The Flight Test Engineering Program seeks to expand the student’s knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of Aircraft Flight Testing. Flight test engineering involves performance evaluation of existing aircraft, rather than designing aircraft to meet performance specifications. Core courses teach engineers how to test an aircraft safely, measure aircraft performance and determine aircraft flying qualities. Students learn the necessary measurement techniques, instrumentation and data analysis methods required to collect and reduce flight test data to standard atmospheric conditions and then expand those results for publication in pilots operating handbooks. Flight test results are also used for improving the design of future aircraft. Additionally, students learn how to test and evaluate various aircraft mechanical and electrical subsystems including propulsion, structure and avionics.
With a master’s in flight test engineering from Florida Tech students advance their knowledge of flight operations to prepare for careers in the military, government agencies and private sector aviation manufacturers.
For more than 50 years, Florida Tech has been a leader in engineering and technical education. Students in the master’s in flight test engineering program have an opportunity to choose specialized subject matter concentrations and electives that best suit their interests. The program enhances understanding of trending topics and technology in the aviation arena. Plus, small class sizes allow professors to mentor students in a close-knit academic environment.
When considering a university for a flight test engineering master’s degree, consider that Florida Tech has over 50 years of experience in engineering and technical education. NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and highly decorated military generals have all graduated from Florida Tech.
The flight test engineering degree curriculum and program experiences meet the demands of the industry. As a national research university, Florida Tech ensures that graduates have hands-on experience in creating, analyzing and refining complex flight technology.
Florida Tech is strategically situated at the center of Florida’s high tech corridor, home to thousands of technological and aerospace companies, including NASA. This is one of the most diverse science and technology-oriented areas in the country and the perfect environment to study for a flight test engineering master’s degree.
Students earning a flight test engineering master’s degree study in a culture that supports individual creativity, leadership and collaboration. At Florida Tech, students learn from experienced professors with a real-world understanding of flight test engineering. Small class sizes allow professors to work with students in a close-knit environment, eliminating barriers for instruction of complicated concepts.
With backgrounds in aerospace, mechanical and electrical engineering, students in the flight test engineering master’s degree program can choose specialized concentrations in either air vehicle or avionics. Depending on their area of interest and career goals, students also have access to electives from Florida Tech’s ABET-accredited College of Engineering and AABI-accredited College of Aeronautics. This allows for a more personalized learning experience to pursue the area of flight test engineering.
A flight test engineering master’s degree gives graduates a well-rounded education in the many facets of the field. The program teaches students to collaborate with other engineers, analyze design, performance and testing data, pinpoint improvement strategies, understand safety requirements and more. This type of expertise and experience provides the type of hands-on experience employers such as the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, Lockheed Martin, or Boeing look for when hiring flight test engineers.
Florida Tech’s proximity to Florida’s High Tech Corridor, two international airports and space and aviation organizations including NASA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, provides opportunity for students to find real-world learning experiences and flight test engineering internships.
Using knowledge from their specialized programs in either air vehicle or avionics, students work alongside faculty and industry veterans to develop their expertise in flight test engineering. This could include creating, analyzing and refining complex flight technology challenges, airplane performance, as well as working alongside test pilots to further develop flight operation knowledge. Professors encourage students able to secure flight test engineering internships to contribute to the field and discover how their ideas might support the aviation industry toward higher technological development.
Graduates with a master’s degree in flight test engineering can choose career opportunities in several industries:
As the aerospace industry continues to change and push new boundaries in flight, flight test engineers are in demand, working alongside other critical engineering specialists.
Jobs could include duties in designing, constructing and testing aircraft, working in a research capacity to evaluate materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture or recommending improvements in testing equipment. Depending on the career path and the graduate’s background, the duties for a flight test engineering careers are very diverse, involving problem solving, gathering and analyzing data, making decisions, working with a wide range of technology and collaborating with other engineers.
With a master’s in flight test engineering, graduates can enter career opportunities within various branches of the military, government agencies (such as the FAA and NASA) as well as private aviation companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing or Northrop Grumman. Graduates might also use their knowledge to work in aircraft systems design, safety engineering, or teach.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.
According to the bureau, flight test engineering careers (a sub set of aerospace engineers) are projected to increase seven percent through 2022. This growth is expected in national defense, aircraft redesign, fuel efficiency, research and next generation space exploration. Check the handbook for more information.
PayScale.com is an online salary information company providing real-time information on job market compensation. The average salary for a flight test engineer is $80,585, with the salary ranging from $56,861 to $113,309.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information about median annual pay for flight test engineering careers reporting $103,720. Together, these sources provide insight on what graduates might expect to earn over the life of their career.