http://www.swe.org

General James H. Doolittle Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support aerospace engineering science students. Applicants must be undergraduate juniors, seniors or graduate students enrolled in a degree program in aeronautical engineering or aerospace science. Students do not need to be a resident of Texas to qualify. Amount: Up to $5,000. Deadline: May 7. http://www.cftexas.org

Georgia Engineering Foundation Scholarship

Criteria for this undergraduate scholarship are that the student must be an incoming freshman, show financial need, have superior academic skills, and have a history of community service. Additionally, this aeronautical engineering scholarship is given to Georgia residents, who are U.S. citizens, and have an interest in pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering. $1,000 to $5,000 dollars awarded annually.

Goldwater Science Scholarship

Barry Goldwater, statesman and scholar, left a lasting legacy with his Goldwater Science Scholarship. This foundation annually awards more than 300 scholarships that cover things such as tuition, fees, books, and may also cover room and board. $7,500.00 awarded each year.

Hansen Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support excellence among individuals studying the technologies and the skills needed in the field of aviation. Applicants must currently be enrolled in an accredited school and pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering. Student must be involved in school and community activities as well as aviation. They must also be an EAA member or recommended by a member. Amount: $1,000. Deadline: February 28. http://www.youngeagles.org

High Technology Scholar/Intern Tuition Waiver

(Massachusetts Dept. of Higher Education) This scholarship's purpose is to provide financial aid and internship connections to computer technology and engineering students in Massachusetts. Student applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at a Massachusetts public college. Amount: Up to full tuition. Deadline: Varies. http://www.osfa.mass.edu/default.asp

Hoku Scholarship Fund

Applicants must be Hawaii residents who are pursuing observatory careers with majors in astronomy, computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics or technology. Amount: Varies. Deadline: March 1. http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org

Honeywell International Inc. Scholarships

The purpose of this scholarship is to aid female students planning to pursue undergraduate degrees in computer science and engineering. Applicants must be female U.S. citizens. Students must be rising undergraduate freshmen and plan to major in a related computer science or engineering field. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: February 15. http://www.swe.org

ISU Summer Session Scholarship

Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree and are pursuing a graduate degree in Aerospace Science. Amount: $10,000. Deadline: January 6. http://www.astronautical.org

Ivy M. Parker Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to aid female undergraduates who are majoring in engineering. Eligible applicants must be full time students whoa re enrolled in an accredited engineering program. Amount: $1,500. Deadline: February 15. http://www.swe.org

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship US Department of Education

Because there is a critical shortage of aeronautical engineers the U.S. government has made money available for those who are specializing in this field. This money is primarily for those pursuing advanced degrees. The AIAA lists that there are approximately 27 fellowships offered each year. $43,000 offered annually.

Judith Resnik Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to help female undergraduates who are majoring in aerospace engineering. Student applicants must be rising undergraduate sophomores, juniors or seniors and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Amount: $3,000. Deadline: February 15. http://www.swe.org

Kathryn D. Sullivan Science and Engineering Fellowship

The purpose is to aid rising undergraduate seniors who are studying the natural sciences, engineering or technology. Applicants must be US citizens and sponsored by a faculty member. Amount: $7,000. Deadline: February 4. http://www.cofc.edu

Lambeth Family Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to aid students who are pursuing higher education in computer science, engineering, business, mathematics or the natural sciences. Applicants must be enrolled in a degree-granting program in one of the noted fields. Amount: $3,000. Deadline: March 1. http://www.seattlefoundation.org

Lillian Moller Gilbreth Memorial Scholarship

The purpose is to help female students who are majoring in engineering. Eligible applicants must be rising undergraduate juniors or seniors enrolled in an accredited program. Amount: $10,000. Deadline: February 15. http://www.swe.org

Lockheed Martin Freshman Scholarship

The purpose is to aid female students who are planning to pursue higher education in engineering. Applicants must be rising undergraduate freshmen planning to major in engineering. Amount: $3,000. Deadline: Mid-May. http://www.swe.org

Lockheed Martin/HENAAC Scholars Program

The purpose of this scholarship is to aid computer science and engineering students. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and full-time students who are majoring in computer science or an aerospace related field. Amount: Varies. Deadline: April 30. http://www.greatmindsinstem.org

LTK Engineering Services Scholarship

Applicants must be current COMTO members or will to join within 30 days of receiving the scholarship. Student must be a college junior, senior or graduate student with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Amount: $6,000. Deadline: April 4. http://www.comto.org

LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) GE Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to assist minority students who are majoring in business or engineering. Eligible applicants must be entering their sophomore year of college. Amount: Varies. Deadline: March 31. http://www.lnesc.org

MAES Scholarship Program

The purpose is to assist Hispanic students in the fields of engineering and science. Applicants must be current Hispanic MAES student members who are full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Amount: $1,000-$4,000. Deadline: September 11. http://www.maes-natl.org

Medtronic Foundation Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support African American sophomores and juniors at UNCF member colleges and universities majoring in a science, engineering or medical field. Amount: Up to $5,000. Deadline: November 12. http://www.uncf.org/

MSPE Harry R. Ball, P.E.Grant

The purpose of this grand is to aid Michigan students who are planning to pursue an undergraduate degree in engineering. Applicants must be Michigan residents, U.S. citizens and high school seniors. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: Third Monday in February. http://www.michiganspe.org

MSPE Kenneth B. Fishbeck, P.E., Memorial Grant

The purpose of this grant is to help Michigan students who are planning to pursue higher education in engineering. Eligible applicants must be high school seniors who are Michigan residents and U.S. citizens. Amount: $1,000. Deadline: Third Monday in February. http://www.michiganspe.org

NACME Pre-Engineering Student Scholarships

The purpose is to aid minority high school seniors who are planning to pursue an engineering degree. Applicants must be African-American, Latino or Native American high school seniors in the top 10% of their graduating class. Amount: $1,500. Deadline: May 10. http://www.nacmebacksme.org

NAMEPA Beginning Freshmen Engineering Student Award

The purpose of this award is to help minority students who are planning to pursue higher education in engineering. Eligible applicants must be Native American, Latino or African-American graduating high school seniors planning to pursue a degree in engineering. Amount: $1,000. Deadline: May 26. http://www.namepa.org

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant

The purpose of this grant is to assist students who are majoring in physical, life or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering or a foreign language that is critical to national securing in continuing their educations. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens who are Pell Grand recipients and at least a college sophomore. This award is to be used for the third and fourth year of undergraduate study. Amount: Up to $4,000. Deadline: Varies. http://studentaid.ed.gov

National Space Grant funded by NASA

This program provides student scholarships to colleges and universities in the US. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible and a quarter of all awards to minorities each year. Amount: Up to $10,000. Check with your states space grant consortium, see link: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/spacegrant/home/...

NASA Aeronautics Scholarship, Aeronautic Scholarship Program (ASP)

The following is from their website: http://nasa.asee.org/

Undergraduate Students: $15,000 awarded for each school year, to be used for educational related expenses. $10,000 Summer internship at a NASA Research Center. 2 years of support.

Graduate Students: $35,000 stipend. $11,000 awarded each year, to be used for educational related expenses. $10,000 Summer internship at a NASA Research Center. 2 years of support, with an option for a 3rd year

Northrop Grumman Foundation Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to aid female undergraduate computer science and engineering students. Eligible applicants must be rising undergraduate sophomores, juniors or seniors pursuing a degree in a related computer science or engineering field. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: Varies. http://www.swe.org

Northrop Grumman Freshman Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to help female freshmen undergraduates who are planning to major in computer science or engineering. Applicants must be a rising undergraduate freshmen who are planning to major in a computer science or engineering related field. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: Varies. http://www.swe.org

Olive Lynn Salembier Memorial Reentry Scholarship

The purpose of this is to aid female engineering students. Applicants must be female high school seniors, undergraduates or graduate students studying engineering. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: Varies. http://www.swe.org

Parsons Brinckerhoff - Engineering Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support COMTO (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials) members who are studying engineering. Eligible applicants must be undergraduate students who have been COMTO members for at least one year. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: April 16. http://www.comto.org

Payzer Scholarship

Purpose of this scholarship is to promote students interested in technical careers. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in an accredited program like engineering, mathematics or sciences and a member of EAA. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: February 28. http://www.youngeagles.org

Perry F. Hadlock Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to assist students who are involved in amateur radio and seeking a bachelor's degree or higher in a technology-related field. Eligible applicants must hold Technician Class Amateur Radio license or higher in the ARRL Atlantic or Hudson Division. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: February 1. http://www.arrlf.org

RBC Dain Rauscher Colorado Scholarships

The purpose of this scholarship is to provide assistance to outstanding Colorado high school seniors who pan to pursue a degree in science or engineering. Applicants must be graduating seniors at a Colorado high school who have a 3.75 GPA or higher. Amount: 3,000. Deadline: March 5. http://www.denverfoundation.org/grants/page/scholarships

Sallie Mae Bank Scholarships

The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to engineering, nursing or teaching students. Eligible applicants must be undergraduate students who are majoring in on of these fields and are going to attend an accredited school in Salt Lake County or Utah County, Utah. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: March 31. http://www.salliemae.com/content/salliemaebank

Scholarship for Graduate Students in Aerospace Engineering

Applicants must be graduate students studying aerospace engineering. See website for more specifics on eligibility. Amount: Varies. Deadline: October 20, April 20. http://ssl.jbnu.ac.kr/xe/research_f

Science, Mathematics, And Research for Transformation Defense Scholarship for Research Program

Called (SMART) for short, this scholarship gives out more than 300 scholarships per year to be used for tuition, health insurance, books, and other college related costs. Academic excellence and a high GPA are some of the criteria used to determine eligibility. $25,000 to $41,000 awarded each year.

The Maureen L. and Howard N. Blitman, P.E., Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage minority students to pursue careers in engineering. Applicants must be African-American, Hispanic or Native American high school seniors who have been accepted into an accredited engineering program at a four year undergraduate program. Amount: $5,000. Deadline: March 1. http://www.nspe.org

The Raymond Davis Scholarship

This is a scholarship that awards a small stipend to those students pursuing a study in photographic or imaging sciences. Criteria lists that the applicant must be a full time student and have completed at least two years in college before applying. $1,000 awarded annually.

TMC/SAE Donald D. Dawson Technical Scholarship

The purpose is to help current and future engineering students. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens, high school seniors or current undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited engineering degree program. Amount: $1,500. Deadline: Varies. http://www.sae.org

Vertical Flight Foundation Engineering Scholarships

This foundation was founded to support the education in rotorcraft and vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft engineering. Applicants must be full-time students at an accredited school of engineering and submit a transcript with an academic endorsement. Amount: $1,000-$4,000. Deadline: February 1. http://www.vtol.org

William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to high school seniors who are amateur radio operators and are seeking to pursue a bachelor's degree in business, computers, medical, nursing, engineering or science. Eligible applicants must have demonstrated financial need and plan to attend a regionally accredited institution. Amount: Up to $10,000. Deadline: February 1. http://www.arrlf.org

William R. Kimel, P.E. Engineering Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to assist engineering students from Kansas and Missouri in paying for their education. Applicants must be permanent residents of either state and enrolled in an accredited undergraduate engineering program. This is for students in their junior year only. Amount: $2,500. Deadline: March 1. http://www.nspe.org

William Wrigley Jr. Scholarship/Internship

The purpose of this program is to support African-American engineering, business and chemistry students with scholarships and paid internships. Applicants must be sophomore or juniors at a UNCF member college and demonstrate financial need. Amount: Up to $3,000. Deadline: Varies. http://www.uncf.org

Women in Science and Technology Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support women who are pursuing careers in science and technology. Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years old, and officially accepted into a bachelor's, master's or doctoral program in the state of Virginia. Must be majoring in a related field. Amount: $500 - $1,000. Deadline: April 1. http://www.vabpwfoundation.org

Yasme Foundation Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship is to support science and engineering students who are involved in amateur radio. Applicants must have an active amateur radio license and enrolled in a four-year institution. Amount: $2,000. Deadline: February 1. http://www.arrlf.org

The key to securing some of the aeronautical engineering scholarship money that is out there is to apply early and to have the entire component parts already lined up. For example, have three letters of reference already gathered and kept on file. Have a copy of current transcripts ready (both an unofficial and official copy). Lastly, go to the scholarship's website and print out a list of their requirements to see if the applicant meets eligibility criteria. For those willing to put in the time and effort, the money is there to assist the astute aeronautical engineering student in securing the money to go to school.

Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineer Careers

For those considering a career in aerospace and aeronautical engineering, an understanding of the aeronautical engineering salary can be of benefit. The salary for an engineer in the aeronautical field can range widely depending on location, experience, training, and technology involved. Compared to other careers, engineers command good starting salaries and the job security seems high.

Salary differences can vary depending on the facility in which the aerospace engineer finds himself. For example, private agencies tend to pay higher wages than those who are subsidized by the government or supported by the public. According to PayScale.com, the average range for an aeronautical engineer with just a bachelor's degree is around $50,000, while those who have advanced degrees can enjoy salaries that can range into the six figures.

Upward mobility is encouraged and easily obtained. This advancement in the workplace leads to a higher rate of pay for the employees. Some of the more notable companies who employ great numbers of aeronautical engineers are Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and North Star Aerospace.

It might interest the student to note that salaries can also differ from state to state. For example, it would seem that Indiana leads the nation in starting salaries, while Nevada offers the lowest starting pay for their aeronautical engineers. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has released a recent statement recommending that recent graduates consider an internship with one of the companies whose pay rate is high. Employers are more likely to hire someone that they are familiar with and who already understands the systems and the protocols of the company. Many aeronautical engineering schools and colleges offer this sort of internship placement program.

Aeronautical engineer salaries are often the highest among all engineering career paths because of their specialized training. Most references recommend that the student plan on continuing their education well past their bachelor's degree as the field is becoming more competitive each year.

Fields of Work as an Aerospace Engineer

Many companies offering positions in this field give employees a chance to contribute to the organization in a variety of ways. Having an aeronautical engineering degree doesn't limit the candidate to working in the field of systems engineering or testing. In many cases, the candidate can work in the fields such as structures, propulsion, navigation and controls, mission analysis, software engineering and aircraft guidance systems.

Some work in the field of airframe and installation design, while others work in configuration management and flight testing. Aeronautical engineers can fulfill a number of different engineering positions and roles within an organization, and can get on-the-job training to specialize in a particular area at some point in their career.

Salary Ranges

Salary ranges vary significantly by employer and location of the position. Salaries and wages are also calculated based on the candidate's years of experience in that particular field, areas of specialization, and any advanced training they may have received during their work-study program or internships.

The salary range for aeronautical engineer careers is from $48,000 to $109,000. Some candidates are eligible for bonuses and profit sharing programs that add from $5,000 to $30,000 to the base pay.

Basic Education and Training Requirements

If you are interested in pursuing an aeronautical engineering career, you will need to have at least a bachelor's degree in the field and then complete four years of hands-on training. Aeronautical engineers are required to pass two exams and complete training as a graduate in order to receive their Professional Engineer (PE) credentials.

Bachelor's degree programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and students may choose to specialize in a particular area during their final years of study. Specialization can open up more career opportunities and can also command a higher-than-average salary.

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