Job Market Trends for Flight Engineer Jobs

There are a number of flight engineer jobs available to certified flight engineers. A flight engineer, sometimes known as a second officer, assists in inspecting the plane, as well as in monitoring the multitude of instruments that the pilot and first officer use to fly it. 

Becoming a Certified Flight Engineer

A certified flight engineer is at least nineteen years of age, has demonstrated English proficiency, and has a commercial pilot’s license. He or she has completed at least three years of aircraft and aircraft engine maintenance or possesses equivalent education, such as a two-year specialized aeronautical education course. There is also a minimum requirement of five hours of flight training as a flight engineer. These requirements are explained in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14: Aeronautics and Space and are also mentioned in the FAA publication "Flight Engineer Knowledge Test Guide," which is publicly available on the FAA website.

A list of aviation schools and training programs are available on the Aviation Employment website. For flight engineers just entering the field, their school will be the first source for information in employment opportunities in this field.

Job Market for Flight Engineers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups flight engineers with aircraft pilots. According to the BLS, the expected job growth for the field of flight engineers is about "as fast as the average," which means that jobs in this area are expected to increase by 12 percent between 2008 and 2018. The majority of flight engineers are employed in the scheduled air transport industry, which includes passenger and freight aircraft transportation. Opportunities are also available, though, in courier services, in flight training and instruction, and in federal government employment.

According to the vertical search engine SimplyHired, the number of flight engineer jobs indexed in their search engine has decreased by 43 percent since September 2008. However, the number of flight engineer jobs submitted to this website is less than one percent of the jobs indexed by this search engine.

Salary

According to the BLS, the average annual salary for flight engineers is $119,000 per year, though this figure also includes the salary of pilots of all types and in all industries. The top-paying states in this field include Florida, New Jersey and New York, with a salary range of $137,000 to $149,000 per year.

Based on salary figures supplied on job postings indexed by SimplyHired, the SimplyHired Salary Trends results for flight engineers is $74,000 per year, as of May 2010. However, not all job postings include salary data, and some flight engineers will be able to negotiate higher salaries based on their years of experience or on their number of certified category qualifications.

Sources of Job Postings for Flight Engineers

Prospective flight engineers that are currently completing their required education should turn to their schools' resources, like career centers, for job postings and opportunities to meet with employer representatives, at, for example, career fairs or employer briefing sessions. Flight engineers may also visit the websites of employers, such as commercial passenger carriers, or use the job postings that are indexed on a vertical search engine, such as Career Jet. Niche job boards, such as AviationEmployment.com, are ideal sources for flight engineer job postings.