Wish to go on an expedition to the International Space Station like Howard Wolowitz? Become an Aerospace Engineer!

  • Oct 28, 2021
  • Nehal Jain

Haven't we all watched The Big Bang Theory and been wowed by Howard Wolowitz's expeditions to the International Space Station? 

Howard’s primary job throughout The Big Bang Theory is as an aerospace engineer.

Although Howard gets little respect from Sheldon, he really is a fantastic engineer who should be praised for his work. Howard attended MIT where he got his Master's Degree in Engineering, with a focus on aerospace. He had the ability to control the Mars Rover and helped design a satellite that circled Jupiter.

Due to his experience with space, Howard had the opportunity to work with NASA and go to the International Space Station. He later invented a Quantum Guidance System for the U.S. Air Force with a theory created by Leonard and Sheldon.

Isn’t that fascinating? 

If your answer is yes, and if you’re as thrilled about exploring the field of Aerospace Engineering as we are, this article is for you! 


What does an Aerospace Engineer do?

An Aerospace Engineer is crucial in the research, design, development, performance testing, and launching of commercial and military airplanes, weapon systems, space vehicles, and satellites. Aerospace engineers improve flight safety & fuel efficiency, develop control systems, analyze new materials and use advanced technologies to meet customer needs and reduce the environmental impact of air commute.

Aerospace engineering is a very specialized branch of engineering that is a combination of Aeronautical Engineering and Astronautical Engineering. It includes aspects of mechanical engineering as well as computer application, structures, mathematics, physics, drafting, electricity, robotics, and aeronautics, among others.


Aerospace engineers typically do the following:

  1. Direct and coordinate the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft and aerospace products
  2. Assess proposals for projects to determine if they are technically and financially feasible
  3. Determine if proposed projects will result in safe operations that meet the defined goals
  4. Evaluate designs to see that the products meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental regulations
  5. Develop acceptance criteria for design methods, quality standards, sustainment after delivery, and completion dates
  6. Ensure that projects meet quality standards
  7. Inspect malfunctioning or damaged products to identify sources of problems and possible solutions


How to Become an Aerospace Engineer?

High school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take courses in chemistry, physics, advanced math, and computer programming, and computer languages.

Aerospace engineers require a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. This is usually a four-year full-time program that includes classroom, laboratory, and field studies in subjects such as general engineering principles, propulsion, stability and control, structures, mechanics, and aerodynamics, which is the study of how air interacts with moving objects. 

At some universities, a student can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree upon completion. 

You may also consider pursuing a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering to get an edge over others in the field.


How much do Aerospace Engineers Earn?

While Howard's friends from The Big Bang Theory often rag on him for not being a Ph.D., he isn't underpaid by any stretch of the imagination. An aerospace engineer like Howard Wolowitz can earn anywhere from $70,000 to $157,000 depending on experience, the type of company the engineer works for, and the area where they work.

The median annual wage for aerospace engineers in May 2020 was $118,610, which is way above the national average salary of $56,000.

Aerospace engineers typically work full time. Engineers who direct projects must often work extra hours to monitor progress, to ensure that designs meet requirements, to determine how to measure aircraft performance, to see that production meets design standards, and to ensure that deadlines are met.

Do you want to know more about making the right choice for your college and career?
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