Highest Paid Jobs in Aerospace


The aerospace industry manufactures airplanes, helicopters, space shuttles and other vehicles that fly through the air. Most jobs in this industry pay well. Various types of engineering jobs provide the highest pay in the aerospace field. As in most industries, the highest-paid jobs remain in shorter supply and require more experience to obtain.

Software Engineers

  • Aerospace engineers who specialize in computer software receive the highest pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the U.S. aerospace industry pays them an average of $44.41 per hour, as of 2008. An eight-hour day would yield just over $355, producing roughly $92,000 in annual earnings. Airlines, aerospace manufacturers and government agencies employ aerospace engineers, according to California State University.

Other Engineers

  • Industrial, mechanical and other types of engineers generally earn amounts ranging from $37 to $44 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aerospace engineers work on product improvement and development. Primarily, they perform their jobs in laboratories and offices, except for production engineers who usually work in a factory production area. California State University indicates that such careers require a bachelor's degree in science at a minimum; some engineering jobs call for a master's degree or doctorate.

Purchasing Agents

  • Following all types of engineers, purchasing agents have the second highest-paid job in the U.S. aerospace industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates they earn about $30.87 per hour or $62,000 dollars annually. Purchasing agents buy supplies and parts to use in manufacturing. The aerospace industry offers the second highest-paid field for this profession.


  • Managers and supervisors earn an average of $30.27 per hour in the industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They supervise workers in aerospace equipment factories and offices. Supervisors and managers must have the ability to direct and assist workers while making important personnel decisions with regard to hiring and dismissal. They ensure employees carry out tasks properly and efficiently.


  • Some of the other highest-paying jobs in the aerospace industry include maintenance and quality control personnel. The federal government indicates mechanics and technicians earn $24.47 per hour on average. They maintain, inspect and repair aircraft. This requires heavy lifting and involves some additional danger. Inspectors and testers make about $22.10 hourly, considerably more than people with similar jobs in most other industries. They work to verify the safety and quality of aircraft components.

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