Aerospace Engineer Salary Guide & Career Outlook

An aerospace engineer salary in the United States is $82,018. A virtually equivalent salary in New Zealand is that of NZ$80,000 ($55,111). Canada and Australia see a lower, but similar salary at C$72,065 ($52,729) and AU$72,878 ($53,853). However, pay in South Africa and India is comparatively high, taking into consideration other careers in South Africa.  Here, an aerospace engineering salary is R351,832 ($25,895) and Rs 819,946 ($12,737).

This aerospace engineer career guide focuses on 7 different countries and the range of salaries earned in those countries. Experience and industry will also impact pay and those differences are described. Overall characteristics of the job such as the outlook, working schedule, and job benefits are also covered.

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make per Year by Country?

Aerospace Engineer Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $34.91 C$29.20 ($21.21) E13.02 ($14.27) $AU35.03* ($25.89) NZ$38.46* ($26.50) Rs 394.20* ($6.12) R275.00 ($20.24)
Annual Pay $82,018 C$72,065 ($52,729) E32,917 ($36,085) AU$72,878 ($53,853) NZ$80,000 ($55,111) Rs 819,946 ($12,737) R351,832 ($25,895)

Pay information denoted with a (*) indicates the hourly pay was correlated from the annual salary.

Aerospace Engineer Salary Influencing Factors

The aerospace engineering job is highly dependent on the aviation industry. Pay information from South Africa for aerospace engineers was not available. Thus, a similar field of the structural engineer was used. In New Zealand, the pay information comes from the government website. For the rest of the countries, Payscale was used.

1. Location

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make in the US?

Aerospace Engineer Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum $59,078 $17.45
Maximum $129,420 $68.88
Bonus/Tip $300.19 to $10,134 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay $23.27 to $67.01
Total Pay $58,892 to $134,305

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make in Canada?

Aerospace Engineer Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum C$49,641 C$17.77
Maximum C$105,841 C$46.63
Bonus/Tip C$5,135 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay C$34.03 to C$87.11
Total Pay C$49,324 to C$106,827

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make in the UK?

Aerospace Engineer Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum E22,531 E8.86
Maximum E51,863 E33.50
Bonus/Tip 1,96 to E6,128 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay 1,56 to E29.90
Total Pay E22,369 to E55,068

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make in Australia?

Aerospace Engineer Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum AU$56,900 AU$27.35
Maximum AU$119,643 $AU57.52
Bonus/Tip AU$14,795 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay AU$57,333 to AU$123,226

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make in New Zealand?

Aerospace Engineer Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum NZ$73,000 NZ$35.09
Maximum NZ$90,000 NZ$43.26
Bonus/Tip No additional pay No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay NZ$73,000 to NZ$90,000

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make in India?

Aerospace Engineer Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum Rs 304,102 Rs 146.20*
Maximum Rs 2,472,596 Rs 1188
Bonus/Tip Rs 970 to Rs 101,550 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay Rs 308,418 to Rs 2,589,362

How Much Does an Aerospace Engineer Make in South Africa?

Aerospace Engineer Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum R351,832 R169.15
Maximum R595,976 R286.52
Bonus/Tip R40,926 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay R242,941 to R643,061

2. Experience

The salary in South Africa increases sharply for those with more than 20 years of experience from R550,000 to R1,000,000. Conversely, in India, experienced aerospace engineers earn 78 percent above the average. In Canada, they experience significant pay growth for the first 20 years and then it tapers off from 41 to 46 percent above the average. The aerospace engineer starting salary in Australia is at 8 percent below the median and 42 percent above for experienced professionals. In the United Kingdom, aerospace engineers experience steady pay increases from E30,000 to E50,000. However, pay doubles over the career span of aerospace engineers in the United States.

Different respondents have varied experience levels. The most common level in all of the countries described above is 1 to 4 years of experience.

3. Industry

By and large, the most common industries for aerospace engineers are in aerospace product manufacturing, engineering services, the federal government, engineering research and development, and navigation and control instrument manufacturing. Out of these industries, the highest paying in the United States are the federal government, navigation and control instrument manufacturing, engineering research and development, aerospace product manufacturing and engineering services.

Common employers of aerospace engineers in the United States are the Boeing Company, Northrop Grunman, and Lockhead Martin.

Schedule & Working Hours

Overall, most aerospace engineers work full-time. Senior aerospace engineers or ones that manage projects regularly work more than 40 hours a week. While they spend most of their time in an office, they may have to go out to the plant or manufacturing center.

Although aerospace engineers have a very important part to play in the construction of safe aircraft, they spend a lot of their day on their computers generating reports or running simulations. As a result, in an article by The Princeton Review, it was found that aerospace engineers are regularly switched between projects based on which one takes priority at that moment.

Bonuses & Benefits

Aerospace engineers have a very romanticized career. There is a perception that it is exciting and intense. In general, aerospace engineers have positive feelings toward their job and they enjoy working on a large team.

As aerospace engineers gain more experience, they get to take on more responsibility and complete more ambitious tasks and projects. There are also other career options for aerospace engineers who want to leave the industry. These options are available due to their education.

Full-time aerospace engineers can expect the job benefits similar to any full-time employee who is provided benefits by their employers. These include retirement, healthcare, childcare, and health and wellness.

The table below shows healthcare benefits by country. A (–) indicates that the data was not currently available.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 91 93 39 32 67 44
Dental 78 81 16 16 13 4
Vision 68 66 16 16 17 3
None 7 6 53 66 30 56

Career Outlook

Engineering is a very popular major. Thus, this translates to a competitive job market. However, there are still significant shortages in New Zealand for qualified aerospace engineers. Unfortunately, in the United States, the job market for aerospace engineers was actually expected to decrease by 2 percent over the next decade (2014-2024). The aerospace industry is going through significant changes and those who work in manufacturing will see tempered growth. However, private industry might increase their role in creating aerospace jobs.

There is a potential advancement for aerospace engineers. For example, they can advance to the positions of director of engineering, vice president of engineering, aviation program manager, or senior program manager.

Overall, there are more males than females working in the aerospace engineering industry. For example, South Africa has the lowest percentage of males at 83 percent and the United Kingdom has the highest percentage at 93 percent.


All in all, an aerospace engineer career is exciting and the culmination of many hard years of education. The salary is relatively high to start with, and those who advance to senior level positions are rewarded with increases in both pay and responsibility. If you enjoy working with modeling equipment, using the engineering design process, and working in a team then this could be a good career choice. Another position for you to consider that entails working on more varied projects is that of a mechanical engineer.

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