Becoming a professional engineer is a dream career for many, but gaining success in the sector will usually depend on the amount of experience you have under your belt. There are many different fields within engineering you may wish to research such as the likes of chemical, electrical and civil, and the duties within each job will vary on the sector.
The good news is that engineers are in real demand in the USA and it’s an industry that is certainly set to advance in the future, due to the vast developments which are taking place.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to get a career in the world of engineering:
Choose a sector
Engineering is an extremely varied sector, and there is a vast selection of fields to suit different skillsets and interests. Before applying for jobs, you need to come to a decision on which sector is of interest to you.
Here are just a few of the sectors you could choose from, but it would be wise to do further research into what the different job roles will entail.
- Chemical engineering: Uses technical philosophies to produce products from raw materials.
- Electrical engineering: Designs and tests innovative technology within both buildings and products as a preventative safety measure.
- Civil engineering: Plans, tests, and maintains the environment.
Build a good portfolio
Regardless of where in your studies you may be, it would always be a good idea to put together a portfolio with all of your engineering projects included, to prove to employers that you have pushed yourself to gain experience and improve your chances of getting hired.
If you believe you’ll struggle to dedicate time each week to volunteer in a workplace environment, then there are ways you can get professional experience from the comfort of your own home. Purchasing a cost-effective PCB design tool (which is typically used within the engineering industry) shows employers that you have used your own time to learn how to use professional engineering software to further your experience, as well as showcasing your abilities to turn your ideas into a reality.
Get a degree
In most cases, engineering companies will only hire individuals who have got a relevant degree. University courses usually last between 3-4 years, while Master’s courses can go on to last for a few years more. If you haven’t yet decided which niche is best for you, you can opt to study ‘general engineering,’ but there are courses available that focus on particular sectors. To get onto a Bachelor’s course, it is usually a requirement to have qualifications in either physics or maths – or both, and you will be asked a set of typical interview questions during the application.
There are some occasions when engineering companies provide the opportunity for young people to participate in an apprenticeship scheme. This allows the individual to earn money on the job and study a course at the same time. At the end of the scheme, the individual will leave with a full qualification. In some cases, they may be asked to remain with the company and go on to secure a full-paid wage.