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Truly Elevated Career Choices

Truly Elevated Career Choices

Do you love using your imagination to plan and design new things down to the last detail? Do you dream of innovating on a daily basis – and getting paid for it? If your answer to the above questions is a resounding “yes”, then it is time for you to consider becoming an aerospace engineer or an architect, depending on where your interests lie.

One of the best paying professions in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), aerospace engineering is a coveted niche within the broader field of engineering. It contains the overlapping branches of astronautical and aeronautical engineering, involving the design and construction of aircraft and spacecraft. Aerospace engineers harness their advanced knowledge of robotics, aerodynamics, mechanics, and thermodynamics to craft civil and military aircraft, weapons systems, space exploration vehicles, satellites, and rockets and missiles. They must make sure the consumer’s needs are met, high safety standards are upheld, costs are reduced, and negative environmental impact is reduced. As an aerospace engineer, you will be engaged in multiple functions such as research and development, production, testing, analysis, etc. You will also probably specialize in a sub-field, such as robotics, propulsion systems, guidance and control systems, aerodynamics, etc. Budding aerospace engineers need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering; a master’s degree is needed for jobs in research or education. The US is home to a number of top aerospace engineering schools, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Texas A & M University, Princeton University, and California Institute of Technology.

Aerospace engineering is an extremely lucrative career option, with the median annual salary estimated at USD 103,720 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, employment in this field will grow much slower than the average for all occupations: a rise of only seven percent is predicted between 2012 and 2022. While job growth will be driven by national defense needs and the effort to improve fuel efficiency and decrease noise pollution, many of the manufacturing industries that employ aerospace engineers will grow slowly. Those who can use collaborative engineering tools, are trained in computational fluid dynamics software, or are comfortable with simulation, robotics, and modeling will have good job opportunities. It is critical to keep pace with the latest technologies.

If you interests lie on earth rather than in space, then architecture might be the right choice for you. The main job of an architect is to plan and design buildings and properties as well as to oversee the building of these structures. This can involve working with commercial real estate builders, property owners, community groups, local agencies, etc. Architects are also increasingly expected to factor in the social and environmental implications of structures. Aspiring architects will need to complete a bachelor’s degree program in architecture, while a master’s degree can provide an edge in the job market. Students can choose from among a number of top architecture schools in the US, including Rice University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Cornell University, and Rhode Island School of Design.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for architects is USD 73,090. The employment landscape is predicted to be quite stable and bright, with a rise of 17 percent between 2012 and 2022. Growth will be driven by increasing healthcare facilities and renovation of ageing educational campuses as well as brand new school/university facilities. Staying up to date with technical skills will give architects an edge in a competitive job market. Those who are good at sustainable design will be much in demand with many new buildings requiring green designs.

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