12 Flight Test Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 3, 2022

To be a successful flight test engineer, one must have a strong understanding of aircraft systems and be able to work well under pressure. There are 12 key skills that flight test engineers must possess: 1. Aircraft Systems Knowledge 2. Pressure Management 3. Communication 4. Documentation 5. Problem Solving 6. Critical Thinking 7. Interpersonal Skills 8. Teamwork 9. Time Management 10. Stress Management 11. Flexibility 12. Physical Fitness

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Flight Test Engineer Skills

Flight test engineering

A Flight Test Engineer is responsible for the planning, coordination, and execution of all aspects of a flight test program. They work closely with the aircraft manufacturer, pilots, and other engineers to ensure that the aircraft meets all safety and performance requirements.

Aircraft design

Aircraft design is the process of designing an aircraft. It involves the creation of a three-dimensional model of the aircraft, which is then used to create the engineering drawings that will be used to build the aircraft.

As a flight test engineer, you need to be able to understand aircraft design in order to ensure that the aircraft you are testing meets all of the necessary safety and performance requirements.

Flight dynamics

Flight dynamics is the study of how aircraft fly and how they respond to various forces. It is a critical skill for flight test engineers, as they need to understand how aircraft behave in order to safely and effectively test them.

Aerospace engineering

Aerospace engineering is the field of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is a highly specialized field that requires a great deal of training and education to enter.

As a flight test engineer, you will be responsible for conducting tests on aircraft and spacecraft to ensure that they are safe and meet all performance requirements. This is a critical job that requires a high level of skill and knowledge.


Aerodynamics is the study of how air moves around objects. Flight test engineers need to understand aerodynamics in order to design and build safe aircraft.


A Flight Test Engineer must have a strong understanding of propulsion systems in order to effectively test and troubleshoot aircraft. This includes knowledge of how the systems work, how they are interconnected, and how they interact with the rest of the aircraft.

Systems engineering

Systems engineering is a field of engineering that focuses on the design and operation of complex systems. Flight test engineers need systems engineering skills to be able to design and oversee the testing of aircraft and aerospace systems.

Instrumentation and control systems

Instrumentation and control systems are used to monitor and control aircraft during flight testing. This includes monitoring engine performance, flight controls, and other systems. This skill is necessary to ensure that aircraft are performing as expected and to identify any issues that may arise during testing.

Data acquisition and analysis

Data acquisition is the process of measuring and recording real-world physical phenomena using sensors and other devices. It is often used in scientific and engineering applications to collect data about a system or process being studied. Data analysis is the process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

Modeling and simulation

Modeling and simulation is a powerful tool that can be used to help design, test, and validate new aircraft and systems. It can be used to predict performance, identify potential problems, and explore different scenarios. Flight test engineers need to be able to understand and use modeling and simulation in order to do their job effectively.

Project management

Project management is a critical skill for flight test engineers because they are often responsible for coordinating and managing complex testing programs. This includes planning, scheduling, and overseeing all aspects of the program to ensure that it is completed on time and within budget. Good project management skills are essential for ensuring that testing programs run smoothly and meet all objectives.


The ability to communicate effectively is essential for any flight test engineer. This is because they need to be able to convey information about the tests being conducted, the results of those tests, and any recommendations for changes or improvements. Effective communication also allows flight test engineers to build strong working relationships with other members of the team, which is important for successful collaboration.

How to improve flight test engineer skills

As the demand for air travel increases, so does the need for highly skilled flight test engineers. To meet this demand, engineers must continually improve their skills and knowledge. Here are 10 ways to become a better flight test engineer:

1. Get a degree in engineering. A bachelor's degree in engineering is the minimum requirement to become a flight test engineer. However, many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree or higher.

2. Take courses in aircraft design and aerodynamics. These courses will give you a strong foundation in the principles of flight and how aircraft are designed and built.

3. Learn about aircraft systems. Flight test engineers need to understand how all the systems on an aircraft work together. Courses in avionics, propulsion, and structural analysis will give you the skills you need.

4. Get experience working with aircraft. Many flight test engineers start their careers as pilots, mechanics, or other aviation professionals. This experience will be invaluable as you move into a flight test engineering role.

5. Build your technical skills. As a flight test engineer, you'll need to be able to use various software programs and tools to do your job effectively. Attend workshops and take online courses to keep your skills up-to-date.

6. Stay up-to-date on new technology. The aerospace industry is constantly evolving, so it's important to stay abreast of new developments. Read trade publications and attend conferences to stay informed about the latest advances in aerospace technology.

7. Be a good communicator. Flight test engineers need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing. Practice presenting information in an organized and professional manner.

8. Be detail oriented. Flight testing is all about paying attention to details—no detail is too small to overlook when you're responsible for safety during a test flight! Make sure you have strong attention to detail before pursuing a career as a flight test engineer.

9. Be able to work under pressure. Flight testing can be stressful, so it's important that you're able to work well under pressure. If you're easily frazzled or tend to get overwhelmed easily, flight testing may not be the right career for you!

10 . Have a passion for aviation . Above all else,flight test engineers need to have a passion for aviation . If you don't love everything about airplanes and flying, it's unlikely that you'll find satisfaction in this career .

How to highlight flight test engineer skills

As a Flight Test Engineer, you will need to be able to highlight your skills in a way that is clear and concise. You will want to make sure that you list your skills in a way that is easy for the reader to understand. You will also want to make sure that you highlight your experience in a way that is relevant to the position you are applying for.

On a resume

In order to highlight your skills as a Flight Test Engineer on a resume, you should list your experience with aircraft testing and flight test engineering. You should also list any relevant coursework or training in this area. Additionally, you can highlight any awards or recognition you have received for your work in this field.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as a Flight Test Engineer. Include your experience working with aircraft and testing flight software. Mention your ability to troubleshoot issues and work collaboratively with teams. Describe how you have successfully managed projects from start to finish.

During an interview

When interviewers ask about your skills as a Flight Test Engineer, be sure to highlight your experience with aircraft systems and flight test procedures. In addition, emphasize your ability to troubleshoot issues and develop creative solutions to problems. Finally, be sure to discuss your excellent communication skills and your ability to work well with others.