Top Tips For Starting An Engineering Career

Top Tips For Starting An Engineering Career

Beginning a career in engineering is far from easy, but the hard work and challenge are worth it if you are passionate about this rewarding and important profession. Engineers play a vital role in how our modern world functions, from building bridges to crafting computer programs. Staffing opportunities for engineers continue to grow, and these are consistently some of the most advantageous jobs in terms of pay, benefits and professional satisfaction. It may take years of schooling to get there, though, and it will definitely take a lot of hard work. If you want to break into this career and get noticed by the top recruiters in the field, here’s what you’ll have to do.

Get the Education and Training  

This should go without saying. Engineering is one of the most technical professional careers out there, so a high school diploma is not sufficient for most jobs in this sector. Most of the top engineers have masters’ degrees or above, but equivalent experience and exceptional skill can also make up for a lack up postgraduate study.

Get as many References as Possible

References are important to have in the engineering industry. Whether you’re looking for work or not, you should always be considering who would be willing to recommend you when it comes time to compete for a new professional opportunity. Letters of reference are always great to have on hand, but having professional contacts willing to vouch for you is usually sufficient. These kinds of contacts may also come in handy when you’re trying to put the word out that you’re available and ready to work.

Get Your Name Out There (For the Right Reasons)

If you’re going to stand out to engineering recruiters and attract the best jobs in the industry, you will need to get your name out there – and not for the wrong reasons. Look your name up in Google and other search engines, and see what you find. If nothing career-related comes up, you should work on creating profiles on sites like LinkedIn and switching your pictures on Facebook and other social networks to those that look more professional. If something embarrassing like a rant you made on a message board comes up, you may want to consider removing it or hiding it so it isn’t the first thing that appears when head hunters and hiring reps search for you.

Join a Professional Association

Starting an engineering career should mean more than just getting your résumé out there; you should be connecting with professionals in your field in other manners, as well. There are many different professional associations in the engineering industry, so whatever area of specialization you’re focused on, there’s sure to be an organization worth joining. This provides an excellent opportunity to network, hear about jobs you wouldn’t otherwise and get inside information about the various companies that are hiring (or may be in the future). It may even provide a slight competitive edge over other qualified job applicants in an engineering staffing situation, and it always looks good on a résumé.

Josie is an engineering management professional who has worked with in the past to find the best fits for jobs at her company. Part of her role is often to mentor new engineers, which is why she is happy to provide these tips to those entering this challenging profession.