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Aeronautical Engineering –Challenging Profession

Aeronautical Engineering is one of the most challenging fields of engineering with a wide scope for growth. This field deals with the development of new technology in the field of aviation, space exploration and defence systems. It specialises in the designing, construction, development, testing, operation and maintenance of both commercial and military aircraft, spacecrafts and their components as well as satellites and missiles.

As Aeronautical Engineering involves design and manufacture of very high technology systems, the job requires manual, technical as well as mechanical aptitude. Aeronautical engineer's usually work in teams under the supervision of senior engineers, bringing together their skills and technical expertise. Though highly paid, the work is very demanding. An aeronautical engineer needs to be physically fit and fully dedicated to his work. One needs to be alert, have an eye for detail and should have a high level of mathematical precision to be successful.

The specialisations includes in areas like structural design, navigational guidance and control systems, instrumentation and communication or production methods or it can be in a particular product such as military aircrafts, passenger planes, helicopters, satellites, rockets etc. Engineers may work in areas like design, development, and maintenance as well as in the managerial and teaching posts in institutes. They find a very good demand in airlines, aircraft manufacturing units, air turbine production plants or design development programmes for the aviation industry. Aerospace environment is sophisticated with rewarding career opportunities involving leading-edge technology.

Eligibility & Course Area: To be an aeronautical engineer one should have a graduate degree in engineering from IIT, University or Aeronautical Society of India.

Job Prospects & Career Options: Aeronautical Engineers work with one of the most technologically advanced branches of engineering. The main thrust in this area is on design and development of aircrafts to space and satellite research.

Job opportunities for an Aeronautical Engineer in India, lies with various airlines like Air India, Indian Airlines, Helicopter Corporation of India and flying clubs, private airlines and government owned air service and aircraft manufacturers like the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) with its factories at Bangalore, Nashik, Koraput, Kanpur etc. Defense Research and Development Laboratories, National Aeronautical Lab (NAL), Aeronautical Development Establishment, Civil Aviation Department etc. The Defence services and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also happen to be two major employers.

Initially, candidates begin work as graduate engineer trainees or junior Engineers. Keeping in view their performance, academic background and aptitude, they are placed for training in the aircraft maintenance/overhaul or support section. On completion of training they are placed as assistant aircraft engineers or assistant technical officers. They have to clear departmental examinations for further promotions. They may advance to administrative or executive positions or become consultants. Aeronautical engineers are assisted by aircraft mechanics in maintenance of aircraft frame, engine, electrical system and other ancillary fittings.

Engineers in government organisations are paid official scales while those in the private sector are paid according to the scales decided by the management of the company.

Remuneration: Engineers in government organisations are paid official scales while those in the private sector are paid according to the scales decided by the management of the company.

The approximate starting salaries in the government /public sectors such as HAL, NAL are Rs. 8,000 to Rs.10,000 (excluding other allowances). In the private sector, the scales are decided by the management of the company and are approximately Rs.8,000 to Rs.15,000 per month plus perks. Entrepreneurs can earn above Rs.20,000/- per month. Airline professionals get fringe benefits of free travel for self and family also, apart from numerous other perks.