Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Aerospace Engineers in Tacoma

Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Aerospace Engineers in Tacoma

Current Environment

Aerospace engineers are employed primarily in the manufacturing, analysis, design, research, and development of aircraft, spacecraft, and defense systems. The federal government is one of the main employers in the industry, mainly due to the demand created by each of the branches of the military. Federal departments, such as the Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Energy also employ aerospace engineers, and the crown jewel employers in aeronautics are NASA and JPL. The air transportation industry for both passengers and cargo also recruit aerospace engineers for design, manufacturing, testing, and maintaining aircraft. Opportunities in the field are expanding with the introduction of private enterprise in space travel, exploration, and research.


Historically, opportunities for employment in the field were working with the government directly, or large aerospace manufacturers working for the government or military. The field has evolved and grown with the expansion of the airline industry and the space program. Active employers are NASA, JPL (operated by Caltech under a contract from NASA). SpaceX is one of the newest entrants in the industry, actively developing technologies with the potential for enormous change.

Will COVID-19 Affect the aerospace engineering Field?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues around the world, many global aerospace and defense industry companies are feeling the impact. Deloitte and Pricewaterhouse Coopers both wrote reports outlining the challenges and the path to recovery.

How will Recruiting aerospace engineers Help Your Company?

How will Hiring aerospace engineers Help Your Company?

Recruiting the top aerospace engineers can ensure you have the expertise and know-how needed to plan, manage, and complete projects on time and on budget.

However, hiring the best aerospace engineers in itself won’t distinguish one aerospace company from another. Aligning those engineers and other team members to work toward a central mission or purpose will make the best use of talent and resources. Consider the USA Olympic basketball team, the first-year pro athletes were allowed to compete. They were the best players, but they failed to play well together as a team. Teams with lesser talent beat the U.S. because they played better together.

Fill the Talent Gap

In addition, if there are talent gaps in your current team, you can source candidates that excel with a particular skill. For example, companies that need a boost in innovation can source candidates who have been a part of “innovation jams” or other programs that teach how to incorporate innovation into company culture.


Technology is another area that is key for engineers. When you are looking for recruits, be prepared with specific questions about a candidate’s expertise with the latest technology systems and software to give your organization critical technology expertise.

aerospace engineer Details


Before we get to exactly how to recruit the best aerospace engineers in Tacoma, here are some of the details of the job.

Positions in aerospace engineering primarily direct the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft and aerospace products, including aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. A few additional responsibilities include:

  • Assess proposals for projects to determine if they are technically and financially feasible.
  • Determine if projects will result in safe operations and meet the goals set.
  • Evaluate designs for engineering standards, requirements, and environmental regulations.
  • Develop design methods, quality standards, and completion dates.

Looking for another position? View other positions we place in Tacoma, Washington.


Typically, aerospace engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering or another field of Engineering or science related to aerospace systems. For those working on projects related to national defense, a security clearance may be required, and sometimes U.S. citizenship is required for certain types and levels of clearances.

US News & World Report ranked the top 3 undergraduate college programs for Aerospace Engineering. These programs train students in the science of flight, both for aircraft and spacecraft. These are the top undergraduate schools where the highest engineering degree offered is a doctorate.

Top Schools

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Georgia Institute of Technology

  • California Institute of Technology

Salary Range

aerospace engineers in the U.S.


Total aerospace engineers Employed in the U.S.





aerospace engineer Salary Comparison


Nationally, compensation for aerospace engineers ranges between $72,000 per year and $166,000 per year. The average annual salary in 2019 was $119,220. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 134,000 aerospace engineers employed in 2019, with just under 14% of those employed being women. It is estimated that 78% are white, 6.5% Black or African American, 14.5% Asian, and 7.3% Hispanic or Latino.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from May 2019, the median annual wage for aerospace engineers was $116,500, compared with $94,500, the median annual wage for all engineers.


The average annual salary for aerospace engineers in Washington was k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $.

For more detailed compensation information for aerospace engineers in Tacoma, download our free compensation/salary report below.

Working in Tacoma

Tacoma is a picturesque city in Washington on the banks of Puget Sound, located just north of its neighbor and “big sister” Seattle. But Tacoma is definitely a city with its own identity. Due to its thriving job market and progressive culture, Tacoma is also known as the City of Destiny.

Its natural beauty, ocean-front location, focus on arts and culture, and its proximity to the impressive Mount Ranier give Tacoma a ton of character.

Here are a few additional “pros” for living and working in Tacoma.


    • The crown jewel of Tacoma is Point Defiance Park, which some compare to  NYC’s Central Park as far as size and stuff to do.  The park has 760 acres of trails, gardens, forests, playgrounds, and waterfront activities like boating and swimming.
    • It’s also home to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
    • Museums: The city boasts several world-renowned museums: the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Washington State History Museum.
    • Tacoma Arts Live features three theaters, the Tacoma City Ballet, Tacoma Philharmonic, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, and Puget Sound Revels.
    • Tacoma gets good reviews on its food scene, and most locals would point to Ruston Way for the best seafood restaurants, or cross the Tacoma Narrow’s Bridge to the charming city of Gig Harbor for more waterfront dining options.
    • The cost of living is lower than in neighboring Seattle. This calculator estimates that Tacoma is 34% cheaper overall than Seattle, and the median home cost is 56% less.

While there are many good things people report about living and working in Tacoma, there are a few complaints.


    • When comparing Tacoma to Seattle schools, the school data shows that Seattle has better statistics for Pre-K-12 schools. Tacoma has more students per teacher and a lower high school graduation rate, and while 28% of students go on to get a 4-year degree, 62% achieve the same in Seattle.
    • The Tacoma Aroma. What?? It’s a rancid, unpleasant odor that occurs occasionally in the tidal flats. Describe it as that kind of sulfuric, rotten egg smell. It’s a byproduct of industrialization in the area.

Current Weather

Not your city? View other cities where we place aerospace engineers.

Demand for aerospace engineers in Tacoma

Demand for aerospace engineers in Tacoma

Demand for aerospace engineers is growing at an average rate compared to other engineering fields. However, demand has increased for unmanned aircraft due to the commercial potential. The employment of aerospace engineers is projected to grow from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry is also experiencing growth due to innovation and an expansion in the industry.

Improved Aircraft

Aircraft are being redesigned to cause less noise pollution and have better fuel efficiency. Small Satellites: New developments in small satellites have greater commercial viability, thus increasing the need for skilled Aerospace Engineers.

The growing interest in unmanned aerial systems will also help drive the growth of the occupation.

The supply of candidates and demand for open positions have a direct correlation to a company's ability to hire. Download a free Supply and Demand report for aerospace engineers in Tacoma, Washington below.

How to Hire the Best aerospace engineers

Finding and hiring the best aerospace engineer candidates can save you money right away and well into the future.

The costs of making a bad hire are well documented. The cost can run as much as 30% of the employee's first-year earnings according to the US Department of Labor. Bad hires can cost a whopping $240,000 in expenses related to hiring, compensation, and retention per The Undercover Recruiter. 74% of companies who admit they've hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire according to CareerBuilder. These statistics support our long-held position that behavioral questions are the best way to get to know your candidates and past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.

Recruiting Best Practices

The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.

Defining the Position

When defining the role you are creating, we recommend a position profile to fully evaluate the position you are hiring for. You must decide if the engineer can work remotely or must work in Washington. If working in Tacoma is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.

How to Source the Best Candidates

When you are looking to source the best quality candidates for your open positions, make sure you have done the legwork to hire an "A Player". You can do this by making sure your company's perspective is aligned with the current market, you have taken into account the job responsibilities, as well as what type of characteristics you are looking for to fit your company culture. Then proceed to write a job posting to attract high-quality candidates.

Characteristics of aerospace engineers

Aerospace Engineering is a field that is evolving as space exploration and the aerospace industry are evolving and expanding. If you need to recruit the sharpest aerospace professionals:

  • Look for candidates who revel in analyzing and solving problems.
  • Seek out candidates that are focused, self-motivated, and innovative.
  • Consider candidates who will best fit your engineering environment.
  • Partner with a recruiting agency that specializes in Aerospace Engineering to find the best candidates.

How to Screen Candidates

You wrote a job posting, posted the position online, and received a lot more resumes than you’d bargained for! Next comes the enormous task of sorting through those resumes to eliminate the ones that are clearly not a good fit. Now, you have a stack of resumes for candidates who have potential. So how do you go about screening the remaining candidates?

It starts on the phone! As a recruiter, the goal of your telephone screening is to learn more about your candidates. You can confirm that they have the educational qualifications and relevant experience, but you also need to determine if they would fit into your company's culture. To make this job easier, use a system to consistently evaluate results. This way you can equally and objectively compare candidates and evaluate their "soft skills", like communication and thinking process. Download Amtec's Professional Assessment Questionnaire below to help with screening candidates.

Free Professional Assessment Questionnaire

An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.

How to Interview Candidates

At Amtec, we believe in the power of behavoral interview questions to go beyond the experience and skills listed on the candidate's resume. Although you will want to confirm in the interview that the candidate does indeed have the experience listed on their resume, your assessment needs to go much deeper than that. An interview using behavioral questions can help you determine how well the candidate will fit with your company culture.

Download Amtec's best practices on conducting super effective interviews to find the best candidates and fill your open jobs.

Behavioral Interview Guide

Get the info you need to hire the best aerospace engineers

Free Interview Guide