Aerospace engineers held about 72,500 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most aerospace engineers were as follows:
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing
Federal government, excluding postal service
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing
They are employed in industries where workers design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft. Aerospace engineers work primarily for firms that engage in manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and for the federal government.
Aerospace engineers now spend more of their time in an office environment than they have in the past, because modern aircraft design requires the use of sophisticated computer equipment and software design tools, modeling, and simulations for tests, evaluation, and training.
Aerospace engineers work with other professionals involved in designing and building aircraft, spacecraft, and their components. Therefore, they must be able to communicate well, divide work into manageable tasks, and work with others toward a common goal.
Aerospace engineers typically work full time. Engineers who direct projects must often work extra hours to monitor progress, to ensure that the design meets requirements, to determine how to measure aircraft performance, to see that production meets design standards, and to ensure that deadlines are met.