Flight Engineering Degree Programs

Flight engineering degree programs can prepare you for a career in aviation and flying aircraft. As you acquire flight engineering experience, you might even become a pilot with a major airline. Learn about the types of programs available for education in flight engineering, and explore professional certification requirements and potential career options. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Programs Can Train Me to Work as a Flight Engineer?

If you're looking to work as a flight engineer, you can complete the same type of training a pilot would. As a flight engineer, you would assist pilots in larger aircraft by communicating with air traffic control, observing instrumentation and performing minor repair operations during flight. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), airlines usually look for a minimum of 2-year associate's degree (www.bls.gov).

As a student, you can earn a 2-year degree associate's degree in professional piloting, aviation science or aviation technology. You can also choose to earn a bachelor's degree in professional flight technology or aviation.

Available ProgramsAssociate's or bachelor's degree programs in piloting, aviation science or aviation technology
CourseworkAviation laws and procedures, and flight operations and technology
Certification Pilot's license and extensive hands-on experience are required for commercial certification
Career OptionsMany opportunities with freight, commercial, and charter airline companies
Median Salary (2018)*$140,340 (airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)*3% (airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Learn in a Degree Program?

In a degree program, you'll learn to operate commercial aircraft and use flight instrumentation. You're also likely to study aviation laws, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, flight procedures and ways different weather conditions affect flight operations.

Most degree programs usually include classroom instruction mandated by the FAA to operate an aircraft. After you study aviation theory, you'll be able to fly an aircraft under the supervision of an FAA instructor. However, the type of aircraft you can fly will be determined by the school you enroll in. Some schools only offer flight experience in single-propeller aircraft, while larger universities may be involved in commercial airport operations, which could allow you to log supervised flight hours in small jets or commercial airliners.

What Do I Need to Enter the Field?

According to the FAA, you don't actually need a license to take lessons or begin hands-on instruction under the supervision of a licensed flight instructor (www.faa.gov). However, you do need a student pilot certificate if you plan on learning to fly unsupervised.

The minimum requirement to become a pilot is a commercial pilot's license. To receive your license, you'll need to complete a certain amount of hands-on flight experience under the supervision of a licensed instructor. At first, you'll fly in normal conditions, but eventually, you'll learn to fly in low-visibility conditions using instrumentation. You'll also need a medical certificate from an FAA-recognized medical examiner before you can be licensed.

To work as a flight engineer, you'll need to be 21 years old and complete a certain amount of in-flight experience on an aircraft with at least three engines rated at 800 horsepower. According to 14 CFR 63.37, the amount and type of experience will vary by the class rating sought. You must also take and pass a test that covers aerodynamics, meteorology, emergency procedures, loading an aircraft, normal aircraft operations and preflight procedures.

What Are My Career Options?

If you're looking to advance your career, most opportunities will be in flight instruction, freight or charter flights, or with other airline companies. If you're older than 23 and you've logged more than 4,000 hours of flight time, you can apply for an air transport license and become an airline captain. If you only have a commercial pilot license, you might be able to start working with a major airline as a flight engineer.

According to the BLS, flight engineers and pilots received median wages of $140,340 in 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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