Even though there is a lot of competition is some areas, there are still a lot of profits out there. Flying airplanes right now is financially difficult and not very profitable. Some exceptional airlines are still making out with some profits, but that is not where the money is. The money is in production. However it is not where you initially would look. Airbus and Boeing are not to profit centers in this new market of heavy outsourcing. Contract companies are the ones making large profits and seeing plentiful amounts of work. Both military and commercial developments need the contractors to make the various parts. I work for one of those contractors that makes the electrical systems for most planes in the sky. The company I work for holds almost a monopoly on the power generation equipment for planes made in the United States and abroad. There is money in doing this.
Even though airlines are struggling financially, there is still a demand for new planes. Newer and even more efficient airplanes can cut costs down and save on fuel. If you want to work in the industry, but be in a profitable corporation, then get a degree in engineering and find a job with one of the many contractors and subcontractors throughout the world! Outsourcing is here, and companies that can maintain low costs and heavily specialize in certain areas can earn a great deal of money.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!