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Aerospace Engineering Vs Aeronautical Engineering: Difference, Scope, Eligibility Criteria, Job, Institute, Top Recruiter, and Salary | Education

Aerospace Engineering Vs Aeronautical Engineering: Difference, Scope, Eligibility Criteria, Job, Institute, Top Recruiter, and Salary | Education
Aerospace Engineering Vs Aeronautical Engineering: Difference, Scope, Eligibility Criteria, Job, Institute, Top Recruiter, and Salary

Differences, Scope, Eligibility Criteria, Job, Institute, Top Recruiter, and Salary for Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering

Who isn't attracted to building big spaceships or space ships or rockets?

Many students in India want to become aeronautical engineer or aerospace engineer.  But due to lack of proper knowledge, they start taking wrong decisions or doing something else.  They don't know what are the similarities and differences between aerospace engineering and aeronautical engineering?

Aerospace and aeronautical engineering both involve designing aircraft, airplanes, missiles and more, but there are some differences.

As teachers or career counselors, it is our responsibility to guide those students and select them for the right career.

Let us take this opportunity and understand what is aerospace engineering and aeronautical engineering and why they are different from each other. 

Aeronautical engineering attracts students who are interested in the design, construction and maintenance of aircraft.  The term aeronautics refers to the study of flight, having its origins in the early 19 century by Sir George Kelly (who invented the conventional configuration of the airplane).  Later, the Wright Brothers understood this mechanism, invented the first airplane, and became the first aeronautical engineers.

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In one sentence, aeronautical engineering is concerned with the manufacturing, design, and maintenance of traveling machines such as airplanes, missiles, helicopters, satellites, and more.

What is Aerospace Engineering?

Aerospace Engineering: While aeronautical engineering is concerned with the study of aircraft that operate within the Earth's atmosphere, aerospace engineering is concerned with the study of space craft used in and outside the Earth's atmosphere.  Aerospace engineering offers a wide range of learning and covers the development of both aircraft and spacecraft.

This field of study offers a broader aspect of engineering which includes various smaller areas of engineering.

Difference between Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering

The key difference between aeronautical and aerospace engineering is "aeronautical engineering is the study of aircraft operating within the earth's atmosphere whereas aerospace engineering is the study of the operation of aircraft within and outside the earth's atmosphere".

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In other words, aeronautical engineering is a specialization within aerospace engineering.

Apart from this major difference, these two professions also have some other distinctions.  Let us see one by one for better understanding:

Scope in India and abroad of Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering: India will soon become the third largest civil aviation market in the world.  With an air traffic of over 131 million passengers, our country is in need of qualified and skilled Aeronautical Engineers for the advancement of its aviation market.  This means that the scope of aeronautical engineering will increase in the coming years.  So, students can definitely go into this profession for a successful career.

Since India is in its development stage, opportunities are better in core profiles abroad.  They have a series of space centers with advanced technologies.  They offer modern technologies to study and work.  Therefore, the scope of aeronautical engineering abroad is better.

Aerospace Engineering: As mentioned above, India is on its way to become the third largest in civil aviation in the world.  It has a budget of over $1.5 billion for the aerospace sector.  The country holds the record for launching most satellites in a single mission and its flagship space agency, ISRO, is at no.  Around the world 5. Therefore, it is clear that there are a lot of opportunities available for aerospace engineers in India.

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Talking about the field of aerospace engineering abroad, there are immense opportunities available in the US, France, UK, Germany and other countries.  These foreign countries welcome and hire many Indian aerospace engineers every year.  You might be surprised but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA (US Federal Government Agency) has a good number of Indian engineers working with them.

Required skill set for Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering: This profession requires a great technical approach and advanced skills.  You can check the skill in detail here:

  • Speed, accuracy and analytical skills
  • Focus on work and pay attention to every detail
  • Ability to take responsibility
  • Alertness and presence of mind, and more.

Aerospace Engineering: This is a specialized technical field that requires excellent mathematical and observational skills.  Research in this area takes years to complete.  Thus, candidates should have the flexibility and perseverance to pursue the profession.  Some other skills that a successful aerospace engineer should possess are:

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  • Excellent academic background in Science stream 
  • Strong mathematical, reasoning and analytical skills
  • Ability to work for long hours with extreme concentration
  •  Scientific acumen
  • Attention to details, and more.

Eligibility Criteria for Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering: Aspirants who are interested in Aeronautical Engineering must match the eligibility criteria to choose this 4-year course.  Check eligibility criteria in detail here:

  • Students must have 70-75% aggregate marks in PCM in class 12.
  • They should clear JEE Main and JEE Advanced.  Their JEE scores are essential for admission.
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Diploma holders can also pursue this profession.
  • For postgraduate or diploma courses, students must have completed a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering.
  • To get a master's degree from some institutes like IIT IISc, Science Research Institutes, a student must qualify GATE exam.

Aerospace Engineering: This 4-year course has eligibility criteria.  To select the course students need to fit the following criteria:

  • For Aerospace Engineering, students must have a minimum of 60% marks (55% marks for SC/ST) in Science stream (PCM).
  • For admission to aerospace engineering post-graduation course, students must have completed their bachelor's degree (BE/B Tech or equivalent) with at least 60% marks (55% marks for SC/ST).
  • In the US, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recommends degrees for degrees in a variety of disciplines, including biomedical engineering, ceramic engineering, metallurgy, chemistry, oceanography, industrial engineering, optical engineering, and materials engineering.  PhD is highly recommended to join NASA.

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Job/Duty/Job Profile: Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering: These engineers are responsible for:

  • Design, manufacture and testing of aircraft, missiles, airplanes, etc.
  • To develop advanced technologies and technologies for supersonic jets, satellites, space shuttles etc.
  • Improve air travel safety
  • Addressing the environmental impact of air travel when developing aircraft.
  • To assist in investigation of aircraft accidents and project management etc. 

Aerospace Engineering: These engineers are responsible for:

  • Design, manufacture and testing of aircraft and aerospace products.
  • To check the technical and financial feasibility of any project.
  • Checking the safety measure of the proposed projects.
  • Developing design methods, quality standards, sustainability, and more.

Best College / Institute for Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering: Various universities across the world offer programs or specializations in aeronautical engineering.  We have compiled a list of some of the reputed institutes in India and abroad:

  • Institutes in India Institutes Abroad
  • Indian Institute of Technology / IIT Bombay California Institute of Technology
  • Manipal Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • PEC University of Technology University of Toronto, Canada.
  • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

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Aerospace Engineering: Here is a list of some of the institutes that offer the best aerospace engineering programs in India and abroad:

  • Institutes in India Institutes Abroad
  • IITM, Chennai Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  • IIT Bombay, Mumbai California Institute of Technology
  • Chandigarh University University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal Queen Mary University of London
  • IIT, Guwahati / IIT, Kharagpur Georgia Institute of Technology.

Top Recruiter for Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

There are many companies and organizations in India and abroad that provide job opportunities to aeronautical and aerospace engineers.  We have listed some of the most reputed employers for these occupations:

Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering Recruiters:

  • Defense Research and Development Laboratories (DRDO)
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) 
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) 
  • Civil Aviation Department
  • National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Indigo Airways 
  • Boeing
  • Air India 
  • Defense Research and Development Laboratories (DRDO) 
  • Indian Airlines Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
  • Jet Airways 
  • Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC)

Salary for Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering: The average salary of an aeronautical engineer as a fresher ranges between 5-11 lakhs per annum (LPA).

Aerospace Engineering: The average salary of an aerospace engineer as a fresher ranges between 6-12 lakhs per annum (LPA).

Note: The total salary of both the professions is different.  It depends on your skill and experience.  Salary increases according to your experience and expertise.

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Frequently asked questions related to Aeronautical Engineering

Question.  How can I become an aeronautical engineer after 12th?

Answer.  To get admission in aeronautical engineering you have to give entrance exam.  You must fulfill the eligibility criteria mentioned above.

Question.  Is aeronautical engineering difficult?

Answer.  No, the course is not that difficult.  You just need to believe in yourself and work hard to get success.

Question.  Is aeronautical engineering good for women?

Answer.  Of course.  This profession is suitable for everyone, regardless of gender.  Candidate should be good in Mathematics and should have interest in Aviation.

Question.  How many years does it take to study aeronautical engineering?

Answer.  Aeronautical Engineering course is of 4 years duration.  You can become aeronautical engineer within 4-5 years.

Frequently asked questions related to Aerospace Engineering 

Question.  Is aerospace engineering a good career?

Answer.  Of course, aerospace engineering is a good career option.  This profession offers good salary opportunities in India and abroad as well.

Question.  Which college is best for aerospace engineering?

Answer.  Talking about India, all the IITs are good to complete aerospace engineering.  For abroad, it varies according to the preference of your country.

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Question.  Is aerospace engineering good for the future?

Answer.  Yes, the career of an aerospace engineer is bright.  This profession is prestigious and offers good salary opportunities.

Question.  What is the scope of aerospace engineering in India?

Answer.  India will soon become the third largest civil aviation market in the world.  Hence there is a great demand for aerospace engineers in India.

Conclusion

Aerospace and aeronautical engineering both offer the study of aircraft design.  The main difference is that while aerospace engineering focuses on both aircraft and spacecraft in and out of the atmosphere, aeronautical engineering focuses on those.  Both are good in their place.  However, career opportunities in aerospace engineering are extensive.

Source: Parul Sharma and Darshan Aaradhe, Global Career Counsellor, Direct News 99