Flight Engineer

Keep aircraft electronics working in the air and on the ground.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$80,000 – $139,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Flight Engineers do?

A Flight Engineer ensures the safety and proper operation of an aircraft before takeoff, during the flight, and after it lands. As a Flight Engineer, you never actually fly the aircraft, but you do have the training to do so.

To prepare for takeoff, you complete a ground inspection, circling the plane and checking every wire, panel, fluid line, and wheel. In other words, you examine every external component, making sure it’s working properly. You also oversee the servicing and maintenance that goes into each aircraft and flight, because it’s your responsibility as the Flight Engineer to ensure that it’s a safe flight for you, the Pilots, and anyone or anything on board.

Once inside the cockpit, you work with a team to ready the instrument panels and prepare for takeoff. You work under the Captain and First Officer, and together, you complete detailed pre-flight checklists. You’re there as an assistant to the Pilots, feeding them safety and flight information, and acting as their right-hand person.

Once you’re airborne, you keep a close watch over all the engineering components of the plane. Any malfunction that occurs is going to be your responsibility, so it’s crucial that you possess the ability to work well under pressure.

After the plane lands, you complete a post-flight check of the same wires, panels, and wheels, this time making sure that they’re still in proper working order, and sufficiently prepared for handoff to another flight crew. After all your ground and in-flight work is through, you go back to the office, and prepare a report to be filed and put away in the flight records.

Should I be a Flight Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • How to become a Flight Engineer

    Most Flight Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:mkn9aa&chl=no+college+%2813%25%29|certificate+%2811%25%29|associate%27s+%2814%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2863%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,13,63
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