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Washington Aerospace Industry (2017 Snapshot)

For the year 2015, the aerospace industry in the state generated $69.9 billion, a 7.9% annual growth rate since 2005. $51.6 billion from the revenue was generated from exports to other states. The core employment is in the aerospace industry (93,800), but the ancillary industries (flight training, equipment, and carbon-fiber manufacturing) contributed 136,100 in jobs, for the year 2015. The average salary of an aerospace employee, excluding health benefits, was $107,000 – higher than what some MBAs receive in top MBA programs. This is because; nearly 95% of all the commercial aircraft currently produced in North America comes from Washington.

The state’s legacy started from one name – Boeing.

Officially incorporated in 1916, Boeing’s ascension in the aircraft industry began when the Founder – William E. Boeing, found a unique way to capitalize on the cyclical nature of the Northwest timber industry. After earning his fortune in the Timber Industry, Boeing, started a small airplane manufacturing plant, using the knowledge of Timber and wooden design structures as most airplanes initially were made of wood. The supply of Spruce Wood in the Seattle region was a reason to incorporate Boeing in Washington.

Over the past 100 years, Boeing has manufactured iconic aircraft models from the factories in the state. The latest in the thousands of aircraft from Washington include the 737 MAX, 777 X, and 787 Dreamliner. With war becoming less frequent, the military contracts were replaced by contracts for commercial airlines and space ventures.

Washington Aerospace Specialization
 
SpaceX and Virgin Galactic’s entry into Space travel have brought in a slew of Billionaires into the sector. The lesser reliance on hardware and more on software development skills for operating and innovating in space technology is ideal for Seattle – a technology hub.
 
Washington Aerospace start-ups

The Engineering team is responsible for the work that reduces the cost of the hardware, but system level integration with communication networks and tracking technology, require software skills. $17 billion in private investments over the past 10 years shows the promise of the sector. Even more encouraging is the $700 million that was invested in start-ups for the year 2015.

Reference
Washington State Aerospace Economic Impacts 2016 Update
Aerospace & Defense (NC)

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