Aviation sector offers diverse job opportunities. Aircraft maintenance engineer is one such job profile related to aviation industry. AME (Aircraft Maintenance Engineering) is a technical training course (3 years long) that will help you acquire an aircraft maintenance engineer license (issued by the DGCA). In this article, you will be reading about AME course details, eligibility criteria, admission process, syllabus, alternative courses and career prospects.
While Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineers mainly deal with design, manufacturing and testing of aircraft, engines and components, AME professionals are tasked with the maintenance of an aircraft, its parts and engines! As the name suggests, AME professionals have to deal with service and maintenance of aircraft and make sure that they are flightworthy!
Safety is very important, when it comes to aviation sector. An aircraft is made of numerous parts, engines, electrical and electronic systems etc. With time and use, parts tend to wear and tear down. Regular inspection and maintenance of aircraft have thus become very necessary. Aircraft Maintenance Engineering professionals are trained to inspect an aircraft, diagnose problems, report the problems found and finally solve them.
Before a flight takes off, AME professionals work hard and make sure that each and every system available in the aircraft is in working condition. They ensure that the safety standards are being followed and the aircraft is flightworthy. In short, AME professionals play a very crucial role in the smooth functioning of aviation sector!
It is a challenging profession. Lots of responsibilities rest on the shoulders of an AME professional! Safety of passengers depends on how well an AME professional executes his tasks.
Key skills required to thrive in this field include- eye for detail, patience, technical knowledge, observational skills, decision making skills, quick thinking and good communication skills.
To become an AME professional, one must possess a maintenance engineer license issued by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation). To obtain this license, one must successfully go through the AME training from a DGCA approved institute. AME training course can be divided into two main streams-
Mechanical stream focuses on engine, body and other mechanical systems. Avionics stream focuses on electrical and electronic systems, instruments, radio system etc. One may choose a particular stream during the training and specialize in it.
DGCA is the body responsible for maintaining the quality of AME training in India. Make sure that you pursue this course from an institute that has been recognized and approved by the DGCA!
Let us check out the basic course details now-
Duration: AME training course is 3 years long. Academic program is 2½ years long. 6 months are dedicated towards on job training program. The entire program is divided into 6 semesters, with each semester lasting for a period of 6 months.
Evaluation is done at the end of each semester (written and practical tests). Evaluation tests will be present from 1st semester to 5th semester.
The course trains students to inspect, service, maintain and repair aircraft and its various parts. It is a technical training course. On finishing the course and training successfully, candidates will be awarded AME license by the DGCA!
This is a technical course. Students who have passed 10+2 Science stream (with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subjects) with minimum 50% aggregate marks are eligible to pursue this course. Diploma holders (with minimum 50% aggregate marks) are also eligible to pursue it.
Note: Minimum marks criteria may vary from one institute to another. Candidate should also be physically and mentally fit.
Some of the institutes follow direct admission process. Some other institutes follow merit based admission process. Usually, Diploma holders are given direct admission. In case of merit admission, marks scored by a student in 10+2 board exam and entrance test are taken into consideration. Many institutes also have a selection interview.
To get a better idea about the course structure, I’ve listed few important subjects present in AME training program. Note: Not all subjects have been mentioned, only important ones have been listed.
- Aircraft Rules
- Basic Aircraft Engine
- Theory of Flight
- Engineering Drawing/Graphics
- Aircraft Material and Hardware
- Aircraft Structures
- Aircraft Systems and Maintenance
- Gas Turbine Engines
- Basic and Applied Electricity
- Aircraft Instruments
- Aircraft Electronic Systems
- Computer Systems
- Aircraft Inspection and Maintenance
Note: The subjects mentioned above have both theory classes as well as practical sessions associated with them. In the last year of training program, a student may choose area of specialization- Mechanical or Avionics stream.
On completion of the academic program, successful students have to undergo hands on job training. Job training period is 6 months long. This period consists of practical training.
Career prospects and job opportunities
Aircraft maintenance engineers deal with inspection, maintenance and servicing of aircraft. Licensed AME professionals are usually hired by Government Airline as well as Private Airlines. Aviation Organizations, Aircraft maintenance firms and Flying Schools are also known to recruit them.
AME professionals may also work for firms manufacturing and supplying aircraft parts such as engine, turbines, electrical systems, electronic systems and instruments.
AME professionals are well paid. Starting salary depends on numerous factors. Some of them are- profile of the employer, grades attained by the employee and employee skills. Average salary is around 25-50K Rupees per month. International airlines pay well. Government job pay is based on Pay Band and scale.