The Average Salary of a Rocket Scientist


You've probably heard the expression, "It isn't rocket science," used to describe a task that should be easy to perform. But what does it pay when it is rocket science? According to "Aviation Week," entry-level aerospace engineers earned an average annual salary of $71,859 in 2012. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 2012 median salary of $103,720. It may be a difficult one to enter, though, as the demand for aerospace engineers is expected to grow more slowly than the demand for other careers through 2022.

The Numbers Fueling Rocket Science

  • The specific industry in which an aerospace engineer works plays an important role in salary. Those working for the federal government in 2012 made the most, with a median annual wage of $110,860. Those working in scientific research and development were close behind with a median wage of $109,740. Those working in aerospace part manufacturing made the least at a median wage of $97,560. Location is also a factor. The highest-paid engineers of 2013 worked in Virginia, District of Columbia, Colorado, New Jersey and Maryland. The states with the most aerospace engineering jobs were California, Washington, Texas, Ohio and Florida.


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