Aeronautical Engineering: Course, Admission 2024, Fees, Syllabus, Entrance Exam, Career Scope after 12th

A Career in Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering is a specialized branch of engineering focused on the study, design, and production of aircraft and related systems. This field encompasses a range of activities, from understanding the theoretical principles of flight to the practical aspects of building and maintaining aircraft. As an Aeronautical Engineer, one is responsible for designing aircraft and thrust systems, and may also engage in various roles within the aviation industry, defense sector, and civil aviation departments.

About Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering involves a deep understanding of the principles of flight, the materials used in aircraft construction, and the various systems that enable an aircraft to operate efficiently. It combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, requiring engineers to be proficient in the assembly, testing, and maintenance of aircraft. The role is critical, demanding, and highly rewarding for those passionate about aviation.

Job Profile

The field of Aeronautical Engineering is broad and encompasses the study and production of both aircraft and spacecraft. It is a growing market, especially in countries like India, which offers significant potential for development. Aeronautical Engineers can pursue various roles, including:

  • Manufacturing: Overseeing the production of aircraft components.
  • Flight Analysis: Evaluating the performance and safety of aircraft.
  • Materials and Processes: Developing and testing materials used in aircraft construction.
  • Construction: Building and assembling aircraft.
  • Research and Development: Working in private or government labs, educational institutions, or research organizations.

Aeronautical engineers may find employment with organizations such as NASA, ISRO, private and public airlines, defense departments, and aircraft manufacturing companies. Specializations within the field include aeronautical electronics, which focuses on instrument maintenance, electrical and electronic equipment, navigation, radar communications, and radio communication.

Salary and Career Growth

The average starting salary for an Aeronautical Engineer in India is around Rs 6 lakh per annum, with potential to grow significantly with experience. Senior engineers can earn between Rs 45-49 lakh per annum. Salaries in government organizations like HAL and NAL are based on official pay scales, while private sector salaries vary according to company policies.

The demand for Aeronautical Engineers is expected to grow by 6% from 2016 to 2026. Advances in aircraft technology, such as noise reduction and fuel efficiency, are driving the need for continued research and development.

Skills Required

To succeed as an Aeronautical Engineer, one needs a combination of technical and personal skills, including:

  • Strong problem-solving and analytical abilities
  • Technical and mechanical expertise
  • Physical fitness and a strong sense of responsibility
  • Leadership and quick decision-making capabilities
  • Passion for aviation and flying machines

How to Become an Aeronautical Engineer

Education and Courses

Several educational paths can lead to a career in Aeronautical Engineering. In India, many engineering colleges offer programs in this field. Key qualifications include:

  • Diploma Courses: 3 years, post Class 10 or Class 12
  • B.E./B. Tech: 4 years, post Class 12
  • M.E./M. Tech: 2 years, post-graduation
  • Ph.D.: 2 years or more, post post-graduation

Entrance Exams

Admission to top engineering colleges often requires passing entrance exams, such as:

  • JEE Main and JEE Advanced (IITs)
  • All India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE)
  • Delhi University Combined Entrance Examination (CEE)
  • Hindustan University Entrance Test (HITSEE)
  • Indian Institute of Aeronautics Entrance Exam (IIA)
  • SLIET Entrance Test (SET)
  • IISAT Admission Test (IIST, Thiruvananthapuram)
  • SRM Engineering Entrance Examination (SRM EEE)

For postgraduate courses, the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is commonly required.

Top Colleges

Some of the top colleges for Aeronautical Engineering in India include:

  • IIT Madras: B. Tech – Total Fees Rs 8.82 lakh
  • IIT Kanpur: B. Tech – Total Fees Rs 8.27 lakh
  • IIT Guwahati: M.Tech
  • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram: B. Tech
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi: M. Tech – Total Fees Rs 4.5 lakh
  • Amity University: B. Tech – Total Fees Rs 9.27 lakh
  • Manipal University of Technology: B. Tech – Total Fees Rs 15.50 lakh


The cost of education in Aeronautical Engineering varies. For a B. Tech course, fees can range from Rs 1 lakh in government colleges to higher amounts in private institutions. Diploma courses are typically less expensive, while M.Tech programs may cost around Rs 2 lakh.

Career Prospects and Alternative Paths

Aeronautical Engineering offers a promising future, with opportunities for international exposure and high earning potential. However, the job can be stressful and physically demanding, requiring extensive technical knowledge and practical experience. For those seeking alternative paths, a Master's or Ph.D. can lead to academic careers as lecturers or researchers.

Pros and Cons


  • High remuneration and earnings
  • Opportunities for international exposure
  • Bright and promising future prospects


  • Stressful and physically demanding work
  • Requires extensive skill and technical knowledge
  • Demands travel and irregular work hours

Study Materials

Recommended books for Aeronautical Engineering students include:

  • Introduction to Flight (SI Units) by McGraw Hill Education
  • Introduction to Flight, 7th Edition by John D Anderson Jr.
  • Aircraft Basic Science by McGraw Hill Education
  • Basics of Space Flight Black & White Edition by Dave Doody
  • Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, 5th Edition by John D Anderson Jr.

Aeronautical Engineering is a dynamic and challenging field with vast potential. It is ideal for those passionate about aviation and looking for a career that combines technical expertise with opportunities for innovation and advancement. With the right education and skills, Aeronautical Engineers can contribute significantly to advancements in aviation technology and exploration.

Aeronautical Engineering: Comprehensive Guide for 2024


Aeronautical Engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on the design, development, testing, and maintenance of aircraft within Earth's atmosphere. This includes airplanes, helicopters, and other crafts. The course prepares professionals to innovate and maintain flight-capable machines, playing a crucial role in the aviation and defense sectors.


1. Undergraduate (UG) Courses:

  • Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Aeronautical Engineering:
    • Duration: 4 years
    • Core Subjects: Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Aircraft Structures, Flight Mechanics, Avionics, and more.

2. Postgraduate (PG) Courses:

  • Master of Technology (MTech) in Aeronautical Engineering:
    • Duration: 2 years
    • Advanced Topics: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Advanced Propulsion Systems, Aerospace Materials, etc.

3. Diploma Courses:

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Focus: Basics of aircraft mechanics, maintenance, and systems.

4. Doctorate (PhD) Courses:

  • Duration: 3-6 years
  • Research Areas: Advanced Aerodynamics, Spacecraft Design, Aerospace Dynamics.


The syllabus for Aeronautical Engineering is vast and covers a range of topics:

Core Subjects:

  • Aerodynamics: Study of the behavior of air and how it interacts with solid objects like aircraft.
  • Propulsion: Understanding engines and how they provide thrust to aircraft.
  • Aircraft Structures: Design and analysis of the physical components of aircraft.
  • Flight Mechanics: Principles governing the motion of aircraft and control mechanisms.
  • Avionics: Electronic systems used in aviation, including navigation and communication systems.
  • Materials Science: Study of materials used in building aircraft to ensure strength and durability.

Specialized Subjects:

  • Aircraft Maintenance: Procedures and standards for maintaining aircraft safety and performance.
  • Flight Testing: Methods of testing aircraft to ensure they meet required specifications and safety standards.
  • Aeronautical Systems: Integration and functioning of different systems within an aircraft.


Aeronautical Engineers have a range of career opportunities in various sectors:

Job Roles:

  • Aeronautical Engineer: Designing and developing aircraft and propulsion systems.
  • Flight Engineer: Managing the operation of aircraft systems during flights.
  • Aircraft Designer: Creating detailed designs for aircraft and ensuring they meet all regulations and standards.
  • Avionics Engineer: Developing and maintaining the electronic systems used in aircraft.
  • Testing Engineer: Conducting tests to validate the performance and safety of aircraft.

Top Recruiters:

  • Air India
  • Pawan Hans
  • Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
  • Indian Air Force
  • Private airlines

Average Salary:

  • Entry-level: INR 6-8 lakhs per annum
  • With experience: INR 8-10 lakhs per annum or more

Future Growth Prospects:

  • Growing aviation sector in India
  • Increasing investment in aerospace research and development
  • Expanding defense needs


Eligibility Criteria:

  • UG Courses: Completion of Class 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM) with a minimum of 60% aggregate.
  • PG Courses: Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering or related field, plus qualifying entrance exams like GATE.
  • Diploma Courses: Completion of Class 10.

Top Entrance Exams:

  • Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main
  • JEE Advanced
  • Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
  • Lovely Professional University National Entrance and Scholarship Test (LPUNEST)
  • Manipal Entrance Test (MET)

Why Engineering is Highly Paid?

Engineering, particularly in specialized fields like Aeronautical Engineering, is highly paid due to several factors:

  • Technical Expertise: Requires deep knowledge and specialized skills.
  • High Demand: Growing industries such as aviation and defense need skilled engineers.
  • Responsibility: Engineers ensure the safety and efficiency of critical systems.
  • Innovation: Engineers drive technological advancements and innovation.
  • Complexity: The complex nature of engineering projects demands high-level problem-solving and analytical skills.

JEE Main vs JEE Advanced

JEE Main:

  • Conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
  • Entry-level exam for engineering colleges across India.
  • Basis for admission to NITs, IIITs, and other centrally funded technical institutions.

JEE Advanced:

  • Conducted by one of the IITs on a rotational basis.
  • For admission to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
  • Requires qualification through JEE Main.
  • More challenging and focused on in-depth understanding and application of concepts.

Popular Colleges

Top Government Colleges:

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras

Top Private Colleges:

  • Manipal Institute of Technology
  • Lovely Professional University (LPU)
  • Amity University
  • SASTRA Deemed to be University

Top Exams

Key Entrance Exams for 2024:

  • JEE Main: Conducted twice a year for admission to various engineering colleges.
  • JEE Advanced: For IIT admissions, held once a year.
  • GATE: For postgraduate admissions and PSU recruitment.
  • LPUNEST: Specific to Lovely Professional University.
  • MET: Conducted by Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

Featured Colleges

Highlighted Institutions:

  • Manipal Institute of Technology: Known for its strong curriculum and industry connections.
  • Lovely Professional University (LPU): Offers comprehensive programs with modern infrastructure.
  • Amity University: Focuses on research and innovation in aeronautical engineering.
  • SASTRA Deemed to be University: Renowned for its academic excellence and research facilities.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is Aeronautical Engineering?

    • It is the branch of engineering that deals with the design, development, testing, and maintenance of aircraft operating within Earth's atmosphere.
  2. Who can pursue Aeronautical Engineering?

    • Students who have completed 12th grade with PCM and have a strong aptitude for science and mathematics.
  3. What is the future of Aeronautical Engineering in India?

    • The future is promising with the expanding aviation sector and increased government investment in aerospace.
  4. Can a Mechanical Engineer study Aeronautical Engineering after graduation?

    • Yes, they can pursue a postgraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering after completing their Mechanical Engineering degree.

Aeronautical Engineering is a specialized branch of engineering that focuses on the design, development, testing, and production of aircraft and related systems. This field integrates principles from various disciplines such as physics, mathematics, materials science, and electronics to create advanced and efficient aerospace technologies. Here is a detailed overview of the eligibility criteria, course fees, entrance exams, syllabus, top colleges, and career prospects in Aeronautical Engineering.

Eligibility Criteria


  • Eligibility: Candidates who have completed their 10th standard can pursue a diploma in aircraft maintenance engineering.
  • Pathway to Degree: Diploma holders can acquire degrees by clearing the exams conducted by the Aeronautical Society of India.

Undergraduate (UG)

  • Basic Eligibility: Minimum 50-55% marks in aggregate in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM) in Class 12.
  • Admission Criteria: Admission is primarily based on national-level engineering entrance exams like JEE Main and JEE Advanced.

Postgraduate (PG) and Doctoral

  • Master’s Degree: Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Institutions such as IITs and IISc often require GATE scores for admission.
  • Doctoral Programs: Candidates must have completed a Master’s degree and cleared relevant research entrance tests.

Course Fees

  • Diploma: INR 60,000 - 1,00,000 per annum.
  • Undergraduate: Approximately INR 1 Lakh per annum.
  • Postgraduate: Approximately INR 2 Lakhs per annum.

Entrance Exams

Most colleges offering Aeronautical Engineering courses accept scores from various national and state-level entrance exams. Here are some of the key exams:

National Level Exams

  • JEE Main: Conducted in two sessions (January and April).
  • JEE Advanced: Conducted in May.
  • GATE: Conducted in February for postgraduate admissions.

State Level Exams

  • MHT CET: Conducted in April and May for PCB and PCM groups.
  • TS EAMCET: Conducted in May.
  • KCET: Conducted in April.
  • KEAM: Conducted in June.
  • WBJEE: Conducted in April.

Private University Exams

  • BITSAT: Conducted in May and June.
  • VITEEE: Conducted in April.
  • COMEDK UGET: Conducted in May.
  • CUET: Conducted in May.

Course Curriculum

The course curriculum for Aeronautical Engineering is comprehensive, covering various core and elective subjects. It includes practical courses and project work to ensure hands-on experience.

Semester-Wise Breakdown

Semester 1

  • Mathematics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Engineering Chemistry
  • Introduction to Aerospace Engineering
  • Basic Electrical Engineering

Semester 2

  • Vector Calculus and Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Physics II
  • Materials Science and Metallurgy
  • Basic Electronics Engineering
  • Engineering Graphics

Semester 3

  • Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Mechanics of Solids
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Introduction to Machine Elements and Drawing

Semester 4

  • Aerodynamics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Applied Dynamics and Vibration
  • Machining and Precision Manufacturing
  • Introduction to Social Science and Ethics

Semester 5

  • Compressible Flow
  • Atmospheric Flight Mechanics
  • Spaceflight Mechanics
  • Theory of Elasticity
  • Automatic Control

Semester 6

  • Air-Breathing Propulsion
  • Aerospace Structures
  • Optimization Techniques in Engineering
  • Principles of Management Systems
  • Solar Thermal Energy

Semester 7

  • Aerospace Vehicle Design
  • Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer
  • Flight Mechanics and Propulsion Lab

Semester 8

  • Comprehensive Viva-Voce
  • Project Work

Top Colleges

Government Colleges

  1. Bikaner Technical University: INR 2 lakh
  2. Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangalore: INR 2 lakh
  3. Feroze Gandhi Institute of Engineering and Technology: INR 2 lakh
  4. IIST - Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology: INR 1-5 lakh
  5. Madras Institute of Technology, Anna University: INR 50,000 - 2 lakh
  6. PES College of Engineering: INR 2 lakh
  7. Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh: INR 73,000 - 7 lakh
  8. Punjab State Aeronautical Engineering College: INR 3 lakh
  9. Rajasthan Technical University: INR 2 lakh
  10. Visvesvaraya Technological University: INR 12,000 - 1 lakh

Private Colleges

  1. Amity University, Noida: INR 3 - 12 lakh
  2. Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science: INR 2 - 13 lakh
  3. Kalasalingam Academy of Research and Education: INR 4 lakh
  4. Kumaraguru College of Technology: INR 2 lakh
  5. Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar: INR 7 lakh
  6. Manipal Institute of Technology: INR 10 - 13 lakh
  7. Manav Rachna University: INR 5 - 6 lakh
  8. Parul University: INR 1 - 3 lakh
  9. SASTRA (Deemed to be University): INR 5 lakh
  10. Vel Tech Rangarajan Dr. Sagunthala R and D Institute of Science and Technology: INR 2 - 10 lakh

Career Prospects

Aeronautical Engineers have diverse career opportunities in both the aviation and defense industries. Here are some job profiles along with their average annual salaries:

  1. Aeronautical Design Engineer: INR 5 - 8 LPA
  2. Propulsion Engineer: INR 6 - 9 LPA
  3. Aerodynamics Engineer: INR 5.5 - 8.5 LPA
  4. Avionics Engineer: INR 6 - 9 LPA
  5. Structural Engineer (Aerospace): INR 5 - 7.5 LPA
  6. Flight Test Engineer: INR 6 - 9 LPA
  7. Aerospace Research Engineer: INR 7 - 11+ LPA
  8. Production Engineer (Aerospace): INR 5 - 7.5 LPA
  9. Maintenance Engineer (Aerospace): INR 4.5 - 7 LPA

Job Descriptions

  • Aeronautical Design Engineer: Focuses on designing and developing aircraft components and structures using engineering software and principles.
  • Propulsion Engineer: Specializes in designing and developing aircraft engines and propulsion systems for efficient operation.
  • Aerodynamics Engineer: Analyzes and optimizes the aerodynamic performance of aircraft to improve stability and fuel efficiency.
  • Avionics Engineer: Develops and integrates electronic systems for navigation, communication, and control within aircraft.
  • Structural Engineer (Aerospace): Ensures the structural integrity of aircraft to withstand various loads and stresses during flight.
  • Flight Test Engineer: Plans and conducts flight tests to evaluate aircraft performance and handling characteristics.
  • Aerospace Research Engineer: Conducts research to advance aircraft design, materials, and technologies.
  • Production Engineer (Aerospace): Manages the production process of aircraft components, ensuring quality control and efficiency.
  • Maintenance Engineer (Aerospace): Performs maintenance, inspection, and repair of aircraft to ensure safety and airworthiness.

Aeronautical Engineering is a field that encompasses the study and development of aircraft and spacecraft. This branch of engineering offers a wide range of specializations, including thermodynamics, propulsion, aerodynamics, and celestial mechanics. For those passionate about specific aerospace products, such as rockets, missiles, helicopters, or military jets, there are opportunities to specialize in those areas as well.

Employment Growth and Industry Demand

The employment of aerospace engineers is projected to grow by 6% from 2016 to 2026. This growth is driven by the continuous need for aircraft redesign to improve fuel efficiency and reduce noise pollution, necessitating significant research and development. Aeronautical Engineers are in demand both nationally and internationally, finding opportunities in private and public airline services, as well as aircraft-manufacturing units. Initially, these engineers are often hired as graduate engineer trainees or Junior Engineers. Countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany actively recruit Aeronautical Engineers, with a notable number of Indian engineers employed at NASA.

Career Opportunities and Top Recruiters

A qualified Aeronautical Engineer can find employment in various sectors, including the aviation industry and defense establishments. Some of the top recruiters include:

  • Civil Aviation Department
  • Aeronautical Development Establishment
  • Air India
  • Defence Research and Development Laboratories
  • Helicopter Corporation of India
  • Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd (HAL)
  • National Aeronautical Lab (NAL)
  • Pawan Hans
  • Indian Air Force
  • Private Airlines

These organizations offer a range of roles, from research and development to maintenance and operations.

Educational Pathways and Transition Opportunities

A Mechanical Engineer can transition into Aeronautical Engineering, leveraging the strong overlap between the two fields. Mechanical engineering provides a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, and engineering mechanics, which are crucial for aeronautical engineering. Mechanical engineers often possess experience in design, analysis, and testing, which are valuable in the aerospace industry. Transition pathways include:

  1. Pursuing a Master's Degree: A master's degree in aeronautical engineering allows for deeper specialization in areas like aerodynamics, propulsion, and control systems.
  2. Online Courses and Workshops: These provide a flexible way to gain additional knowledge without committing to a full degree program.
  3. Industry Experience: Gaining hands-on experience through internships or working in related fields can facilitate the transition.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Eligibility Criteria for Aeronautical Engineering Courses

  • Typically requires a strong background in physics, mathematics, and engineering principles.

Subjects Involved in Aeronautical Engineering

  • Core subjects include fluid dynamics, materials science, structural analysis, propulsion, aerodynamics, and avionics.

Entrance Exams for Aeronautical Engineering

  • Entrance exams vary by country and institution, with common exams including JEE Main and Advanced in India.

Path to Becoming an Aeronautical Engineer After 12th

  • Students need to complete a pre-university course with a focus on science subjects and pass relevant entrance exams to enroll in a bachelor's program in aeronautical engineering.

Best Universities for Aeronautical Engineering

  • Top institutions include the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), IIST, and other prestigious engineering colleges globally.

Difficulty Level of Aeronautical Engineering

  • The course is challenging due to its technical and complex nature, but passion and dedication can help students succeed.

Average Salary of an Aeronautical Engineer in India

  • Salaries vary widely based on experience and location, with starting salaries ranging from INR 5 to 10 LPA.

Suitability for Females

  • Aeronautical Engineering is a good field for females, with increasing gender diversity and opportunities in the industry.

Comparison Between Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering

  • Aerospace Engineering includes both aeronautical (within Earth's atmosphere) and astronautical (space) engineering, whereas Aeronautical Engineering focuses solely on atmospheric flight.

Popular Aeronautical Engineering Colleges in India

Some top colleges offering Aeronautical Engineering programs in India include:

  1. Lovely Professional University (LPU), Jalandhar

    • Tuition Fees: ₹8.4 L
    • Median Salary: ₹7.07 LPA
  2. SASTRA (Deemed to be University), Thanjavur

    • Tuition Fees: ₹4.72 L
    • Placement Rating: 4.0
  3. Amity University, Noida

    • Tuition Fees: ₹2.76 L - 12.44 L
    • Placement Rating: 3.4
  4. Kalasalingam Academy of Research and Education, Virudhunagar

    • Tuition Fees: ₹4 L
    • Median Salary: ₹5.5 LPA
  5. Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram

    • Tuition Fees: ₹1.4 L - 5 L
    • Median Salary: ₹10 - 10.64 LPA


Aeronautical Engineering offers a dynamic and promising career path with diverse opportunities for specialization and employment. With a steady demand for innovation in aircraft design and development, the future looks bright for aspiring aeronautical engineers. Whether through advanced education, transitioning from related fields, or gaining practical experience, there are numerous pathways to success in this exciting field.

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