Aircraft Design Engineer Job Description [Updated for 2024]

aircraft design engineer job description

In an era where aviation technology is constantly evolving, the importance of aircraft design engineers has never been more evident.

As technology propels us towards new frontiers, the demand for skilled individuals who can design, innovate, and assure the safety of our airborne vehicles is growing stronger.

But what really goes into the role of an aircraft design engineer?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker looking to understand the core responsibilities of this position,
  • A hiring manager creating an outline for the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricacies of aircraft engineering,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we’re presenting a flexible aircraft design engineer job description template, crafted for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Aircraft Design Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

Aircraft Design Engineers specialize in creating and testing aircraft and aerospace products.

They use their expert knowledge of engineering principles, physics, materials science, and manufacturing technologies to ensure aircraft designs are functional, safe, and efficient.

Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Analyze and interpret aircraft specifications and performance requirements to determine suitable design approach
  • Design, model, and test prototypes for aircraft products
  • Conduct analytical, environmental, operational, or performance studies to develop designs for products, such as aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missile systems
  • Direct and coordinate activities of engineering teams designing mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, and other systems integrated into the overall aircraft design
  • Evaluate product data and design from inspections and reports for conformance to engineering principles, customer requirements, and quality standards
  • Formulate mathematical models or other methods of computer analysis to develop, evaluate, or modify design according to customer engineering requirements
  • Plan and conduct experimental, environmental, operational and stress tests on models and prototypes of aircraft and aerospace systems and equipment
  • Write technical reports and other documentation, such as handbooks and bulletins, for use by engineering staff, management, and customers
  • Research and analyze customer design proposals, specifications, manuals to evaluate the feasibility, cost, and maintenance requirements of designs or applications.


Aircraft Design Engineer Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a skilled Aircraft Design Engineer to join our team.

In this role, you will be responsible for creating innovative aircraft designs, conducting feasibility studies, and working collaboratively with team members to turn conceptual designs into functional aircraft.

Our ideal candidate is familiar with the entire aircraft design process, from initial concept to final product, and has in-depth knowledge of aeronautics, engineering principles, and materials.



  • Design and develop aircraft systems and components.
  • Conduct feasibility studies on new aircraft designs.
  • Coordinate with multidisciplinary engineering teams to develop and optimize aircraft designs.
  • Create and modify CAD models and engineering drawings.
  • Ensure compliance with industry safety and design standards.
  • Perform structural analysis and simulations.
  • Identify and address potential design problems.
  • Conduct testing and validation of prototypes.
  • Prepare technical reports and documentation.
  • Keep abreast of advancements in aircraft design and technology.



  • Proven work experience as an Aircraft Design Engineer or similar role.
  • Strong knowledge of aircraft systems, manufacturing methods, and materials.
  • Proficiency in CAD software (e.g., CATIA, AutoCAD).
  • Strong understanding of aerodynamics and physics.
  • Experience with design analysis tools (e.g., ANSYS).
  • Excellent problem-solving and project management skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment.
  • BSc degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or relevant field.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Aircraft Design Engineer
  • Work Environment: This position is primarily office-based but may require some visits to manufacturing and testing facilities.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Lead Design Engineer or Engineering Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $85,000 minimum to $130,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Aircraft Design Engineer Do?

Aircraft Design Engineers usually work for aviation companies, aerospace manufacturing firms, and governmental agencies involved in aerospace projects.

They can also serve as consultants for aircraft design projects.

They primarily design and test aircraft components or complete aircraft systems.

They ensure that the designs meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental challenges.

They work collaboratively with other engineers and technical staff to develop new concepts and designs.

Their main responsibility is to create detailed 3D models and 2D drawings of aircraft parts, using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software.

They also need to calculate the stress factors, aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, safety features and overall performance of the aircraft.

Aircraft Design Engineers also evaluate the prototypes in simulated environments to identify any potential issues or malfunctions.

Based on the results, they refine their designs to increase efficiency, safety and reliability.

They may also be involved in researching new materials and technologies to be used in aircraft design and construction, aiming to reduce cost, weight, and environmental impact.

They often work in conjunction with other teams such as manufacturing, quality assurance and regulatory compliance to ensure the aircraft design adheres to all relevant standards and regulations.


Aircraft Design Engineer Qualifications and Skills

An Aircraft Design Engineer should possess a variety of skills and qualifications to effectively design and optimize aircraft structures and systems, including:

  • Strong knowledge of aerodynamics, aircraft materials, and aviation regulations to ensure optimal design and adherence to safety standards.
  • Proficiency in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and other engineering software to create precise and practical aircraft designs.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills to assess aircraft performance and make necessary design adjustments.
  • Excellent mathematical skills for calculating structural loads, aircraft weights, and other critical design parameters.
  • Strong communication skills to effectively collaborate with team members, communicate design concepts, and present findings to stakeholders.
  • Project management skills to oversee the design process, meet project deadlines, and ensure the efficient use of resources.
  • Attention to detail to ensure design precision and compliance with strict aviation standards and regulations.
  • Continual learning abilities to stay updated with advancements in aerospace technology and engineering principles.


Aircraft Design Engineer Experience Requirements

For an entry-level Aircraft Design Engineer, a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering or a related field is a must, and most employers prefer candidates with some relevant experience, which can be gained through an internship or co-op work during their studies.

The first few years of experience usually involve working under the supervision of senior engineers, where they gain a hands-on understanding of the fundamentals of aircraft design, including aerodynamics, structural design, and propulsion systems.

After 3 to 5 years of experience, Aircraft Design Engineers usually have a solid grasp of design principles, are proficient with key software tools such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and have experience with various stages of the aircraft design and development process.

Engineers with more than 5 years of experience often take on more complex projects and may start to specialize in a particular area of aircraft design.

They may also begin to take on leadership responsibilities, overseeing the work of junior engineers and coordinating with other teams.

Senior Aircraft Design Engineers, typically with more than 10 years of experience, are expected to have extensive knowledge of aircraft systems, a track record of successful design projects, and the ability to guide the entire design process from concept to completion.

They may also have additional qualifications, such as a Master’s degree or Professional Engineer (PE) certification.


Aircraft Design Engineer Education and Training Requirements

Aircraft Design Engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in aerospace or aeronautical engineering.

They need a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, and computer science, as these are the fundamentals of aircraft design.

In addition to the basic degree, practical experience in aircraft design and modeling, through internships or co-op programs, is highly beneficial.

For more complex roles or leadership positions, employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree or Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering or a related field.

Certifications from recognized institutions like the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) may also be beneficial.

It is important for Aircraft Design Engineers to engage in continuous learning due to the rapidly evolving technology in the aerospace industry.


Aircraft Design Engineer Salary Expectations

An Aircraft Design Engineer can expect to earn an average salary of $85,000 (USD) per year.

However, this figure can vary depending on factors such as prior experience in the field, level of education, location, and the specific company of employment.


Aircraft Design Engineer Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Aircraft Design Engineer need?

An Aircraft Design Engineer needs to have in-depth knowledge of aerodynamics, propulsion systems, and aircraft structures.

They also need to possess strong problem-solving skills, exceptional attention to detail, and the ability to work well in a team.

Proficiency in CAD software and familiarity with industry regulations are also crucial for this role.


Do Aircraft Design Engineers need a specific degree?

Yes, Aircraft Design Engineers typically need a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field.

Some roles might require a Master’s degree or higher, particularly for specialized or senior positions.

They should also have a solid foundation in physics, mathematics, and computer science.


What should you look for in an Aircraft Design Engineer’s resume?

An Aircraft Design Engineer’s resume should highlight their educational qualifications in relevant fields, experience with CAD and other engineering software, and any special projects or internships related to aircraft design.

Practical experience in the aerospace industry, knowledge of industry regulations, and certifications can also be beneficial.

Teamwork and project management experience are additional assets.


What qualities make a good Aircraft Design Engineer?

A good Aircraft Design Engineer exhibits strong analytical thinking and problem-solving skills as they need to design aircraft that are safe, efficient, and compliant with regulations.

They should also be detail-oriented, as even minor errors can have significant consequences.

Good communication skills are essential to effectively collaborate with other team members and present their design concepts.


Is it challenging to hire Aircraft Design Engineers?

Yes, hiring Aircraft Design Engineers can be challenging due to the specialized nature of the role.

It requires specific educational qualifications and industry experience.

Furthermore, the candidate should have a solid understanding of complex engineering principles and industry regulations.

Therefore, finding a candidate who fits all these criteria can be difficult.



And that wraps it up.

Today, we’ve demystified what it truly means to be an aircraft design engineer.


It’s not just about drawing schematics.

It’s about shaping the future of aviation, one blueprint at a time.

Armed with our comprehensive aircraft design engineer job description template and real-life examples, you’re ready to take flight.

But why settle there?

Soar higher with our job description generator. It’s your co-pilot for creating laser-focused job listings or refining your resume to absolute precision.


Every blueprint contributes to the grand scheme.

Let’s build that future. Together.

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