BS in Aeronautical Engineering

BS in Aeronautical Engineering (BSAeroE) is a five year degree program designed to prepare students for becoming Aeronautical Engineers. The BS in Aeronautical Engineering program deals with the methods and principles of flight. It also covers engineering disciplines applied in research and development, manufacturing, operation, maintenance, repair, modification and inspection of aircrafts, spacecrafts and their components.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BSAE curriculum are divided into two main categories:

  • Technical Courses
    • Mathematics: Advanced Algebra, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Integral Calculus, Probability and Statistics
    • Natural/Physical Sciences: General Chemistry, Physics
    • Basic Engineering Sciences: Engineering Drawing, Computer Aided Drafting, Dynamics of Rigid Bodies, Engineering Management, Safety Management
    • Allied Courses: Thermodynamics, Elementary Electrical Engineering, Basic Electronics
    • Professional Courses: Aircraft materials and Processes, Airframe Construction and Repair, Aerodynamics, Aircraft Systems, Operations Engineering, Air Laws and Regulations, Aircraft Maintenance and Inspection, Aviation Safety, Aircraft Structure, Aircraft Design, Computer Aided Design (CAD)
    • Technical Electives: Rocket Engines, Home Built Aircraft
  • Non–Technical Courses
    • Social Sciences: Social Science (1 to 4)
    • Humanities: Humanities (1 to 3)
    • Languages: English (1 to 3) , Filipino (1 and 2)
    • Mandated Subject: Life and works of Rizal

The BSAeroE program makes use of several teaching methods. The five years of study are spent in classroom lectures, small group tutorials, field observations and hands-on laboratory sessions. In addition to this, students are also exposed to seminars and talks given by experts in the aerospace industry and even experience rides in a flight simulator.

Students are also exposed to an on the job training (OJT) in a duly recognized aeronautics or flight company; this is usually arranged by the school. It is done under the supervision of a senior aeronautical engineer in the firm and a faculty member. At the end of the OJT the student is evaluated for his/her performance.

As a requirement for graduation, students are required to accomplish a project feasibility study. Students are given the freedom to choose a study of interest that will help establish and improve air navigation facilities. The project ends when the student faces a committee to defend his/her work.

Aeronautical Engineering is considered a profession. 
The responsibilities of an Aeronautical Engineer include:

  • Maintaining aircraft for full operation including making regular inspections, maintenance and servicing.
  • Creating aircraft, components and support equipment.
  • Supervising the assembly of airframes and the installation of engines, instruments and other equipment.
  • Participating in flight test programs to measure take-off distances, rate of climb, stall speeds, maneuverability and landing capacities.
  • Resolving issues that arise during the design, development and testing processes.
  • Modifying designs to improve safety features or minimize fuel consumption and pollution.
  • Working with teams, suppliers, clients and managers to agree budgets, timescales and specifications.
  • Communicating technical and regulatory advice to clients, teams, suppliers and other professionals within the aerospace industry and presenting data to groups and individuals.

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:

  • Must be a high school graduate.Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers.
  • High school QPA– some schools require a specific high school QPA in order to qualify for the BSIE program.
  • College entrance exam– must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Engineering Aptitude Test– all students have to take an engineering aptitude test before they are admitted to the BSIE program.
  • Interview– must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.
  • Required Grade for Math, Science and English– Some schools require a specific grade in these subjects.

(See sources 1 and 2)

  • Excellent Mathematical skills– math is the fundamental tool of aeronautical engineering, majority of subjects use both basic and complicated forms of mathematical equation therefore its very important to have strong foundation in mathematics
  • Strong inclination to Physics– aeronautical engineering involves studying the movement of air over the structure of the aircraft, as well as the movement of all of the aircraft’s internal systems. As a result, different aspects of physics are of major importance to aeronautical engineering.
  • Computer Knowledge– a wide knowledge on computers is critical to succeeding in the majority of engineering courses because much of the actual design work is done using computers.
  • Technical skills– the knowledge and ability required to achieve specific tasks as well as other duties such as mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related tasks.
  • Critical Thinking– the use of logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Graphical skills– the ability to transform a design into an image
  • Analytical skills– the ability to determine how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes
  • Problem solving skills– the ability to identify complex problems and review related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Organizational skills– the ability to prioritize and manage time to give equal attention to each task at hand
  • Communication skills– the ability to effectively relay information both orally and in written form.

Aeronautical Engineering is considered one of the most difficult fields of engineering. It involves complex math and physics topics. You’ll need to be highly competent in mathematics and physics so expect your competency in these two subjects to be rigorously tested. The BSAeroE program also demands intensive use of computers; those who have minimal computer skills will most likely find it hard to keep up. The workload in this program is quite demanding as well, you will be out in the field most of the time doing hands on practicum exams and also have constant examinations inside the classroom. 

The Aeronautical Engineering Board Exam is also considered to be one of the most difficult board examinations in the Philippines. 

The BSAeroE program takes five years to complete. The program may be completed in less than 5 years in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

Review for the board exam will take a few additional months.

During the summer of the fourth year, the student is required to attend an on the job training (OJT) in an aeronautical company or firm. Students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The on the job training program is done under the supervision of a faculty member as well as a designated authority in the company. The length of the OJT is 420 hours (see source). 

  • Jobs for Licensed Aeronautical Engineers (board exam passers)

    • Surveillance Aircraft Operators in the Military– operate survey equipment to determine accurate locations and directions for artillery units as well as differential positioning systems, including GPS, and distance measuring equipment
    • Aircraft Interior Engineer– involved in the design or renovation of internal spaces, including structural alterations, furnishings, fixtures and fittings, lighting and colour schemes of an aircraft.
    • Aircraft Structural Engineer– designs structures to withstand stresses and pressures, such as weather and human use in an aircraft or a space satellite. They ensure that structures and systems inside aircrafts remain strong and secure throughout their use.
    • Aircraft Manufacturing Engineer– have a high level of technical expertise and skill, which they use to plan, design, set up, modify, optimize and monitor manufacturing processes.
    • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer– installs, maintain and repair aircraft engines; airframes; airframe systems; electrical, instrument and radio systems; and aircraft structures and surface finishes.
    • Aeronautical Engineering Professor– teaches aeronautical engineering in a College or University
    • Aircraft System Engineer– develops aircraft sketches, drafts and designs
    • Aircraft Design Engineer– performs engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture.
    • Aircraft Power Plant Engineer– responsible for supervising, inspecting and performing maintenance on aircraft turbine engines and components.
    • Aircraft Tooling Engineer– plans, directs and coordinates tooling used to manufacture and modify the aircraft as well as develop, evaluate, and improve manufacturing methods, materials and parts, fabrication processes, tooling, production equipment capabilities, assembly methods, staff allocation, and quality control standards.
    • Aeronautical Engineering Consultant– provide consulting services on behalf of a private employer or he can be self-employed. Engineering consultants may also work with federal, state and local governments.
    • Chief Aeronautical Engineer– responsible for the technical management and oversight of aeronautical engineering activities that they are assigned to. The Chief Engineer will ensure compliance to customer; regulatory and client’s requirements and procedures.
    • Sector Operational Manager– maintain the airline’s published schedule by ensuring that the on-time arrival and departure rates are within acceptable limits for the prevalent external conditions.
    • Head of Line Maintenance– manage, organize and lead the Station Engineers and staff at the stations located around the network to deliver aircraft maintenance in an efficient, effective and safe manner.
  • Jobs for Non Board Passers:

    • Aircraft Mechanic– maintains and repair the avionic and mechanical equipment needed to make planes and helicopters operate safely.
    • Ground Radio Operator– maintain reliable operation of radio communication equipment and prepare, transmit, and record messages for ground forces
    • Production Schedulers– covers the planning, scheduling, releasing, and tracking of workflow from the engineering department and the manufacturing department.
    • Aircraft fueler– responsible for overseeing that all aircrafts are serviced with fuel; additionally, automotive and ground support equipment is serviced. They are also trained to handle non-routine situations, such as defueling and fueling aircraft with inoperative fuel quantity indicators.
    • Simulator Technician– responsible for the performance of maintenance and reliability tests on the equipment that is used to calibrate aero and space craft; works under the direction of a supervising senior technician
    • Technical Data Manager– provides info/data support to customers, representatives, airlines and government agencies, maintains all engineering files (production, project, specs, drawings, microfilm, etc. and prepares reports
    • Mechanical Fitter– sets up, adjusts and inspects metalworking and pipe working machines and equipment.
    • Aviation Support Equipment Technician– operate, maintain, repair and test automotive electrical systems in ground equipment, gasoline and diesel systems, and associated automotive, hydraulic and pneumatic systems. They also maintain gas turbine compressor units, ground air-conditioning units, perform metal fabrication, repair and painting of tow tractors and other aircraft servicing units.
    • Aviation Records Supervisor– keeps logs and records in the maintenance department of an aviation company.
    • Crew Chief Aircraft Mechanic Technician– lead, direct and support a group of maintenance Technicians and act as duty senior maintenance representative in the absence of Supervision.
  • Salary Levels

Generally speaking, salaries for licensed Aeronautical Engineers are high compared to the average salary in other sector. The salary levels for Aeronautical Engineers depend on work experience, position and whether they are working in the private or public sector.


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