How employable are flight engineers?
CareerExplorer rates flight engineers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future.
Are flight engineers in demand?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts declining job prospects for flight engineers. This is due largely to advances in aircraft technology and the use of computer programs that do much of the work originally assigned to these engineers. The reliability and cost effectiveness of computerized flight management systems are expected to continue to exert pressure on the job outlook in this field. This will become increasingly true as many airlines replace older model aircraft with newer ones that do not require flight engineers. Furthermore, airlines are progressively decreasing the number of flights they operate in an attempt to increase average passenger loads and reduce crew needs. While automation will significantly diminish the number of flight engineer jobs in commercial aviation, the military is not experiencing the same decline. Different systems and air force-specific technologies mean that the military will have a sustained need for flight engineers. Even in the commercial sector, however, job prospects are not entirely bleak, because this occupation serves as a solid launching point to a career as a pilot. In addition, flight engineers with advanced degrees may enter flight test engineering careers with aviation manufacturers or government agencies. Job opportunities in this alternative sector include designing and testing aircraft and working in a research capacity to evaluate materials, equipment, and systems.