If there were no domestic engineers, what in the world would all the married men do? Especially if they had children? Why, they'd have to come home early, or skip work altogether; perhaps just call in "late" a couple times a week. Maybe, most importantly, they'd have to do for free all those types of things they do at work everyday for pay. And, of course, they'd have to do these things every single day, twenty-four hours each day, no holidays or weekends. I suspect it would take very little time to legislate a pay scale for all domestic engineers, probably comparable to a Fortune 500 CEO rate.
The title "domestic engineer" first emerged in the 1970s, slightly before women stampeded into the job market after realizing they wanted or needed something more than being just "Mom". These women probably felt overused and underappreciated, and were merely looking for some way to help alleviate those feelings.
Many stay-at-home-moms today have those same urges to define or redefine their vocations. The title, however, is not as important as the completion of the many duties which the title describes: bookkeeper, accountant, master planner, personal shopper, childcare director, teacher, trainer, mechanic, scientist, cook, maid, laundress, appointment setter, negotiator, pet sitter, and civilization specialist. Quite possibly there are more duties and descriptions which a domestic engineer must fulfill, as well as what she undertakes on a daily basis, but these form the crux of the position.
There is very little training either required or stated upon acceptance of the position "domestic engineer", although an enterprising mom can be seen delegating when necessary, even if that requires hiring an individual to perform some of her duties. Often when Mom attempts to engage other adults in the home for these various obligations, she discovers that it can be much easier and quicker to simply advertise for assistance with a comparable rate of pay.
The phrase itself, "domestic engineer" implies that the one who holds such title has earned a high degree of education (be it self-taught or otherwise) and possesses many talents worthy of a CEO: negotiation, creativity, delegation (as mentioned previously), flexibility, and so forth.
I grew up playing "house" with dolls, Barbies, and the neighbor kids, fully believing that someday I'd be a "housewife". I didn't particularly want a "career" whereby I'd go to the office every day and bring home piles of money. As I got older I thought more along the lines of entrepreneurial undertakings, but still had that housewife in the background; of course I thought I could have both and do it all I was raised in the 70s after all.
When I got married, I had reached my goal - I was a housewife. Although, as my mother put it: "you are not married to the house, dear"; when I realized that my husband did not need a wife, but he certainly needed and wanted a mother, that career was rather short-lived. After a stint as a single mom with two children, when I was not only a domestic engineer but also became well-versed in foreign affairs, aka the wonderful world of employment, I returned to housewifely duties upon my second marriage.
Ten years later, I've reached that glass ceiling, the zenith of my engineering career; there is no real way out except upward and onward, to another adventure or vocation. The question, however, is probably the same one that plagued those women back in the 1970s - to what, for what, why, and how?