An Aerospace Degree is a highly concentrated program of study into the sciences and technologies associated with flight and space travel. This discipline requires knowledge in a variety of fields and technical areas. These include aerodynamics, aircraft and spacecraft propulsion, structures, control systems, computer programming, and many others. Individuals in the aeronautics and astronautics industries often become highly specialized in one of these many topics during the course of their career. Specialists work in teams, each contributing their own expertise to the common goal and task at hand. Large projects often require multiple teams, each with its own set of engineers with specialized skills.

When applied with intelligence and rigor, magnificent vehicles such as the Belgian F-16, shown here, are created. Planes, rockets, missiles, and other types of heavier than air vehicles are constantly being developed by bright engineers who started their careers with an aerospace degree. The vast majority of these men and women likely received their degree at traditional four year universities. However, online aerospace degree programs are developing throughout the academic community. Governments and corporations throughout the world hire swarms of aerospace degree holders to work on their mission critical projects.

Belgian F16

Image: Bernie Condon /

Degree programs are offered at 88 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. A complete list of these institutions can be found by using the "College Search" tool on the CollegeBoard website. ABET is an engineering accreditation board that certifies aerospace degree programs which explains why the coursework requirements from one university to the next do not differ much at all. Of the 88 institutions offering an aerospace degree, 66 of them are accredited by ABET. Typical courses include calculus and other more advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, electronics, and those dealing with the technical fields listed above.

As of 2008, there were approximately 1,571,900 individuals employed in engineering positions throughout the U.S. Aerospace positions accounted for roughly 71,600 jobs or 4.5% of this segment of the workforce. In 2009, the average starting salary for individuals with an aerospace degree at the bachelor level was $56,311. Engineers in the aerospace field had the third highest median salary of all disciplines behind petrol and nuclear in May 2008. The highest 10% earned more than $134,570 while the lowest 10% earned less than $58,130. This information as well as other highly helpful data and information about engineers can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook on the Bureau of Labor and Statistics website.