Aerospace engineers are responsible for developing extraordinary machines, from airplanes that weigh over a half a million pounds to spacecraft that travel over 17,000 miles an hour. They design, develop, and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles and supervise the manufacturing of these products. Aerospace engineers who work with aircraft are considered aeronautical engineers, and those working specifically with spacecraft are considered astronautical engineers. Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in flight, defense systems, and space exploration. They often use Computeraided Design (CAD), robotics, and lasers and advanced electronic optics to assist them. Aerospace engineers typically are employed within the aerospace industry. Aerospace engineers held about 50,000 jobs in 2000. Almost onehalf worked in the aircraft and parts and guided missile and space vehicle manufacturing industries. Federal
Government agencies, primarily the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration, provided almost 15 percent of jobs. Engineering and architectural services, research and testing services, and search and navigation equipment firms accounted for most of the remaining jobs. Employment of aerospace engineers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010 that's about 1020%. Demand should increase for aerospace engineers to design and produce civilian aircraft, due to the need to accommodate increasing passenger traffic and to replace much of the present fleet with quieter and more fuelefficient aircraft. Additional opportunities for aerospace engineers will be created with aircraft manufacturers to search for ways to use existing technology for new purposes. Some employment opportunities also will occur in industries not typically associated with aerospace, such as motor vehicles. Most job openings, however, will result from the need to replace aerospace engineers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.