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Aerospace engineering is defined as the primary form of engineering that concerns itself with the building, maintenance, and innovation of air and space planes. (Aeronautical Engineering Salary In South Africa ). The discipline is divided into two mains but overlapping distinction. The two separate divisions are Aeronautical engineering and Astronautical Engineering. Avionics engineering is a related discipline that involves itself with the electronics dimension of aerospace engineering.

Initially, the whole field was called Aeronautical engineering, but as technological advancements made it possible for a man to navigate in outer space, aerospace engineering became the more generally accepted term. It is also commonly referred to as rocket science.



The average median annual wage for aerospace engineers is estimated at $109,650 per annum

The median wages for aerospace engineers earning in the top industries are listed as follow:

  • The federal government which the charges for postal service is not included $115,090
  • Electromedical, navigational, measuring, and control instruments manufacturing    $112,640
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences $111,070
  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing     $108,920
  • Engineering services    $106,320

Employment growth rate for aerospace engineers is at 6 percent for the period of the last ten years, which is about as fast as the average growth rate for all other occupations.

Payment or wages for an average Aeronautical Engineer in South Africa is R362,778 per year. An additional skill in Engineering Design is however associated with higher pay for this job.

List of Top Employers Pay For Aeronautical Engineering Salary In South Africa

  • Lockheed Martin Corp $74,571
  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company $76,550
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation $79,679
  • The Boeing Company $131,427    


  • Johannesburg pays 5% less than the average
  • Pretoria pays 10% less than the average
  • And Cape Town pays 36% percent lower than the national average


  • Workers in Mid-Career earn 48% more than the national average.
  • Entry-Level engineers earn 9% lower than the national average


Of course, the origin of what is now called aerospace engineering should be traced back to the pioneers of the flying machine around in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Before this time, however, George Cayley made his mark in history as one of the most important people in the engineering history, by successfully identifying and separating the workings of lift and drag. This discovering is used in all flight bound vehicles today.

In the beginning, knowledge of the aeronautical engineering was mainly experimental with a few solid concepts coupled with aids brought in from other subdivisions of engineering. The early engineers depended on the primitive scientific understanding of some of the major points at play in aerospace engineering. Examples of these core points were fluid dynamics. Major progress was seen in the 18th century through to the accompanying years the Wright brothers successfully put a plane in the air. During world war one, the war created an atmosphere that pushed for the advanced design and production of air vehicles. From that point on, countless accomplishments and redesigns have been introducing to create the kind of aviation wonder that we have today.

Aeronautical Engineering Salary In South Africa

Aeronautical Engineering Salary In South Africa


Primarily, Aeronautical engineers are specially trained to create air bound vehicles for the design stage through developments, to the manufacturing stage. They are also educated on the procedures involved in maintaining and modifying and overhauling aircraft for both military and civil uses. Lastly, they are expected to possess a working knowledge of aeronautical components and its associated systems.

Secondarily, Aeronautical engineers are to use their professional and technical knowledge to optimize the aircraft components with regard to issues relating to flight safety and fuel efficiency, in a way that helps to reduce operating costs, without sabotaging the concepts of eco-friendly air travel. They can also help in setting up aircraft that would be operational in spatial conditions such as robots and satellites of the Mars rover is an example.

On a tertiary degree, Aeronautical engineers can typically handle the multidisciplinary workload in teams where their responsibilities may include:

  •    Technical overview and assessing of intended design with regards to legal requirements.
  •    Determining execution budgets, timescales, and specifications with clients and managers as project managers.
  •    Taking up theoretical and practical research for academic and innovative purposes
  •    The innovation, production, and implementation of improved designs and test procedures
  •    The optimization and improvisation of performance in aircraft components or associated systems
  •    The assembling of aircraft or fitting components for maintenance and repairs
  •    The test running, evaluating, modifying and re-evaluation of products
  •    The writing of instructional manuals and documentation of report findings.
  •    Consultation and provision of technical advice
  •    The analysis and interpreting of data findings and reports.


Depending on the preference of each person, an Aeronautical engineer may choose to be an office-based or workshop-based engineer. This is dependent on his interest in production, experimental or documentation processes. Sometimes, travel between local, national and international travel may be of necessity.

  •    The group of companies that usually employs Aeronautical engineers includes:
  •    Airline operators
  •    Consultancies
  •    Research and development organizations
  •    Aerospace and aero-engine companies
  •    Contract agencies
  •    The Civil Service
  •    The armed forces
  •    Government agencies
  •    Ministry of Defence
  •    Universities


Due to the technicality and the specifics of the industry, aerospace engineering employers would normally seek graduates with at least a master’s degree in engineering in any of the related engineering discipline including;

  • Aerospace
  • Electronics
  • Mechanical
  • Software
  • And materials.

Years of work experience is relevant areas are widely valued and considered. Sometimes these companies use Summer internships and industrial placements training to find recruit able newbie graduates.

Postgraduate pursuits are to be considered advantageous, this is because graduates with postgraduate research qualifications will be considered to earn from higher starting salaries.

As with the accounting profession, Achieving the status of a chartered engineer (CEng) status with the national Engineering Council would help to embellish your professional outlook and commitment to your field of study. The requirements to attain this status include: possessing an accredited bachelor’s degree in engineering or technology; earning a master’s degree (MSc) or doctorate (EngD) in a related discipline that is acknowledged by an apex engineering institution the likes of the Royal Aeronautical Society.


Given the eclectic and multifaceted nature of the discipline. it is highly recommended that Aeronautical engineers possess:

  •    High cognition with regard to empirical, mathematical, analytical and problem-solving skills
  •    High technical expertise and proficiency
  •    creative and innovative thinking
  •    Meticulous attention to detail
  •    a strong awareness of safety issues
  •     Working communication skill in both verbal and written parts
  •    Effective and result getting project and time management skills
  •    a commitment to constant and consistent catching up with technical developments on global and national trends
  •    the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines


An aerospace engineer can a specialist in the design of diverse types of aerospace vehicles, for examples commercial airline, military planes and choppers; remotely controlled drones; space launch vehicles and satellites; and military missiles and rockets projectiles.

Aerospace engineers with experience, often become specialist experts in one or more fields related to the discipline such as : the fields of aerodynamics, the fields of thermodynamics, the fields of materials, the field of celestial mechanics, the field of flight mechanics, the field of propulsion, the field of acoustics, and the field of guidance and control systems.

In the field of Aerospace, engineers can decide the arm he or she is interested in for specialization and the two area are the Astronautical engineering and Aeronautical engineering.

Aeronautical engineers work with aircraft, primarily designing then and their components with the theory, technology, and practice of flight consistent with the Earth’s atmosphere.

While astronautical engineers do the same thing but with their focus more on the behavior and theory of practice consistent with the outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

In light of this fact, Aeronautical and astronautical engineers are faced with different environmental and operational issues in the design process that they are entrusted with. However, the two fields share a lot of similarities because they both depend on the similar principles of physics.


Aerospace engineers are required to typically work full time in regular hours. However, engineers who are supervisors or directors of projects must often put in the extra hours to monitor progress with regards to deadlines, and to ensure that the design specifications meet the standard and safety requirements.



Aerospace engineering does not look like a profession that is going out of fashion anytime soon. The space adventures and the probe will only get more fascinating and interesting, opening up new opportunities for the aeronautical engineer.

Also, as the world clamors toward more environmentally sustainable processes, more aerospace engineers will be needed in the years to come, to keep innovating and find ways to make the avian means of transportation less harmful to the society.

Innovations and researches are still ongoing to be airplanes and craft more noiseless and fuel efficient. Likewise, the military will be looking for interesting ways to create airplanes that would evade radar systems, and then create support systems that would negate the advantage of such technology to an enemy state.

If you are planning to study aerospace engineering, be rest assured that your job is still secured at least for now and the immediate future.

Tags: Aeronautical Engineering Salary In South Africa

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Updated: August 14, 2018 — 2:14 pm

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