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Engineering How stable is Aerospace Engineering? What about Mechanical Engineering?

  1. Jun 27, 2011 #1
    Which one is more stable? I heard that Aerospace Engineers get hired for a job, then get fired. I'm going to be a junior in High School next year and I'm thinking about what I want to be. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2011 #2


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    Depends on the situation. I don't think anyone can produce meaningful statistics on "stability."
  4. Jun 27, 2011 #3
    Where did you hear this?
  5. Jun 27, 2011 #4
    I was doing research online and I read that.
  6. Jun 28, 2011 #5
    Cool story bro. They're almost exactly the same thing. It doesn't matter.
  7. Jun 28, 2011 #6
    In every engineering field, there are the contract jobs, and there are the steady jobs.

    The steady jobs may be routine, possibly dull work that can only be done by someone with an engineering background. Examples may include working at a utility, government, or in a large manufacturing facility. On the other hand, there may be contract work that may be utterly fascinating and cool --as long as you're OK with keeping an extensive savings for those months when you'll be unemployed between jobs.

    Aerospace design work can be a boom/bust sort of a thing. The booms can last for a decade or more. However, the busts are just as bad. Following the Apollo lunar missions, many engineers (not just aerospace) found themselves out of a job. Nobody needed their experiences, so they found themselves back at the bottom of the experience ladder. There were many who were so soured by the whole experience that they left the field of engineering entirely.

    I personally observed another such bust while attending a college 20 years ago. The cold war had ended, and many who had scholarships from their defense contract employers found themselves unemployed and without funding to complete their degree.

    Understand that this situation applies to every field of engineering, not just Aerospace. Though in the scheme of engineering work, Aerospace happens to have one of the bigger boom/bust cycles.
  8. Jul 27, 2011 #7
    To give you an idea about Mechanical Engineering in the current economy: Jobs for mechanical engineers should grow at about 5-6% over the next year.

    http://jobsformechanicalengineers.com/" [Broken]

    I don't have any statistics on Aerospace, but I'm sure you could look them up.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  9. Jul 27, 2011 #8
    Also who cares? You're still in high school. You might even be doing major drugs by the time you're "supposed" to attend university. Why not keep it slow?
  10. Jul 27, 2011 #9


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    Hi Goopy,

    I'm retired from Boeing, but see a lot of recent college graduates have a lot of trouble with debt and underemployment.

    If I were in high school and had it to do all over again under current economic conditions, I would pursue a path which would absolutely ensure I had solid employment prospects no matter the state of the economy. I might go for a 2 year electricity and electronics degree, or I might get into a trade school for plumbing or auto repair.

    Best of luck,
  11. Jul 27, 2011 #10
    Looks like I had bad information. I ran my own statistics on Mechanical engineering Job Growth and it looks like it will be 1.7% over the next 7 years or so. (Mainly due to it being such a large profession)

    Aerospace Engineering should grow by about 10% but is smaller to begin with.

    That translates into about 90k jobs needed for Aerospace Engineers over the next 7 years, and about 70k jobs for Mechanical engineers.
  12. Jul 27, 2011 #11


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    Frankly, I think mechanical engineering is more salable in the current job market. Aerospace is going to suffer under the inevitable budget cut proposals currently floating around in Washington.
  13. Aug 1, 2011 #12
    Might be worth adding that, in the UK at least, there are significant environmental concerns about the growth in aeroplane use. For example a new runway plan at the biggest airport in London has been cancelled. Now no matter whether you think the environmental arguments are justified or not, there is no denying that significant pressure is being put on government to reduce the aircraft emissions, and thus reduce flights.

    If follows that this could have a knock on effect for jobs in the aerospace industry. Of course there are many compounding and conflicting factors that effect jobs in a particular industry... but its food for thought.

    The military aerospace industry probably doesn't have such worries... but then you'd need to think about cuts to defence spending...

    Anyway... shouldn't worry about it too much, you've still got time to think on these things :D
  14. Aug 3, 2011 #13
    It is only as stable as the wars we get into.
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