How Old Are NASA Engineers?

80% of National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) employees were over the age of 40, with the average age for workers being 47, according to 2009 reports. The average age of newly hired NASA workers is 41. In comparison, the average age of NASA employees during the first travel missions to the moon in the 1960s was 28 years old. This change in the average age of NASA employees is thought to be due to an increase in employment options for aeronautical engineers, such as in private space companies, than there was in the 1960s. The reduced emphasis on new space missions is also considered a reason for a decline in recent college graduates from applying with NASA; however, on average at least 500 students train or work there during college.

More about NASA employees:

  • Over 18,000 civil service employees work for NASA, as well as over 40,000 grant recipients and contract workers.
  • The number of NASA workers decreased by nearly 30% from 1994 to 2014.
  • Nearly one-fifth of all NASA employees are over the age of 65 and are estimated to be eligible for retirement in the US.

Discussion Comments


Even as a kid, I've always wanted to work for NASA. However, looking back at what I've wanted to be, I realized that it was a rather foolish choice, and I'm glad I chose a different career path. While it might work for some people, it's certainly not an everyday job.


One thing I appreciate about this article is how it mentions private space companies, which many people don't think about. Generally speaking, when people think of NASA, the first thing that might come to mind are the rocket ships launching into out space. However, despite what we see in the media, it's a much more complicated process than us.


While the article doesn't mention this, I feel one reason why NASA employees are of such an old age is because generally speaking, working at a space station is no easy task. Like with many high tier jobs, it takes years of training and practice in order to be at that position. In relation to this, there are many kids who even say that they want to be an astronaut when they grow up. Little do they know that it's easier said than done.

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