Although engineering demand fluctuates with the economy, statistics recently provided by the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) verify that the demand for engineering jobs, including consulting engineer career, is increasing. Forbs article “The 15 Most Valuable College Majors” mention that Engineering concentrations comprise one third of the most valuable majors. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2012/05/15/best-top-most-valuable-college-majors-degrees/.The College Degrees Employers Want MostSusan Adams Forbes StaffOne factor is that many architectural/engineering (A/E) firms are realizing that they can increase profits by outsourcing engineering system design to outside consulting engineers. The profit goal of most design firms is 15 %, but the actual profit is usually closer to 10 % and frequently less. Fees from outside consulting engineers usually leave the A/E firm with a guaranteed 15 to 25% profit on the engineering portion of the fee. Other advantages include project specific experience; scheduling flexibility; and staff availability to meet deadlines.The consulting engineering disciplines that architects most often require are: electrical (power distribution, lighting, fire alarm. etc.); mechanical (heating, ventilating, air conditioning, plumbing, and fire protection); and structural.If you’re looking to recruit engineers of these specialties, right now, be prepared for a challenge. There aren’t enough experienced engineers to go around, and global demand for engineers is growing, Recruiters say it now takes twice as long to hire engineers compared to other jobs; and salaries are spiking.Engineering firms trying to poach talent from their competitors are offering enormous salaries and immense incentive plans. Companies are often forced to react with substantial counter offers to ensure employees stay put; causing wages to spiral further upward.Even in entry-level positions, young engineers are commanding jaw-dropping salaries.
Consulting Engineer Career Tips:
- If you have good grades in math and science, “shadow” an engineer of a discipline that interests you; spend a workday with an engineer and see if this is the right career choice for you.
- Chose an engineering college that is properly accredited so you will eventually qualify to take the professional engineer (PE) exam.
- Take the fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam in your senior year at college while the basics (like calculus, chemistry, and strength of materials) are still somewhat fresh in your mind.
- Get a job in a consulting engineering firm where your immediate supervisor is a PE who will certify the four years of engineering experience required to take the PE exam.
- Get known and gain credentials by actively joining industry and professional organizations.
- Prepare a business plan and use it to get financing approved and follow your plan to start your own practice.
- Read Jack’s new book The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. Go to TheEngineersResource.com and use coupon code “paperback” and save.
Consulting Engineers who follow the detailed steps in Jack’s new book will have a successful career in private practice.