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Become A Flight Test Engineer

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Working As A Flight Test Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $99,391

    Average Salary

What Does A Flight Test Engineer Do At Cirrus Aircraft

* Develop and implementation of aircraft instrumentation, data recording, telemetry, and data analysis hardware and software.
* Participate in all aspects of engineering test and evaluation activities.
* Prepare Test Plans and Test Cards.
* Conduct daily brief of aircraft configuration, weight and balance, status, and limitations.
* Perform Flight Test Engineer duties during flight in experimental aircraft.
* Perform Flight Test Director duties during test flights.
* Gather, analyze, and report on ground and flight test data.
* Evaluate compliance with federal regulations, design requirements and objectives.
* Communicate test results to engineering personnel, corporate officers, contractor, and FAA personnel.
* Recommend changes to aircraft and aircraft systems to meet design and regulatory requirements, design objectives, and customer needs and safety.
* Oversee flight test equipment inventory and instrument calibrations

What Does A Flight Test Engineer Do At Textron

* Contribute to the improvement of the Flight Test team though continuous learning, innovative ideas and the like in order to improve efficiency and reduce overall cost and schedule.
* Early identification of issues, efficiently resolve problems and incorporate risk mitigation planning.
* Provide work instructions, direction and support for maintaining, troubleshooting and upgrading all related instrumentation systems.
* Manage documentation including updates to procedures, distribution of meeting notes, metric reporting, use of reporting tools, distribution of schedule updates/status and maintain proper instrumentation configuration documents.
* Maintain proficiency in the use of specialized Bell developed software applications.
* Ensure FTI data is accurate and complete.
* Focus on safety in every area of Flight Test Instrumentation.
* Qualifications

What Does A Flight Test Engineer Do At Raytheon

* Analyzing system requirements, decomposing requirements to software subsystems, and defining testing criteria of the requirements at the software and system level
* Troubleshooting flight systems, computer systems, software problems, and networking connectivity issues
* Interface with system hardware and software teams to resolve technical issues during the integration, troubleshooting and testing phases.
* Analyzing avionics and flight data products and draft reports for presentation
* Generating quick look reports and flight test summary reports
* Performing post flight data processing, flight video editing, and rendering
* Performing detailed analysis of flight and RSIL test data This position will be assigned to the Integration and Test team for a major AESA development program.
* The ideal candidate will be an engineer, mathematician or physicist with experience in computer systems, networks, data analysis and integration and test techniques

What Does A Flight Test Engineer Do At Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation

* Support development, operation and demonstration of autonomous rotary wing aircraft systems.
* Serve as Pilot In Command of experimental / developmental helicopters and aircraft systems.
* Lead and/or participate in system design and design reviews (commensurate with background engineering discipline).
* Develop test strategies, test plans and test procedures for the aerospace vehicles and components given systems requirements.
* Lead and/or participate in ground and flight test events as Test Conductor or Test Crew member.
* Collect and analyze test data and compile detailed test reports

What Does A Flight Test Engineer Do At General Atomics and Affiliated Companies

* Duties include system integration and test and mission planning for flight tests of multiple sensors.
* Must be able to develop mission timelines and plan missions to meet all test objectives and coordinate ground support.
* Must be able to develop and review test plans, simulation and flight test cards.
* Must be able to conduct software and hardware testing.
* Must be able to create flight test reports and analyze flight test and simulation data.
* Must be able to assess system performance and provide detailed descriptions of anomalies to software and hardware teams.
* Duties will include conducting MQ
* Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL) testing and operating the Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) on both manned and unmanned airframes.
* Able to operate an EO/IR sensor on manned platforms.
* Must be able to prioritize and multi-task while conducting test flights.
* Must be able to perform data analysis of radar flight and simulation data.
* Will work with flight operations, engineering, and program management in support of flight test activities and imagery collection.
* May assist Project Engineers with scheduling and logistics of unmanned and manned flight tests.
* Will work closely with the customer during unmanned test plan development and test execution

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How To Become A Flight Test Engineer

Aerospace engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or another field of engineering or science related to aerospace systems. Aerospace engineers who work on projects that are related to national defense may need a security clearance. U.S. citizenship may be required for certain types and levels of clearances.


Entry-level aerospace engineers usually need a bachelor’s degree. High school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take courses in chemistry, physics, and math, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

Bachelor’s degree programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies in subjects such as general engineering principles, propulsion, stability and control, structures, mechanics, and aerodynamics, which is the study of how air interacts with moving objects.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in partnership with regional businesses, which give students practical experience while they complete their education. Cooperative programs and internships enable students to gain valuable experience and to finance part of their education.

At some universities, a student can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree upon completion. A graduate degree will allow an engineer to work as an instructor at a university or to do research and development. Programs in aerospace engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to identify design elements that may not meet requirements and then must formulate alternatives to improve the performance of those elements.

Business skills. Much of the work done by aerospace engineers involves meeting federal government standards. Meeting these standards often requires knowledge of standard business practices, as well as knowledge of commercial law.

Critical-thinking skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to translate a set of issues into requirements and to figure out why a particular design does not work. They must be able to ask the right question, then find an acceptable answer.

Math skills. Aerospace engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Aerospace engineers use their education and experience to upgrade designs and troubleshoot problems when meeting new demands for aircraft, such as increased fuel efficiency or improved safety.

Writing skills. Aerospace engineers must be able both to write papers that explain their designs clearly and to create documentation for future reference.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an aerospace engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires:

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.


Eventually, aerospace engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Some may even become engineering managers or move into executive positions, such as program managers.

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Flight Test Engineer jobs

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Flight Test Engineer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Korean

  • Japanese

  • French

  • German

  • Carrier

  • Italian

  • Vietnamese

  • Chinese

  • Turkish

  • Czech

  • Dutch

  • Mandarin

  • Cantonese

  • Hokkien

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Flight Test Engineer

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Flight Test Engineer Education

Flight Test Engineer

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Real Flight Test Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Flight Test Engineering Instructor (Fixed Wing) National Test Pilot School Mojave, CA Nov 15, 2011 $156,525
Flight Test Engineering Project Lead Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Nov 28, 2016 $152,337
Flight Test Engineer Ingenium Technologies Everett, WA Jun 02, 2012 $150,800
Flight Test Engineer Ingenium Technologies Corp. Everett, WA Dec 12, 2012 $150,800
Flight Test Engineer Airbus Helicopters, Inc. Grand Prairie, TX Nov 16, 2016 $131,248
Senior Dual Qualified Flight Test Engineer Instruc National Test Pilot School Mojave, CA Dec 01, 2012 $130,000
Flying Qualities Flight Test Engineer (Tsiii) Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Jan 09, 2016 $128,000
Flight Test Engineer Precision Personnel, Inc. Savannah, GA Jan 10, 2016 $121,338
Flight Test Engineer Instructor National Test Pilot School Mojave, CA Jun 11, 2015 $120,848
Systems Flight Test Engineer Ingenium Technologies Corp. Rockford, IL Oct 01, 2010 $120,003
Systems Flight Test Engineer Ingenium Technologies Corp. Everett, WA Oct 01, 2010 $120,003
Flight Test Engineer Precision Personnel, Inc. Savannah, GA Apr 25, 2016 $119,502
Flight Test Engineer Precision Personnel, Inc. Savannah, GA Jan 01, 2015 $119,356
Flight Test Engineer CTS Technical Services, Inc. Savannah, GA Sep 10, 2015 $116,872
Flight Test Engineer Pacific Aerospace Consulting, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 09, 2012 $114,785
Flight Test Engineer Airbus Helicopters, Inc. Grand Prairie, TX Aug 23, 2016 $109,949
Flight Test Engineer Airbus Helicopters Inc. Columbus, MS Jan 19, 2016 $109,949
Flight Test Engineer Airbus Helicopters, Inc. Grand Prairie, TX Sep 01, 2015 $107,016
Flight Test Engineer Airbus Helicopters, Inc. Grand Prairie, TX Aug 12, 2014 $107,016
Technical Specialist I-Flight Test Engineering Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Dec 17, 2016 $94,094
Senior Flight Test Engineer Westar Aerospace & Defense Group Fort Rucker, AL Aug 14, 2009 $93,900
Flight Test Engineer TS-I Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA Jan 19, 2015 $91,000
Lead Flight Test Instrumentation Engineer General Electric Company Victorville, CA Sep 02, 2015 $91,000
Flight Test Engineer American Eurocopter Corporation Columbus, MS Sep 20, 2013 $90,189
Flight Test Engineer Airbus Helicopters Inc. Columbus, MS Sep 06, 2014 $90,000 -
Flight Test Engineer Airbus Helicopters Inc. Columbus, MS Mar 24, 2014 $90,000 -
SR. Flight Test Engineer Westar Aerospace and Defense Group Fort Rucker, AL Apr 27, 2009 $89,000

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Top Skills for A Flight Test Engineer


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Top Flight Test Engineer Skills

  1. Flight Test Plans
  2. Avionics
  3. Safety Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Generated/executed flight test plans to evaluate new aircraft or modifications to existing aircraft.
  • Worked with final assembly to develop improved avionics installation and manufacturing processes.
  • Reviewed and provided input to test plans, safety plans, technical briefings, and technical reports.
  • Managed a $10M flight test program for Military Microwave Landing System Avionics.
  • Conducted operational test for new weapons, avionics, software, and tactics for Air Combat Command.

Top Flight Test Engineer Employers

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