Career in Aviation | Eligibility | Process | Exam - Brainchecker

Career in Aviation | Eligibility | Process | Exam

Hi All, welcome to Brain Checker’s blog, in today’s article we will be talking about Career in Aviation | Eligibility | Process | Exam. I am Keya Raje, a Counseling Psychologist and Co-Founder, Brain Checker, I have been working as a Career Counselor and Mental Health Professional for last 10+Years. In this article, we will be talking about Career in Aviation | Eligibility | Process | Exam. So let’s begin.

Pursuing a career in the aviation industry is not only one of the most profitable options but also among the most reputable professions in India.  From being a commercial pilot, air hostess, flight steward, to working as an air traffic control specialist, aviation business manager, there are varied job options available for the aspirants as per their qualification. A job in the aviation industry, especially those which are to be performed in the plane, such as pilot, air hostess, steward, cabin crew, etc. is a no-nonsense job. These jobs require a person to be communicative, responsible, spontaneous, and patient enough to handle passengers and their concerns.


A career in Commercial Pilot –

Commercial Pilot is the first name that comes to mind when someone talks about pursuing a career in aviation. And why not as flying a plane is not a thing that everyone can do. While a commercial pilot’s job is full of responsibility and discipline, there are a lot of advantages that come with it. You get to fly to worldwide destinations, explore places, cultures, and people. Moreover, you are entitled to excellent salary packages. If the flying plane is what fascinates you, you can opt for a career as a commercial pilot. However, be ready to spend a big amount on the course and flying


Ways to Become a Commercial Pilot

There are two ways you can become a commercial pilot:

  • Joining a private commercial pilot training Centre approved by (Directorate General of Civil Aviation).
  • Joining the flying branch of NDA of CDS after clearing the exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission).


Stages to Complete to Become a Licensed Commercial Pilot

A candidate needs to first obtain the Private Pilot License (PPL) and then he can apply for Commercial Pilot License (CPL). Having a PPL is a license that allows a pilot to fly private aircraft and having a CPL license allows a pilot to fly aircraft or airplanes. To get a license, there are certain conditions laid down by DGCA which an applicant is required to qualify.

Eligibility Overview

Candidate looking to pursue his/her career as a commercial pilot must have completed his/her 12th class in Science stream having Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and English. The minimum marks that a candidate must have scored in aggregate to become eligible for CPL is 50%. While the minimum age limit for CPL is 17 years, the maximum age limit is 60 to 65 years. Also, there are two medical tests that a candidate needs to pass to be eligible for CPL.

In addition, there is an entrance test conducted for the candidates to get admission to the PPL and CPL courses. The test is based on subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, General Knowledge, and English.

Commercial Pilot Enrolment Process

For Private Pilot License, a candidate needs to have 60 hours of minimum flying experience, 20 hours of dual flying experience, and subject knowledge of Navigation, Air Regulation, Seamanship, Aviation meteorology, and Aircraft and Engine.

Similarly, for Commercial Pilot License, a candidate needs to have 250 hours of flying experience along with 60 hours of PPL experience and medical tests. Also, the candidate must have subject knowledge of Air navigation, Aviation Meteorology, Air regulation, Airframes and engines, Flight planning, and Cockpit Resource Management.

Additionally, the candidate will also need to pass a flying test under special conditions. A solo flying test, a height flying test and a cross-country flying test are also taken.

Course Fee

Commercial Pilot course is of around two-year duration and it costs between 40 to 45 lakh approximately. This cost is provided based on 220 hours of flying which includes flying on multi-engine, solo, night rating, instrument rating, type rating, food, and accommodation. The course fee may vary on different factors such as flying hours, type rating, food, accommodation, etc.

Salary Overview

Once a candidate has completed his course and has obtained a commercial pilot license, he/she can earn up to ₹ 1.5 Lakh per month with a domestic airline. For international routes, the salary can be even higher. After gaining sufficient


Aeronautical Engineering Courses –

Aeronautical Engineering is a perfect course for those who have a passion to design, develop, and maintain aircraft. The study of Aeronautical Engineering comprises a theoretical and practical understanding of materials, assembling parts, testing, and maintaining aircraft. The course allows students to learn about advanced technology used in aircraft traveling in outer space. The field of Aeronautical engineering also involves disciplines such as avionics, aerodynamics, and propulsion. An Aeronautical Engineer can seek a reputable position in government research centers, defense organizations, aircraft manufacturing organizations, ISRO, and NASA. To be a professional engineer, a candidate needs to be a licensed aeronautical engineer.

Eligibility Overview

For an undergraduate course, a candidate needs to pass class 12th from a recognized board. For a postgraduate course, a candidate needs to have a B.Tech degree in any of the given areas – Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical, Automobile, Electronics, Electrical, Instrumentation, or Metallurgy & Material Science.

Exam Pattern Overview

The Aeronautical Engineering exam is based on the following subjects:

  • Intake Aerodynamics
  • Structural Design and Optimization
  • Fluid-Structure Interactions
  • Transition and Turbulence
  • Missile Guidance and Control
  • High-Speed Jets & Acoustics
  • Design & Dynamics of Autonomous Micro & Mini Air Vehicles
  • Unmanned and Autonomous Air Vehicle

The stages in which the exam for Aeronautical Engineering is conducted are as follows:

  1. Written Examination
  2. Physical Fitness Test
  3. Interview
  4. Medical Examination
  5. All India Selection List
  6. Enrollment of the candidate

After clearing these tests, qualified candidates receive a call letter from the Air-Force Selection Board. Then, the candidates need to undergo further tests which include Psychological tests, Intetestsw, and Group discussions.

Course Fee

For undergraduate programs, the course fee may vary from 1 lakh to 20 lakh depending on the colleges. For postgraduate programs, the course fee may vary from 50,000 to 15 lakh depending on the colleges.

Salary Overview

While the average salary of an Aeronautical Engineer is said to be around 7 lakh, it can vary depending on the talent of the candidate and the company which is hiring him/her. With experience in the field, an aeronautical engineer can earn a handsome salary package.

Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) –

Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) is an exam conducted by the Indian Force (IAF) every year to appoint officers in the various branches of IAF – Flying Branch, Technical Branch, and Ground Branch. The exam is a computer-based test that is conducted twice a year. There are two types of commissions in AFCAT – Permanent Commission (PC) for Men and Short Service Commission (SSC) for Men & Women. While the PC officers need to serve till the age of superannuation in the respective branch according to their rank. The engagement period for SSC officers (Men & Women) is fourteen years from the date of commissioning. In the case of Ground Duty (Technical & Non-Technical), SSC officers are engaged for a period of ten years; however, it can be extended up to four years subject to availability of vacancies, willingness, service requirements, suitability, and merit.

Eligibility Overview

The age limit required for Flying Branch through AFCAT exam is 20 to 24 years and for Ground Duty (Technical and Non-Technical), the age limit is 20 to 26 years. For age-proof, IAF only accepts the date of birth mentioned in the Matriculation or Secondary School Leaving Certificate recognized by an Indian University. Coming to educational qualification, a candidate must have scored at least 60% marks in Mathematics and Physics at 10+2 level (for the flying branch). He/she must also have completed graduation with a 3-year degree in any discipline from a recognized university with at least 60% marks.

Exam Pattern Overview

The AFCAT exam is conducted online and is based on subjects such as Numerical Ability, General Awareness, Reasoning & Military Aptitude tests, and Verbal Ability in English. The duration of the exam is 120 minutes in which students need to answer 100 objective-type questions carrying a total of 300 marks.

Air Hostess Course –

If you have good communication skills, appearance, and intelligence, you can have a great career as an air hostess. Pursuing a career as an air-hostess has a lot of perks such as – you get to travel to new destinations, meet new people, and explore different places, cultures, and cuisines. Moreover, you get to earn an excellent salary package. Not only girls can join the cabin crew as air hostesses, but boys can also make the most of this profession by joining as flight stewards. There are numerous colleges and institutes in India that offer diploma and degree courses for an air hostess.

Top Institutes Offering Air Hostess and Flight Steward Training

  • Franklin Institute of Air Hostess (FIGHT)
  • PTC Aviation Academy
  • The Bombay Flying Club
  • Indira Gandhi Institute of Aeronautics (IGIA)
  • Rajiv Gandhi Memorial College of Aeronautics (RGMCA)
  • Universal Aviation Academy (UAA)
  • Wings Air Hostess & Hospitality Training
  • Institute for Personality, Etiquette & Grooming
  • UFLY International

Selection Process Overview

The selection process for the Air Hostess course generally involves three stages- Written Examination, Group Discussion, and Interview round. Based on qualifying these rounds, a candidate gets admission to various air hostess courses.

Types of Courses

There are generally three types of Air-Hostess/Flight Steward Courses available to pursue the candidates. These are:

  1. Certificate Courses
  2. Diploma Courses
  3. Degree Courses

Eligibility Overview

The age of the candidate applying for the Air hostess course should be between 18 to 26 years.

The minimum educational qualification required for the course is 10+2 (in any discipline).

The height of the candidate should be at least 5 feet and 2 inches and eye-sight should be 6/6.

Salary Overview

The average salary that a candidate can earn as a fresher varies from 50,000 to 1,00,000 (INR) in international aviation, that too depending on the job profile and the organization that hires the candidate. Likewise, in domestic aviation, the average salary of a fresh candidate may vary from 25,000 to 40,000 (INR).

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) –

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) is an entrance exam that evaluates a student’s pilot aptitude and his appropriateness for pursuing a career as a professional pilot. Apart from testing the general ability of the candidate, the IGRUA exam also helps in examining the overall orientation of candidates toward flying. Therefore, it is recommended to prepare for the exam thoroughly and have a good understanding of the subjects covered in this exam.

Pattern Overview

IGRUA exam is conducted for Commercial Pilot License (CPL). The selection process for CPL comprises three stages which are:

  1. Online written examination
  2. Viva or Interview
  3. Pilot Aptitude Test/Psychometric Test

The online written examination of IGRUA comprises the following five sections. The objective type questions asked from these sections are given based on the 10+2 class.

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Reasoning
  • General Awareness

After qualifying written tests, selected candidates are called for the interview round. Following documents are required at the time of interview:

  • Admit card of written examination
  • Date of birth proof (Class 10th passing certificate)
  • Marksheet of class 10th and 12th
  • Caste certificate if belonging to reserve category
  • Certificate if the OBC candidate doesn’t belong to the creamy layer.

After clearing the interview round, selected candidates need to undergo a pilot aptitude test/Psychometric Test.

Eligibility Overview

Candidates appearing for the IGRUA entrance test must have passed a minimum 10+2 class from a recognized recognized board in English, Physics, and Mathematics. The minimum aggregate marks that a candidate must have scored in Mathematics and Physics should be 55% for the general category and 50% for SC/ST/OBC candidates (non-creamy layer). The minimum age of the candidate required at the time of joining the course is 17 years.

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About the Author: Dr. Ashwin Raje

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