what is an aircraft engineer?

As an aircraft engineer, you perform scheduled maintenance on helicopters and aeroplanes. You also perform inspections to determine the safety of planes. You can work for private firms and military or commercial airlines, helping them ascertain the airworthiness of aircraft. As an aircraft engineer, you need extensive knowledge of the various parts of an aeroplane, from the engine to propellers and landing gear. Your expertise helps you identify problems during an inspection and isolate hydraulic equipment or radar instruments that need repairs or replacement.

Sometimes, you work on defects reported by pilots. However, you check all parts carefully during an inspection to ascertain airworthiness. You take full responsibility for the repairs since you may lose your AME license if mistakes occur.

The scope of your role as an aircraft engineer depends on the company you work for. For instance, in small private aeroplane companies, you oversee all aircraft repairs before take-off. However, in large aviation companies, you are part of the overhaul repair team that performs extensive maintenance on aircraft. You may specialise in specific repair and maintenance roles like hydraulic inspections.

The role requires excellent troubleshooting and problem-solving skills. Attention to detail is also crucial, as mistakes can have devastating consequences.

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average salary of an aircraft engineer

According to Payscale, aircraft engineers in India earn an average of ₹800,000 yearly. However, the number of years of experience greatly impacts the pay scale. In the early years of your career, you earn an average of ₹275,000 annually. As you gain more experience, your expertise and value to the employer increase, boosting your earnings. Experienced aircraft engineers with more than ten years of experience earn over ₹1 million per year.

factors that influence the salary of an aircraft engineer

Aside from experience level, your education and certifications also affect your earnings. Holding advanced degrees and certifications commands higher pay. If you want to increase your salary scale, gain additional qualifications.

The size and financial stability of your employer can also impact your earnings positively. Working in large companies typically offers better compensation packages due to the complexity of your duties. Salaries also vary based on the location. Metropolitan areas with strong aerospace industries and a high cost of living tend to offer higher salaries.


types of aircraft engineers

Some of the types of aircraft engineers include:

  • aircraft maintenance engineers: you handle repairs and troubleshoot issues in the aircraft. You are responsible for the safety and security of aircraft. Maintenance is crucial in aviation since no aircraft can take off without your approval.
  • aeronautical engineers: as an aeronautical engineer, you design and construct aircraft. You also test newly constructed aircraft to ensure smooth performance. You require exceptional technical skills to design functional aircraft.

working as an aircraft engineer

Working as an aircraft engineer involves supervising the repair and maintenance of aircraft parts and systems. If you are interested in the role, read on to find out about aircraft engineers' duties and work environments.


education and skills

To become an aircraft engineer, complete your 10+2 with physics, chemistry and mathematics. You can also join an aircraft engineering course if you have an engineering diploma from the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). Before getting admission to the aircraft maintenance engineering course, you should pass the medical fitness examination and be between 16 and 28 years old.

When you meet all the requirements, enrol in a course accredited by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Course enrolment requires clearing engineering entrance exams in India. The training programmes equip you with technical skills for designing and maintaining aircraft. You can apply for a licence based on your training areas.

aircraft engineer skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an aircraft engineer include:

  • troubleshooting skills: a major part of your role as an aircraft engineer is solving problems in a plane's mechanical components. Troubleshooting skills rely on logical thinking to eliminate the potential causes of a problem. With exceptional troubleshooting skills, you can easily find the source of mechanical problems and develop solutions.
  • reading comprehension: your work relies on using blueprints and manuals to determine problems in an aircraft. You should be able to read and comprehend blueprints to pinpoint issues with aircraft parts. Comprehension helps you understand the instruction manuals and process technical information accurately.
  • manual dexterity: you need good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity to succeed as an aircraft engineer. When inspecting or doing repairs, you adjust or assemble small components carefully. Manual dexterity also helps you utilise power tools when performing intricate tasks.
  • attention to detail: as an aircraft engineer, you need attention to detail to avoid missing important information during repairs. Attentiveness to detail is also essential during an inspection. It helps you thoroughly examine to ensure you don't miss broken or out-of-place components.
  • communication skills: it is important to communicate clearly with engineers, pilots and other airport crew. Written communication skills are necessary for writing reports.

FAQs about working as an aircraft engineer

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an aircraft engineer.

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