Working as a Flight Test Engineer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a flight test engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $58.04 an hour? That's $120,723 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 2% and produce 1,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Flight Test Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many flight test engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, math skills and mechanical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a flight test engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 14.7% of flight test engineers included test plans, while 10.9% of resumes included clearance, and 6.1% of resumes included aircraft systems. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the flight test engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most flight test engineers actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Flight Test Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a flight test engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 42.8% of flight test engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 42.4% of flight test engineers have master's degrees. Even though most flight test engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a flight test engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a flight test engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on flight test engineer resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a flight test engineer. In fact, many flight test engineer jobs require experience in a role such as systems engineer. Meanwhile, many flight test engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as design engineer or test engineer.

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Average Salary$120,723
Job Growth Rate2%

Flight Test Engineer Jobs

Flight Test Engineer Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Flight Test Engineer

Flight Test Engineers in America make an average salary of $120,723 per year or $58 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $173,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $84,000 per year.
Average Salary
$120,723

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Flight Test Engineer
Flight Test Engineer
I T Svc
I T Svc
05/28/2020
05/28/2020
$146,09005/28/2020
$146,090
Flight Test Software Engineer
Flight Test Software Engineer
Management Decisions, Inc.
Management Decisions, Inc.
04/28/2020
04/28/2020
$85,00004/28/2020
$85,000
Flight Test Engineer
Flight Test Engineer
Inconen
Inconen
02/25/2020
02/25/2020
$146,09002/25/2020
$146,090
Flight Test Engineer
Flight Test Engineer
Inconen
Inconen
12/22/2019
12/22/2019
$208,70012/22/2019
$208,700
Flight Test Engineer
Flight Test Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
12/20/2019
12/20/2019
$150,51412/20/2019
$150,514
See More Recent Salaries

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Flight Test Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.0 %

Female

11.7 %

Unknown

6.3 %
Ethnicity

White

62.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.7 %

Black or African American

11.6 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

22.6 %

German

9.7 %

Korean

9.7 %
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Flight Test Engineer Education

Schools

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach

12.7 %

University of Washington

10.8 %

Texas A&M University

6.9 %

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.9 %
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Majors

Aerospace Engineering

29.1 %

Electrical Engineering

12.0 %

Mechanical Engineering

10.9 %

Business

7.4 %
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.8 %

Masters

42.4 %

Certificate

5.8 %

Associate

4.7 %
Show More

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Flight Test Engineer

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Flight Test Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.7% of flight test engineers listed test plans on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Flight Test Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a flight test engineer. The best states for people in this position are North Dakota, Minnesota, Maine, and Utah. Flight test engineers make the most in North Dakota with an average salary of $146,780. Whereas in Minnesota and Maine, they would average $138,808 and $134,183, respectively. While flight test engineers would only make an average of $131,541 in Utah, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Utah

Total Flight Test Engineer Jobs:
135
Highest 10% Earn:
$208,000
Location Quotient:
0.91
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Minnesota

Total Flight Test Engineer Jobs:
263
Highest 10% Earn:
$219,000
Location Quotient:
0.78
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Arizona

Total Flight Test Engineer Jobs:
287
Highest 10% Earn:
$209,000
Location Quotient:
1.02
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Flight Test Engineer Employers

1. Boeing
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$75,123
Flight Test Engineers Hired: 
128+
2. Lockheed Martin
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$78,520
Flight Test Engineers Hired: 
51+
3. Northrop Grumman
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$77,082
Flight Test Engineers Hired: 
33+
4. Sikorsky Aircraft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$68,213
Flight Test Engineers Hired: 
19+
5. Gulfstream Aerospace
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$69,705
Flight Test Engineers Hired: 
16+
6. Piper Aircraft
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$62,990
Flight Test Engineers Hired: 
9+

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Updated October 2, 2020