I’d be delighted if I could tell you that the highest paid engineering jobs were in aerospace.
I can’t. Sorry.
The reality is that the highest-paid engineers have always been in the petroleum (oil & gas) sector. That’s been a fairly consistent trend over the last 30 years at least. There might have been periods when computer software engineers were the highest-paid. However, the most recent study I saw showed petroleum engineers once again on top.
Having said that, aerospace engineers aren’t worst-paid either. And it is possible, if you are (a) bold, and (b) you make clever life and career choices, to make very good money and have a satisfying career. Read the series of posts entitled Kickstart Your Aerospace Career, and apply the lessons I’ve learned, and your chances are very good.
How well you do will also be a function of where in the world you are, and of the prevailing economic trends within the industry. The best money to be made is probably still in the USA.
However, that is probably changing. The trend towards outsourcing engineering work to developing countries will have an effect on the supply/demand balance. You will need to be constantly alert to economic trends and behaviour of aerospace companies in your country. Opportunities come and go. Markets that are lucrative now will not necessarily be lucrative in 2 years’ or 10 years’ time.
The fact that you are an aerospace techie who just likes hacking around with airplanes does not absolve you from the need to think like a businessman. The highest paid engineering jobs will always belong to the shrewd.