The Sky’s the Limit: Jumpstart Your Career With an Aeronautical Science Degree

If you have a passion for adventure and a love of things that fly, a degree in aeronautical science could be your ticket to an exciting career in the aviation industry. An aeronautical science degree prepares you for an aerospace, aviation, or airline career.

What Is Aeronautical Science?

Aeronautical science focuses on designing, developing, operating, and applying aircraft within the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s a multidisciplinary field integrating physics, mathematics, and engineering aspects.

Florida Memorial University hosted its 14th Annual Black Pioneers in Aviation program in the Lehman Auditorium, on Wednesday, March 29.

Florida Memorial University 14th Annual Black Pioneers in Aviation program

Black Representation in Aeronautical Science

Historically, Black representation in aeronautical science has been significantly low, which has been well documented in numerous studies and surveys. While the journey toward equitable representation is ongoing, the numbers are slowly improving. According to data from the Federal Aviation Administration, in 2021, around 3.4% of airline pilots and flight engineers were Black, a slight increase from previous years but also demonstrative of the urgent need for increased diversity in the field.

Groups like the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) have taken lead roles in this mission, providing scholarships, mentorship, and resources for Black individuals interested in the field.

Career Opportunities in Aeronautical Science

Fisk Altitude Achievement Missile Team (F.A.A.M.T.)

With a degree in aeronautical science, you can expect a career that offers good job stability and a comfortable salary. For example, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pilots and aerospace engineers can expect to make over $100,000, and officials anticipate that employment in both professions will increase at average or above-average rates between 2020-2030. This projected growth is good news for anyone graduating with a degree in aeronautical science in the coming years!

A degree in aeronautical science will position you for a variety of careers, including:

  • Aircraft pilot
  • Flight engineer
  • Air traffic controller
  • Airfield operations specialist
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Avionics technician
  • Aircraft mechanic/service technician

These are just a few examples of the numerous career paths available to aeronautical science graduates. The field continues to expand and adapt to new technologies, ensuring many opportunities.

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How to Prepare for Success

As an aspiring aeronautical science major, there are several steps you can take in high school to increase your chances of success.

  • Focus on Math and Science: Aeronautical science relies heavily on principles from physics, chemistry, and especially mathematics. Make sure to take and excel in advanced mathematics and physics classes. Other applicable courses include computer science and engineering, if available.
  • Learn Coding Skills: Knowing how to program is instrumental in aeronautics. Many aeronautics students work on computer simulations and algorithm development. The field commonly uses Python and MATLAB.
  • Join or Start an Aeronautics or Aerospace Club and Participate in Competitions: Joining or starting an aeronautics club at your school and participating in science, math, and engineering competitions can help you gain a deeper understanding of the field and connect with peers who share similar interests. Robotics competitions, in particular, can help you gain valuable experience relevant to aeronautical science.

UNCF Schools To Consider

The following UNCF-member schools offer degree programs in Aeronautical & Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautics & Aviation Technology, and Aerospace Studies:

Professional Organizations

As an aspiring aeronautical science major, looking into the following professional organizations may help you gain a sense of the scope and important themes in your future industry:


There’s no better way to begin your journey toward a successful career in aeronautical science than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for aeronautical science majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements. 

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if additional scholarships are available to study aeronautical science.

As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to apply for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in aeronautical science. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!

You can also show your support for students pursuing careers and furthering equity in aeronautical science by making a contribution to UNCF member schools. Education is the greatest tool we have in creating a just and equitable society in which economic mobility is available to all. Help us achieve this future by donating today!