15 Best Paying Jobs in Aerospace in 2023

The aerospace industry continues to pay well throughout the globe.

According to data, the second-highest paying industry in Canada was manufacturing aircraft goods and components. They earned $54 per hour in 2018. Senior aerospace engineers in the United Kingdom earned between $55,000 and $75,000.

According to the median compensation in the United States in 2018, we have identified aerospace technology as the top five aviation occupations in terms of income.

The aerospace business is predicted to develop faster than almost any other industry between now and 2029 according to BLS. As a result, if you have an eye for the sky, now is an excellent moment to investigate the best aerospace companies.

When you think about aerospace employment, you probably think of pilots or astronauts. Nonetheless, a broad range of other professions are critical to the industry on the ground.

Listed in this article are the 15 best paying jobs in Aerospace.

What Is the Aerospace Industry?

Aircraft and spacecraft production, maintenance, and control are the main functions of the aerospace industry. Because each of these aircraft will need millions of components and large teams of employees to create, maintain, and operate them, employment in the aerospace sector is diverse.

Commercial aviation, satellites, military aircraft, and space exploration are all part of the aerospace industry.

The aerospace industry also employs those who fly and manage airports and spaceports where they take off and land.

How to Find Great Aerospace Jobs.

There are many websites for discovering space jobs. LinkedIn, Indeed, and many other platforms show job offers for different sectors. You can also search for industry-related job sites.

Read this article: 15 Best Aerospace Engineering Schools in the World

15 Best Paying Jobs in Aerospace in 2023

  • Air traffic controllers – $124,540 per year ($59.87 per hour).
  • Commercial Pilot – $81,550
  • Aerospace engineers – $115,220 per year ($55.39 per hour).
  • Aerospace engineering and operations technicians – $67,010 per year ($32.22 per hour).
  • Aviation and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and technicians – $63,060 ($30.32 per hour).
  • Astronaut – $146,757 per year
  • Aerospace Program Manager – $78,038
  • Quality Assurance Manager – $80,000
  • Propulsion engineer – $108,286 per year
  • Avionics Engineer – $152,054 per year
  • Pilot – $84,439
  • Thermodynamics Engineer – $107,000 to $225,000
  • Airline pilot – $14,330 
  • Flight Instructor – $137,330

1. Air Traffic Controllers- $124,540 per year ($59.87 per hour).

One of an air traffic controller’s roles is to provide clearance for both scheduled and unscheduled aircrafts.

Tracking the paths of arriving and departing airplanes inside the airspace and taking care of crises are his roles.

ATC operators may work as tower controllers, handling airport traffic, approach and departure controller, guaranteeing safety in the aerodrome airspace, and an en-route controller, assisting planes as they go through their airspace.

The average annual salary for air traffic controllers working in the United States is $129,180. In comparison, the average annual salary for controllers working in scientific and technology industries is $97,690.

The salary is determined by the quantity of traffic handled by the airport and the candidate’s degree of experience.

Long-term on-the-job training and familiarity with flight routes of different complexity are essential for the role.

According to research, the US Government employs 90% of all air traffic controllers.

Because a controller’s job requires enhanced attention, situational awareness, and rapid reflexes, they are not authorized to work continuously for more than 10 hours.

This is one of the best paying jobs in aerospace.

2. Commercial Pilots- $81,550 annually

To become a pilot, you must first get a competent civil aviation authority license. Commercial flights and airline flights need separate licenses.

Each month, airline pilots fly 75 hours according to a predefined flight schedule.

Commercial pilots fly solo, business, and non-scheduled flights, depending on demand.

In most circumstances, a pilot’s salary is proportional to the number of flying hours logged.

Based on the amount of flying hours and experience, the first officer may be recognized as the captain; when the flying hours are greater, a co-pilot is also deployed.

Commercial pilots earn $81,550 per year.

Pilots perform their tasks in three phases, with the major priority being safety. The first step includes pre-flight checks and obtaining navigation and technical approvals.

The second duty includes takeoff, in-flight inspections, contact with ATC, and reacting to emergencies or technical issues in flight using established protocols.
The last leg includes a safe landing roll, post-flight checks, and paperwork.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the local aviation authority, a pilot is authorized to fly for a certain number of flying hours each week.

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3. Aerospace Engineers – $115,220 per year ($55.39 per hour)

Aerospace engineers may be airframe, power plant, or avionics engineers, depending on their area of emphasis and degree of experience.

Jobs in aerospace engineering may be found in either astronautics (the design and development of spacecraft and associated components) or aeronautics (the design and development of aircraft).

This best paying jobs in aerospace pays $124,430 per year in the physical research, development, and engineering sector, which employs 9% of aerospace engineers.

According to the BLS, there will be an average of 3,800 employment for aerospace engineers during the next 10 years.

The federal government and the navigation and control instruments business, which employ 10% and 14% of the engineering workforce, provide about $120,000.

The aerospace product and components manufacturing industry employs the most aerospace engineers in the US (38%), with a median income of $113,840.

Aerospace engineers must be licensed by an authorized authority to practice as engineers. The work requires planning, study, and analysis to detect potential component flaws or breakdowns.

4. Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians – $67,010 per year ($32.22 per hour)

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians do the essential testing on new spacecraft or aircraft components. They guarantee that the components are calibrated in compliance with the aviation authorities’ accepted requirements.

Technicians working in manufacturing and industrial parks do aerial instrument fitting and aircraft construction.

The aerospace product and component manufacturing industry, which employs 31% of aerospace engineering and operations technicians, is the biggest employer in this sector, with a median annual pay of $66,800.

Engineering services and testing labs account for 15% of the economy, with annual salaries ranging from $69,690 to $71,880.

Scientific research and development service technicians earn the least, with an annual income of about $61,800.

Cutting-edge technologies such as three-dimensional printing, additive manufacturing, and composite constructions also create jobs for aviation engineers and operations personnel.

This is one of the best paying jobs in aerospace.

You should check this out: Marketable Careers In Aerospace Engineering In 2023 | Qualifications And Salary

5. Aviation and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians – $63,060 per year ($30.32 per hour)

The mechanics and technicians who operate the aircraft and avionics components ensure that they are safe to fly. Repairing, improving, and altering aircraft components, as well as the airframe, avionics systems, and power plants, are all part of the job.

Workplaces might include aircraft hangars, maintenance facilities, and overhaul facilities.

There are openings for A&P mechanics, avionics technicians, designated airworthiness representatives (DARs), inspection-authorized (IA) mechanics, and repairmen.

Supervising the technicians is the responsibility of a person who carries a license and is competent to certify the job. You may obtain a license by passing an aviation authority exam.

The average yearly pay for mechanics and technicians working in the scheduled air transportation industry, which employs 22%, is about $83,870. 30% of mechanics and technicians work in support jobs for the aviation sector, earning a median annual salary of $54,350.

The aerospace manufacturing business employs 15% of mechanics and technicians who deal with aircraft and avionics equipment and pays $64,510 per year.

Avionics technicians and mechanics, as well as aviation repair technicians, earn an annual salary of about $58,420.

According to FAA safety regulations, a technician must rest for at least 24 hours on two consecutive days. The experts follow the thorough instructions in the official manuals while doing maintenance at preset periods.

See the top aviation colleges in the world.

6. Software Engineer- $104,273

On our list of best paying jobs in aerospace are Software Engineers.

Bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering is required for this job role.

Software engineers in the aerospace industry are in charge of creating, building, and testing critical software systems. High-tech flying vehicles, such as helicopters and rockets, need complex software, and software developers maintain the stability and operation of these systems and programs.

These systems will be built from the ground up by software engineers, who will also create the program architecture and the relevant software documentation.

They must be able to work effectively under pressure to diagnose and debug software and come up with creative solutions to any code-related issues.

7. Astronaut – $146,757 per year

Astronaut are one of the best paying jobs in aerospace.

An astronaut is a person who has received considerable training and has served as a commander or crew member on spaceflight missions. Scientists are routinely dispatched on space missions to research the moon or reside at the International Space Station.

Astronauts perform research and experiments, maintain, and repair equipment on spacecraft or in space stations, do “spacewalks,” and unload supplies or food from Earth.

Astronauts must undertake extensive training and preparation on Earth before going on a flying mission since their roles are numerous and working in zero-gravity brings new challenges.

Also, must work effectively under strain and have high cognitive and problem-solving abilities. They must have great interpersonal skills to work successfully with the other astronauts in their tight team.

8. Aerospace Program Manager – $78,038

A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is required for this high paying job in aerospace.

Program managers in the aerospace sector are in charge of project organization, proposal preparation, and other project documentation.

They can manage, sponsor, and administer funding for aerospace projects since they have a thorough grasp of the industry.

They form tight working relationships with many other people in the aerospace industry, including engineers, city planners, public workers, and environmental researchers.

Aerospace program management is an office-based career; however, due to project work, hours may vary outside of typical office hours on occasion.

9. Quality Assurance Manager – $80,000 per year

To function as a quality assurance manager, you need a Bachelor’s degree in engineering

Quality assurance managers in the aerospace industry guarantee that all components, tools, and flying vehicles are evaluated, safe, and maintained.

They will examine items regularly to verify they meet national and international quality requirements as well as all corporate standards.

The first step in standardizing the testing process is to develop testing rules and schedules. After that, the QA manager will do the testing and meticulously record any quality issues.

The QA manager will then engage with engineers and other relevant parties to develop and carry out any required adjustments or work to bring the products up to standard.

They will document the process and maybe engage with engineers to implement remedies to prevent future quality issues.

Because rigorous QA directly impacts the safety of aerospace goods and vehicles, as well as the safety of the workers who work on or with them, quality assurance manager roles often have a high salary ceiling.

10. Propulsion engineer: $108,286 per year

A propulsion engineer specializes in designing mechanical power systems for airplanes and other aeronautical equipment.

Propulsion professionals rigorously test engines, motors, and compressors to provide power for different moving components.

These engineers may specialize in various propulsion-related disciplines, including thermal and liquid analysis.

They are one of the best paying jobs in aerospace.

11. Avionics Engineer: $152,054 per year

An avionics engineer specializes in various travel and flying technologies, including landing gear, flight safety, and electronic navigation. These specialists may implement electrical systems for satellites, planes, and other aerospace gear.

Avionics engineers provide the coding framework and computing skills for flying instruments such as those with autopilot capability.

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12. Pilot – $84,439 per year

Pilots are other professionals found on this list of best paying jobs in aerospace.

A pilot inspects the aircraft’s safety before and after each flight to verify that it is working properly. Pilots monitor the weather during a flight to predict and mitigate flying hazards.

Pilots record their flight information and communicate with support workers during flight emergencies, takeoff, and landing.

13. Thermodynamics Engineer – $107,000 to $225,000

A thermodynamics engineer in aerospace industry is in charge of developing, designing, and testing missiles, airplanes, and spacecraft. You undertake material research and test equipment using computer models as a thermodynamics engineer.

Computer, creative, and problem-solving abilities are required for this position.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you may enroll in a certificate or graduate-level mechanical engineering program. A master’s degree may pave the way for advancement in this sector.

Employers often desire at least five years of relevant job experience. Some firms may need you to have a certain level of clearance. 

See Also: Top 10 Highest Paid Airline Pilots in the World | 2023

14. Airline pilot – $14,330 

Unsurprisingly, becoming a pilot is the perfect career for millions of people, partly due to the position’s prestige and responsibility and the very appealing financial perks on offer.

Although this is more commonly the exception than the norm, an Airbus A380 captain operating long-haul flights for a prominent commercial airline, for example, may earn a salary of $200,000 (£143,600).

A scheduled airline pilot earns an average of $148,740 per year, whereas a non-scheduled airline pilot earns an average of $103,800.

Most pilots get their licenses privately via flying schools before applying to airlines, where they also receive the appropriate aircraft training and certification.

Alternatively, several organizations provide transitional training for those leaving the military or commercial aviation. But being a pilot requires more than glamor and aviator sunglasses; you must also be physically strong and able to keep your cool under pressure.

15. Flight Instructor – $137,330

If you have thousands of flying hours, you may pursue a career as an aviation teacher. This is an excellent employment option for those who want to shift occupations from the hard labor and long hours of a professional pilot.

Flight instructors give training both in the air and on the ground. Both components educate students on the written and practical tests required for obtaining a pilot’s license. The employment allows educators to work full- or part-time.

However, teacher certification and pilot training are required to be considered for this employment.

This is the last on this list of best paying jobs in aerospace.


The aerospace industry offers many work options, from high-stress jobs in quality assurance to program management. There is something in the aerospace business for everyone, and the space sector provides some of the most fascinating and profitable jobs.

Take a look at our best paying jobs in aerospace, to make a decision. We wish you the very best.


What Is the Aerospace Industry?

Aircraft and spacecraft production, maintenance, and control are the main functions of the aerospace industry. Because each of these aircraft will need millions of components and large teams of employees to create, maintain, and operate them, employment in the aerospace sector is diverse.

What are the 15 best paying jobs in aerospace in 2023?

Air traffic controllers – $124,540 per year ($59.87 per hour).
Commercial Pilot – $81,550
Aerospace engineers – $115,220 per year ($55.39 per hour).
Aerospace engineering and operations technicians – $67,010 per year ($32.22 per hour).
Aviation and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and technicians – $63,060 ($30.32 per hour).
Astronaut – $146,757 per year
Aerospace Program Manager – $78,038
Quality Assurance Manager – $80,000
Propulsion engineer – $108,286 per year
Avionics Engineer – $152,054 per year
Pilot – $84,439
Thermodynamics Engineer – $107,000 to $225,000
Airline pilot – $14,330 
Flight Instructor – $137,330



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