Why Pursue Aeronautical Engineering?

8 minute read
Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautics is a growing industry and is also among increasingly lucrative engineering branches. With the introduction of computer-aided design, advanced instrumentation and control engineering as well as exploration in space and beyond, Aeronautical Engineering offers something for every engineering enthusiast. Commercial aviation, defense systems, aircraft crash investigation and airport management are just a few of the concepts that students of aeronautical engineering can choose to venture into. In this blog, we will shed light on some key aspects pertaining to starting a career in this field. But firstly, let us understand what this discipline entails. 

What is Aeronautical Engineering?

Concerning flying vehicles that do not cross the earth’s atmosphere, Aeronautical Engineering is a subject that includes the study of huge air carriers, lightweight helicopters, vehicles such as drones, missiles and airplanes (commercial and noncommercial), weapon systems and several other flying vehicles. As an aeronautical engineering student, you will engage in learning all about designing, building, internal computing systems, aircraft maintenance engineering, navigation, safety measures, etc.. for these vehicles. Students learn the mechanics of how an aircraft works through theoretical and practical training in topics such as heat and combustion, propulsion, aircraft structure, aerodynamics, flight mechanics and so forth. 

Credits – Zach Star

Why Study Aeronautical Engineering?

Aeronautical Engineering, contrary to popular belief, is not just limited to technical disciplines of aircraft design and maintenance. Rather, it is also currently being connected with areas such as aviation law and regulations, supply chain, human resource management, behavioral psychology, and even environment and journalism. It offers ample opportunities for individuals to experience the workings of a seemingly ever-growing industry. Extending from the aircraft-making companies like Boeing and Airbus, options can also be explored in the automobile, defense, and consulting sectors. Thus, Aeronautical Engineering is a versatile as well as a lucrative career pathway.

Eligibility Criteria for Studying Aeronautical Engineering


  • Candidates must have studied science-related subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, etc at the higher secondary level from a recognized school/institute.
  • Students could also be required to submit SAT scores or must also be required to sit for an Entrance Exam specific to the University or College that they are applying to.


  • For entry into a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering, individuals are required to possess a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics or related engineering specializations. Some universities also value a few years of professional work experience. 


  • A Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering or a similar specialization. 

Competencies and Skills Required 

To excel in the Aeronautics industry, the foremost skill that a student needs is a strong interest in aviation, spacecraft and flight technology. In addition, students must possess a combination of technical expertise along with necessary interpersonal skills to manage day-to-day processes. Further, internships, projects, assistantships, programming languages, etc.. are highly valued and show the person’s commitment and desire. Here are a few career skills you must build to land your dream job as an aeronautics engineer:

  • Technical knowledge of aircraft systems and management
  • Mathematical Aptitude
  • Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking
  • Decision-Making
  • Speed and Accuracy
  • Computer Tools
  • Verbal & Written Communication Skills
  • Teamwork and Leadership Skills 

Top Universities for Aeronautical Engineering Abroad

Aeronautical Engineering Colleges in the USA have established themselves as the gold standard not only in terms of career prospects but also when it comes to curriculum, renowned faculty and so forth. However, emerging options in locations like the UK, Australia, and Canada have also been recognized for their efforts by the Times Higher Education and other rating agencies. Given below are some of the names you must consider:

University Location THE Rankings 2023
University of Oxford United Kingdom 1
Harvard University United States 2
Stanford University United States 3
University of Cambridge United Kingdom 3
Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 5
California Institute of Technology United States 6
Princeton University United States 7
University of California United States 8
Yale University United States 9
Columbia University United States 11


  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering
  • BEng (Honors) Aeronautical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


  • Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Master of Science in Aeronautics
  • Master of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • MSc Advanced Aeronautical Engineering
  • MEng (Honors) Aeronautical Engineering
  • MSc Advanced Computational Methods for Aeronautics
  • MEng Aerospace Science and Engineering


  • PhD in Aeronautics
  • PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • PhD in Aerospace Science and Engineering

Apart from the above mentioned Aeronautical Engineering study programs, individuals can also explore dual and joint degree combinations of bachelor, masters and PhD degrees. While joint degrees are offered with multiple universities, dual degrees, on the other hand, integrate two or more disciplines such as a BTech in engineering and management. Further study options of Integrated PhD, PhD after BTech are also open.

Application Requirements

  • In order to study Aeronautical Engineering at these universities, candidates are required to submit an online application within the deadlines of the cycle of admission.
  • Further, the application procedure may include proof of completion of prior degrees like official transcripts and degree, scores of GRE/GMAT and IELTS/TOEFL,  statement of purpose [SOP], two or three letters of recommendation [LOR] and CV.
  • Institutions may add other requirements for instance, Research Proposal depending on the structure and build of the program. 

Aeronautical Engineering Syllabus and Subjects

As a student of Aeronautical Engineering, you will be exposed to a diverse range of aircraft systems, their manufacturing, design, maintenance and management. The following are the core subjects that are a part of every Aeronautical Engineering syllabus:

  1. Aircraft Performance
  2. Aircraft Structure
  3. Propulsion Systems
  4. Fundamentals of Gas Turbine Engines
  5. Principles of Aerodynamics
  6. Body Design
  7. Beams and Trusses
  8. Turning Performance Studies
  9. Maintenance of Aircrafts
  10. Missile Propulsion
  11. Aircraft Stability and Control
  12. Global Aviation Sector
  13. Aircraft Traffic Control
  14. Aircraft GPS Technologies
  15. Aircraft Safety and Emergency Operations

Aeronautical Engineering Specializations

Like every Engineering degree program, Aeronautics begins with a foundational study of physics, mathematics and chemistry. Further along in the program, students can choose to specialize in the following areas related to Aeronautical Engineering: 

  • Aerodynamics
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Composites Analysis
  • Avionics
  • Propulsion
  • Structures and Materials

Tuition Fees for Aeronautical Engineering

The approximate annual tuition fees for pursuing a Bachelors or Masters in Aeronautical Engineering abroad ranges from US$ 15000 – US$ 56000 (~INR 11-42 Lakhs)..

Job Profiles and Scope of Aeronautical Engineering

As mentioned above, a degree in Aeronautical Engineering gears you up for a career in an array of industries across various levels. While a Bachelor’s or Master’s level course is considered apt for professional as well as research oriented-pathways, short-term courses aid in fast-track career development in a particular subdivision and are largely skill-based. Glance over the few job profiles mentioned below that you can explore after an Engineering degree or course in Aeronautics:

  • Research Assistant
  • Lecturer/Professor
  • Aircraft Technician
  • Aerospace Medicine Expert
  • Aircrash Investigation Expert
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
  • Technical Officer
  • Aircraft Design Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Airworthiness Engineer
  • Aerodynamicist
  • Structures and Materials Engineer
  • Acoustic Experts
  • Stress Analyst

Top Recruitment Companies and Average Salary Package

The average annual salary of an Aeronautical Engineer abroad is $86,281. As an aeronautics specialist, students can secure employment at top government and space research organizations, research and development laboratories and so on. The following is a list of top recruiters that hire engineers with aeronautics specialization: 

  • Air India
  • Defense research and Development Laboratories
  • Civil Aviation Department
  • Aeronautical Development Establishment
  • National Aeronautical Lab (NAL)
  • Pawan hans
  • Helicopter Corporation of India
  • Indian Air Force
  • Private Airlines
  • Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd. (HAL)

Aeronautical Engineering in India

Name of Course  Aeronautical Engineering 
Level of Course  Undergraduate 
Course Duration  4 Years 
Eligibility Candidates must have scored a minimum aggregate of 60% to 70% in their 10+2 Exam. Subjects of study should be Mathematics, Chemistry & Physics.
Examination Type Semester
Course Fees Ranging between INR 80,000 to 14 Lakhs 
Admission Process Merit-based or Qualifying Entrance Exam
Top Recruiting Companies National Aeronautics Lab, Civil Aviation Clubs, HAL, DRDO
Average Starting Salary  INR 15,000 to 18,000
Jobs Offered  Design Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Management in Charge, Maintenance Engineer

Colleges For Aeronautical Engineering in India

  1. Delhi Institute of Aeronautical Sciences
  2. Indian Institute of Science
  3. Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar
  4. Indian Institute of Technology, Indore
  5. Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology
  6. Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar
  7. Jamia Millia Islamia
  8. Panjab University
  9. Aligarh Muslim University
  10. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
  11. National Institute of Technology, Rourkela

Aeronautical Engineering Colleges in Delhi

  • Delhi Institute of Aeronautical Sciences
  • National Institute of Aeronautical Engineering
  • School of Aeronautics
  • Indian Institute of Aircraft Engineering
  • JRN Institute of Aviation Technology

Related Articles: Aeronautical Engineering in Canada

Best Books for Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering vs. Aerospace Engineering

Often used interchangeably, Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering have slight differences when looked at deeply. The latter is a broader discipline that includes both Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering signifying earth and space. While aerospace itself can be said to be part of Mechanical Engineering, it currently draws inspiration from robotics, computer science, and system design amongst others. As mentioned, the field of Aeronautics deals with aircrafts that fly within Earth’s atmosphere while Astronautical or Aerospace Engineering limits itself to aircraft structures in space. It involves advanced study of spacecraft mechanics, spacecraft design, jet propulsion, orbital materials, etc. However, a considerable number of topics overlap with both disciplines in equal parts.

Also Read: Aerospace Engineering Colleges


In which sector do aeronautical engineers get jobs?

The aeronautical engineers get jobs in the defence and aviation industry.

Which university is best for aeronautical engineering?

Including the IITs of Bombay and Kanpur, SRM University, NIT, Indian Institute of Aeronautical Engineering, Dehradun, PEC University of Technology.

What are the subjects involved in aeronautical engineering?

The core subjects are: 
Material Sciences, Fluid Dynamics, Structural Analysis, Propulsion, Automatic control and guidance, aircraft performance & aircraft structures.

Individuals can later choose to pursue a degree in management, for instance, an MBA or Master of Engineering Management to open up opportunities into senior-level executive roles.

We hope this blog has proved successful in putting out, in a clear and concise manner, the important as well as lesser-known elements related to Aeronautical Engineering. Needless to say, choosing a field based on your strong points is an extremely vital part of career-making. At Leverage Edu, through our AI tool as well as a team of experienced counsellors and mentors, we aim to provide you with all the necessary information, support and guidance so that you can take an important step towards a rewarding career. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.

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