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Aerospace engineers examine analyze design produce and occasionally install components that make up aircraft spacecraft high-altitude vehicles and high-altitude delivery systems missiles Satisfaction with the romantic image of rocket building can buoy many engineers through the highly anonymous work environments that many of them face Individuals dont assemble rockets teams do dozens of teams working in highly supervised coordination An aerospace engineer plays some part on one of the teams spending more of her time roughly 70 percent in a lab at a computer and assembling reports than doing anything else Not being able to see the big picture frustrates some professionals The path to becoming an aerospace engineer is a rigorous one but those who manage to survive the difficult lift-off emerge with an above-average degree of career satisfaction Academic requirements are strict and wide-ranging Physics chemistry computer science mathematics materials science statistics and engineering courses provide the base for any aspiring rocket scientist Some colleges offer a degree in aerospace engineering others offer a more generalized engineering degree with some coursework in aerospace engineering These courses might include aerospace guidance systems extreme-altitude material science and the physics of high-altitude radiation Internships summer jobs and any experience in the field are helpful as entry into this industry is highly competitive Many aspirants may need to relocate to California Washington State or Texas where the majority of defense industry aerospace work is done to work for companies such as NASA Boeing and Lockheed Martin Two years into their job an aerospace engineer can be planning on being Junior members of research staff are swamped with work both in the lab and in offices crunching data and organizing research More like lab assistants their early years are marked by relatively menial tasks testing of equipment tracking results with little input into the testing or recommendation process Average hours and pay characterize these environments but education continues apace Few people leave the profession during these years
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