Average Salary: $103,720
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $4,330,000
You won't be making in the same ballpark as those Hedge Fund and Mutual Fund Managers on Wall Street, but aerospace engineers are among the highest paid engineers, and feature some of the highest salaries available to college graduates period. The median wage is around $90k for those working in Products and Parts Manufacturing, $100k for those in Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical and Control Instruments Manufacturing, and $110k for many employed by the federal government. There's plenty of room for advancement, and you could eventually be making between $120k-$140k a year. Certainly more than that guy on the train with the suspenders.
You'll have the opportunity to make more money and have greater job security if you're working in states with major, international airports, such as California or Virginia, or space centers, such as Florida. There aren't as many hot jobs for South Dakotans. Sorry, South Dakota. At least you still have Mount Rushmore.
Lincoln's probably bragging that they got Daniel Day-Lewis to play him.
It might be a good idea to live beneath your means and set some dough aside, however. If you are ever fired, it's really hard to find a job. You are SO specialized, you won't really have skills that are portable. So think hard. It's a marriage, committing to this career, and not the Hollywood kind. Which means it actually has a chance to last more than a few years.