Aerospace Engineer

In this career guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about aerospace engineering as a career, from roles and responsibilities, to work environment and roadmap to becoming an Aerospace Engineer.

Who's an Aerospace Engineer?

Ever wondered what makes an aircraft take-off and soar the skies? Or how we managed to make our way to outer space? You’re probably thinking of pilots and astronauts, but there’s a hidden hero you need to credit for this amazing possibility – the aerospace engineer! They are the reason we are able to perform these amazing feats.

Aerospace engineers design and build machines like aeroplanes, helicopters, rockets, missiles and satellites to help us explore the skies. They work with some of the best, most cutting-edge technology. Sounds like the perfect career? Get to know it better in the upcoming sections!

What will you do?

Designing aircraft.

A primary part of aerospace engineering is designing aircraft and other support equipment. You will apply and use scientific principles and technology like CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software. The process can be broken down into three stages – conceptual, primary and detailed designing. At the conceptual stage, you will create rough outlines, models and sketches of the aircraft. Then, you will optimise your design, look for defects and flaws, and correct them before you begin work on the detail design. This is where you turn your designs into a working aircraft.

Example: If you’re designing the wings of an aircraft, your design would depend on how you want the aircraft to fly. If you want it to be fast, you would design sleeker, smaller wings to avoid too much air drag.

Supervising creation and installation.

Once you complete designing, you will oversee its installation. Make sure the assembly of engines and other equipment is done properly, so it doesn’t hamper functioning in any way.

Example: You will have to make sure the propellers suit the aircraft’s designs and requirements.

Taking part in flight test scenarios.

As the engineer and designer behind the machine, you will conduct simulations to ensure the aircraft is fit for use, and all of its features – especially safety features – are functioning well.

Example: You will conduct tests like measuring speed, pickup and landing capacities of the aircraft.

Writing manuals and reports.

Document everything, right from conceptualising the design to running simulations and the first successful take-off. This will help you keep track of any issues you come across. Since you are creating a design, you will also create a manual or a handbook for field engineers, so they know exactly what they’re working with.

Example: You will oversee the creation of a starter manual for your clients so they know how to use the aircraft. You would also add a cautionary guide so the aircraft doesn’t pose any problems for them.

Resolving issues.

One of your main responsibilities is diagnosing and fixing problems with existing machines. You would work with mechanics and repair technicians to resolve issues.

Example: In case of an accident, you will have to perform all the necessary checks and see if any internal issues were responsible for the crash.

Providing consultations.

You will consult with your clients, teams, and suppliers to offer technical advice about the specifications of different aircraft.

Example: A customer would need your assistance to understand the fuel requirements or maintenance of their aircraft.

Managing a team.

You will work with a group of field and technical engineers to help you with designs, simulations, fixes and other tasks. You need to ensure that your team is functioning well and not falling short of anything – resources, morale, information.

Example: If your team is working on an aircraft, you will supervise their work, and also make sure that everyone has been assigned tasks in a systematic way. This will ensure that the aircraft is built efficiently.

Improving and upgrading.

As science and technology are constantly evolving, you will have to stay up-to-date with the latest developments to ensure you’re delivering the best. This would involve modifying designs and improving safety features.

Example: If you find that one of your products could be improved with newer safety measures, you can either upgrade the product or develop a newer model that incorporates these measures.

Take the Mentoria career assessment test, to find out how well-suited you are as an Aerospace Engineer.

Where will you work?


Not every workplace or work life is the same! It will change based on where you work, your role and the scale of your job. You could work in a factory, workshop or office, where you would work on designs or aircraft maintenance.

Site Visits

You may have to pay site visits to work on a particular project, or you may go for ‘on-call’ consultations in case of emergency investigations to any sites.

Seminar/ Conferences

As the job involves flight-testing and supervisions, you may be required to travel locally or abroad. You may also travel periodically for conferences and seminars to stay updated on current trends.

How do you get there?

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

STEP 1: Class XI-XII/Junior College

Choose this stream and select Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics to get into an engineering course. If your college offers Electronics or Computer Science, choose these as optional subjects.

STEP 2: Entrance Exams

You’ll need to clear the Joint Entrance Exams (JEE). Its eligibility is 50% marks in Class 12 exams with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as your subjects. Some colleges have their own entrance exams as well, like Lovely Professional University – LPUNEST, Amity University – Amity JEE, etc. Furthermore, if you score above the cut-off in your JEEs (it varies every year), you could appear for the JEE Advanced entrance test.

STEP 3: Graduate Degree

You can pursue a BE(Bachelor of Engineering) or BTech (Bachelor of Technology) in Aeronautical Engineering from colleges like Birla Institute of Technology, Jadavpur University, Amity University, LPU, etc. These are usually four-year courses divided into eight semesters.

You can also study a BSc in Computer Science or Information Technology (three-year course) and specialise in your chosen field at a postgraduate level. If you have cleared the JEE Advanced, you could pursue a BTech in aerospace engineering through one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) – IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, etc.

STEP 4: Internship

The best way to gain practical knowledge in a career is through an internship. Join a company that creates software for designs, or work as an associate to a researcher in the field of aeronautics or aerospace engineering.

STEP 5: Land a Job

Now that you’ve graduated and completed an internship, it’s time to get a job! Make sure your resume includes all the skills you’ve acquired and projects you’ve completed during your college and internship. Join an organisation as a junior engineer, where you will work under seasoned engineers and learn about different types of aerospace products. Congratulations, you are now officially an Aerospace Engineer!

STEP 6: Postgraduate Degree

Most aerospace engineers pursue a postgraduate degree directly after graduation, but you could also work for a few years before opting for further studies. This will give you a fair idea of the area you can specialise in. You could pursue an ME or MTech in Aeronautical Engineering, or an MSc in Aerospace Engineering.

What skills would you need?

Analytical and Data Skills

Analytical and Data Skills

You will receive huge amounts of data from your client. This data will have to be analysed effectively so you can find ways that will help your client reach their customers is the best way possible. While it is true that the more data you analyse, the more insights you generate; analytical thinking will help you narrow down your search and find your key actionable items, thus saving you a lot of time and resources.

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Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail

Working with eggs and embryos is a very tedious task. Every little detail matters when you are observing them. If you are good at giving attention to detail, then your job at the laboratory will be made much easier.

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Problem-solving Skills

Problem-solving Skills

Patients will be coming to you with different issues with fertility. You must be able to assess their problem, analyse the reason and work on coming up with a solution.

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Technical Skills

Technical Skills

You will be constantly working with machines during the day, from testing instruments to ph balancing equipment, a thorough understanding of how these equipment work is essential.

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Communication Skills

Communication Skills

It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.

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Creative Skills

Creative Skills

As a marketer, you need to get people hooked on your brand. This requires you to come up with fun, entertaining, and exceptional ways to engage your audience. There is a lot of competition in the market, and the only way to be on top is by constantly doing something new and innovative.

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How do you make it to the top ranks?

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As an intern, you would perform simple routine tasks under the close supervision of your seniors. You will learn how to record data, operate and use test equipment and design software. You will work with various departments such as research, design, development, testing, marketing and manufacturing.

Junior Aerospace Engineer

At this level, you will learn to develop new technologies to be used in aviation, defence systems and spacecraft. You will work under the guidance of seniors and specialise in designing different types of aerospace products.

Senior Aerospace Engineer

You will evaluate a junior aerospace engineer’s work and determine if the design complies with engineering principles, customer requirements and environmental regulations. You would also take on the responsibility of ensuring that each project meets the required quality standards and timelines. You will also research and develop design specifications.


You would lead a team of engineers and oversee their work. You would also take part in flight-testing programmes to measure takeoff distance, rate of climb, stall speed and more. You will supervise the assembly of airframes and installation of engines, instruments and other equipment. Your juniors will look up to you, so mentoring them will also be your responsibility.

Chief Aerospace Engineer

You will come up with strategic and tactical initiatives while ensuring that your teams properly understand the regulatory and commercial requirements. You will also curate technology and product roadmaps related to fuel distribution and aerial refuelling products. You will head testing, design, evaluation, installation and operations.

Thinking of a career as an Aerospace Engineer? Take the Mentoria assessment test & talk to our career counsellors to get personalized step-by-step guidance for your future career path.

Pursuing your career locally VS abroad

If you study aerospace engineering in India, you will gain a better understanding of the market and slowly build a network to secure a job. There is a good demand for aerospace engineers in India’s top airline companies.

Aerospace engineering is a four-year undergraduate programme you can pursue from universities such as Amity University, Bhagwant University, Sandip University, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and others. The average fee for this course can be anywhere between INR 50,000  to 8,00,000.

While a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering is enough to land you a job, you can always excel in the field by opting for a postgraduate degree or PhD.

It is difficult to find a job as an aerospace engineer abroad with an Indian degree. However, graduating from an aerospace engineering course outside the country will improve your chances of landing a job abroad. You could also study a Masters or Ph D in aerospace engineering abroad to improve your job prospects. While pursuing your masters, build a good network and look for a suitable job to manage your finances.

Studying aerospace engineering abroad would help you gain the skills and knowledge required to establish a strong foot in the field. It will develop your creativity and eye for detail along with your project management and design skills. By the end of your course, you will have a lot of practical and theoretical knowledge. Pursuing aerospace engineering abroad would cost an average fee of INR 20,00,000 to 60,00,000, depending on the university and country you choose. The US has some great courses in aerospace engineering. You can pursue aerospace engineering from the Imperial College of London, Princeton University USA, Harvard University and others.

How much would you get paid?

The exact amount will depend on where you work, your qualifications, and the organisation you work for. However, we can give you a fair idea of how much you could earn as an aerospace engineer.

What are your career options?

CAD (Computer-aided Design)

A CAD technician uses CAD software to create technical drawings and plans. You would work closely with architects and design engineers to understand the design requirements and turn them into technical drawings in 2D and 3D models. The models you curate will be used to estimate the project’s  cost, manufacturing and installation. Your primary job would involve planning the aircraft’s design and providing detailed and accurate drawings for it. CAD technicians also opt to work in manufacturing and construction industries.

Aircraft Maintenance

An aircraft technician is involved in the repair and maintenance of all types of aircraft, including planes, helicopters, blimps and balloons. As an aircraft technician, your primary job involves diagnosing electrical and mechanical issues in an aircraft, and removing defective and worn out parts. You are also responsible for maintaining the aircraft’s electrical systems.

Aircraft Engineering

As an aircraft engineer, you would be involved in designing and testing aircraft. You would ensure that the aircraft is well maintained and all safety procedures are followed. You would test new equipment and ensure that old ones are maintained. You would also run tests on new designs, and create and interpret test data for the same.

Flight Testing

As a flight test engineer, you would be responsible for testing aircraft and their systems. You would develop plans for upcoming testing, conduct flight tests on a ground level and on board. On the basis of the test results, you would work towards resolving issues, if any. You would also conduct checks on the architecture, design, maintenance, operations and systems of aircraft.

Technical Communication

As a technical communicator, you would be the link between the flight crew and ground experts. You need to know everything about the functioning of aircraft and work collaboratively with various departments. The job also involves curating classroom training guides, white papers, data sheets, journals, user manuals and others. Your job profile may involve being a technical writer, API writer, technical content developer, technical illustrator, content specialist or content manager.


As an airline pilot, you would be responsible for operating a plane’s engine to navigate and fly the vessel. You would check hydraulic and engine systems for pre-flight, safety-monitoring fuel consumption and aircraft systems in-flight. Having an aerospace engineering degree gives you an edge over others as you understand the technical and design nuances of the aircraft.

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