If you are interested in staking your future in an industry that is vital to the U.S. economy and national interests — and has excellent employment and earnings prospects — aerospace logistics is well worth your consideration. The industry consists of defense systems, aviation and space exploration organizations. Subsectors include large civil aircraft, supply chain and engines.
Deloitte forecasts continued growth due to an increasing demand for passenger travel. In fact, there is a backlog of over 14,000 commercial aircraft according to Deloitte's 2019 report, and the industry is expecting to build 38,000 of these planes over the next 20 years. The report also points to rising geopolitical tensions driving the increase in defense spending.
SelectUSA reports, "In 2018, the industry contributed $151 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy. Its positive trade balance of nearly $88 billion that year was the largest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry, supporting high-wage jobs for hundreds of thousands of American workers." The U.S. aerospace market is the largest in the world because of its strong political support, extensive distribution systems, diverse offerings and skilled workforce. Exports have been trending up each year since 2011, and the industry continues to attract investment dollars from all over the world.
The total jobs supported by the industry within the U.S. is concentrated within a small list of states. The top five states for aerospace industry employment in 2017, according to the Aerospace Industries Association, are as follows:
|State||Total Industry Employment|
The industry's top employers in 2018, according to Army Technology, are as follows:
|Top 10 Global Aerospace Companies||Recent Annual Revenues|
American company designs and manufactures airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets and satellites.
Designs, manufactures and sells civil and military aeronautical products.
United Technologies Corporation
Researches, develops and manufactures aircraft engines and aerospace systems.
American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies.
General Dynamics Corporation
Multinational, multi-industry conglomerate operates in aviation.
Global aerospace and defense technology company.
U.S. defense with concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics.
British multinational defence, security, and aerospace company.
British multinational designs, manufactures and distributes aviation systems.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are a wide range of business and management positions within the Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing Industry. (Note: This part of the aerospace and defense industry has a total employment of 490,950. The aerospace and defense industry also includes service and other organizations not represented in these employment figures, with a total employment figure of more than 1.6 million workers.) These are the current employment and wage figures for positions in the Product and Parts Manufacturing Industry with the highest national employment levels:
|Occupation||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Buyers and Purchasing Agents||11,860||$80,660|
|Training and Development Specialists||2,100||$85,150|
|Business Operations Specialists||45,040||$89,070|
|Computer and Information Analysts||6,690||$107,590|
|Industrial Production Managers||4,920||$133,500|
|Operations Specialties Managers||14,720||$144,140|
|General and Operations Managers||5,610||$162,700|
|Advertising, Marketing, Sales, PR||1,780||$163,700|
As the global need for aviation, space exploration and defense systems continues to expand, the future for aerospace business leaders looks increasingly optimistic, provided workers attain and update their skills as these industries shape the future.
Learn more about the SOSU online MBA program with an emphasis in Aerospace Logistics.
AIA: State of the U.S. Aerospace & Defense Industry
Deloitte: 2017 Global Aerospace and Defense Industry Outlook
SelectUSA: Aerospace Spotlight
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
Army Technologies: The World's Biggest Aerospace and Defense Companies in 2018
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