Aeronautical Engineering is one of the most popular and the most technologically advanced branches of engineering with a wide scope for growth. An aeronautic engineer deals with technology and development in aviation, space exploration and defence systems thus helping to improve flight safety and address the environmental impact of air travel. They are responsible for operation and maintenance of both commercial and military aircraft, spacecrafts, and satellites and missiles.
Students who have an interest in becoming an aeronautic engineer must have a good command over mathematics, physics and chemistry. Selection to aeronautic engineer courses is based on marks obtained in 10+2 and through entrance exams.
There are various courses of aeronautical engineering in India including Polytechnic Diploma Course (3 years) after 10 or 10+2, Undergraduate Degree (UG) Courses such as BE/B.Tech (4 years) after 10+2, Post Graduate (PG) Degree Courses such as ME/M.Tech (2 years) after BE/B.Tech and Doctoral Degree Courses such as PhD (1-2 years) after ME/M.Tech.
The UG and PG courses are offered by engineering colleges and the Institutes of Technology (IITs) while the diploma courses are offered by polytechnics.
Diploma holders can also earn a Bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering through distance education and Associate Membership Examination of the Institute of Engineers (AMIE) conducted by Aeronautical Society of India (ASI). Specializations of aeronautical engineering include:
- Electronic Systems
- Aerospace Propulsion
- Ground Vehicle Systems
- Aircraft Structures and Materials
- Aerodynamics and Fluid Dynamics
- Structural Design and Engineering
- Instrumentation And Communication
- Navigational Guidance and Control Systems
To get admission in UG programme, students need to appear in Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main conducted by IITs and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).
Where To Study
Notable institutions in India that offer courses in aeronautical engineering are:
- Delhi Institute of Aeronautical Sciences
- Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT Madras)
- PEC (Punjab Engineering College) University of Technology
- School of Aeronautics
- Indian Institute of Aeronautical Engineering, Dehradun
- Institute of Aviation Technology
An aeronautic engineer needs to have these skills:
- Strong skills in mathematics and physical science
- Analytical and problem solving skills
- Mechanical and technical expertise
- Creativity and innovative thinking
- Attention to detail and awareness of safety issues
- Communication skills, both verbal and written
- Project and time management skills
- Normal colour vision
Students are evaluated on the basis of their academic background, aptitude and performance before being placed for training in aircraft maintenance section. After successful completion of training, they may get placed as assistant aircraft engineers, assistant technical officers, thermal design engineer, mechanical design engineer, aerospace designer checker and aircraft production manager.
ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) and Ministry of Defense (MoD) of India are the prime employers of aeronautical engineers in India. But aspirant aeronautical engineers can also look for jobs in Civil Aviation Department, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Defense Research and Development Laboratories (DRDO), Aeronautical Development Establishment, private air lines and flight clubs. Some other popular recruiting companies include Air India, Helicopter Corporation of India and Pawan Hans.
There are also job opportunities for aeronautical engineers in countries like the United States, France, UK and Germany.
The average starting salaries for aeronautical engineers in the government sectors are Rs. 8,000 to Rs.10,000 per month while in the private sector it is Rs.8,000 to Rs.15,000 per month. Annual salary for an aeronautical engineer in India averages Rs. 2.34 Lakhs to Rs. 49.42 Lakhs.