Aeronautical Engineering Average Salary in US: Overview, Scope & Benefits – Leap Scholar


  • Learn about the various benefits and average salaries for aeronautical engineers in the USA
  • Know what aeronautical engineering is about and how it is different from aerospace engineering
  • Understand the different aspects and factors that decide an aeronautical engineer’s salary

Engineering is a very wide field that comprises several specialisations. Aeronautical engineering is one of them. Aeronautical engineers are a category of highly in-demand professionals. In fact, aeronautical engineers are one of the highest-paid professionals in the field of engineering. The job profile of an aeronautical engineer is designing, creating, testing and managing aircraft. A variety of aircraft such as planes, rockets, missiles and many more are covered in the work of an aeronautical engineer. Read this comprehensive blog to know what the career looks like and what is the Aeronautical Engineering Salary in US.

Overview of Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical engineering is a specialisation of aerospace engineering. It is a highly professional industry. The job of an aeronautical engineer delves into everything related to aircraft. The main focus of an aeronautical engineer is to study the aerodynamics and performance of an aircraft.

Aeronautical engineers spend the majority of their time designing elements and prototypes, testing aircraft and working on troubleshooting problems. They aim to increase flight safety and fuel efficiency through intricate designing and building processes.

As this industry is a high investment industry, the jobs secured in this field are high-paying as well. Aeronautical engineers are generally hired by federal agencies or private corporations in the USA and work on spacecraft, aircraft, missiles, rockets and various systems for national defence.

Aspects that Decide an Aeronautical Engineer’s Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary of an aeronautical engineer in the USA is $81,653. An aeronautical engineer’s salary is highly variable depending on a variety of factors such as regions, skills and specialisations, experience and company.

Let us look at these factors in detail that affects the Aeronautical Engineering Salary in US:

Years of Experience

Experience is one of the main aspects of any profession’s salary. The number of years you’ve worked at your job directly influences the salary you can command. In the case of aeronautical engineers, their salary increases with experience as well.

As per Payscale, the average salary of an entry-level aeronautical engineer with less than one year of experience stands at $70,626. On the other hand, the average salary of an aeronautical engineer with more than 20 years of experience stands at $122,049.


The USA is a country with a vast landscape and many states. Every region specialises in some industry or the other. For example, California is known for its tilt toward technology and has the best tech companies globally. Similarly, the salaries of aeronautical engineers are also affected by the region they get a job in.

According to Indeed, the following regions in the USA provide the highest pay packages to aeronautical engineers:

Annual Salary

Dallas, TX

Redondo Beach, CA

Greenbelt, MD

Arlington, TX

Huntsville, AL

Hampton, VA

Oklahoma City, OK

New York, NY

Phoenix, AZ

Skills & Specialisations

The skills you possess in your field decide the amount of salary you will get. The job of an aeronautical engineer is highly versatile, which means there are a number of skills you can specialise in and boost your pay package.

According to Indeed and Payscale, the following skills can help in increasing your area of expertise and command an increased salary over the average base pay:

  • Welding
  • Construction Experience
  • Aviation Experience
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Mechanical Design
  • Organisational Skills
  • Project Management
  • Research Analysis
  • Systems Engineering
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Technical Analysis
  • Engineering Design
  • Aeros
  • Matlab
  • Microsoft Office


Whether you work in the private sector or for a federal agency in the USA, the choice of company has a big impact on your salary. An airspace mammoth will offer you a much higher salary for the same job than a small-scale airline. Along with a higher salary, a good company will also offer you a host of incentives and bonuses.

Benefits of Being an Aeronautical Engineer

Apart from a high aeronautical engineering salary in US, there are a host of other benefits that aeronautical engineers receive, including:

  • Employee stock ownership plan
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Paid housing
  • Health insurance
  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Referral program
  • Parental leave
  • Relocation assistance

The Career Path of an Aeronautical Engineer

An aeronautical engineer’s career can take various paths in the engineering field. As the career progresses, experience increases and job opportunities for more experienced roles open up. An aeronautical engineer can take up the following roles with years of experience, earning these average salaries:

Job Role
Average Salary

Aerospace Engineer

Senior Systems Engineer

Aerospace Systems Engineer

Program Manager, Aviation / Aerospace

Mechanical Engineer

Senior Aeronautical Engineer

Top Recruiters for Aeronautical Engineers in the USA

The US has a thriving airspace industry with large-scale companies operating in them. Both federal and private agencies need aeronautical engineers for civil and military research. These conditions provide ample job opportunities to aeronautical engineers and help them secure a high-paying job.

According to data provided by Indeed, the following companies are known for providing high pay packages to aeronautical engineers in the USA:

  • Cenergy International Services – $199,080 per year
  • SM&A – $156,281 per year
  • Frontier Technology Inc. – $147,460 per year
  • US Department of Homeland Security – $135,962 per year
  • Alion Science and Technology – $132,402 per year
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation – $130,111 per year
  • US Department of Commerce – $124,646 per year
  • Boeing – $121,676 per year
  • NASA – $120,154 per year


The job of an aeronautical engineer is a thrilling one where you get to tinker with everything in an aircraft. Apart from experience gained, you get paid well too. The USA is known worldwide for being the land of opportunities. The chance to do aeronautical engineering in the USA and work for companies like NASA is definitely an enthralling thought.

With good guidance and information about the nitty-gritty of aeronautical engineering, you can be an aeronautical engineer in the USA too. Contact LeapScholar today.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who are the typical employers for aeronautical engineers in the USA?

Ans. The typical employers for aeronautical engineers in the United States can be classified into the following categories:

  • Aerospace and aero-engine companies
  • Airline operators
  • Contract agencies
  • Consultancies
  • Government agencies
  • Research and development organisations
  • The Civil Service
  • The armed forces
  • Universities

2. How do you become an aeronautical engineer?

Ans. To become an aeronautical engineer, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering with a specialisation in aeronautical engineering. It is usually a four-year program. Some universities in the USA also offer an integrated program that is 5-6 years long. Upon completion, you can also acquire certifications and specialisations to secure a high-paying job.

3. What is the pay scale of an aerospace engineer working at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the USA?

Ans. Working at NASA is one of the most sought-after ambitions of an aerospace engineer. NASA is also known for offering one of the highest pay packages and increments in the USA. Comparably, the median salary of an aerospace engineer at NASA is $164,994. The salary at NASA ranges between $34,289 per year and $777,639 per year.

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Debasmita Das

Study abroad professional with 14 years of extensive experience in advising associates, recruiting and counselling students.

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