Project consultants don’t work for one company specifically but provide their expertise to any company that can benefit from it. That gives these engineers the freedom to work on lots of different kinds of projects, with different teams, and in different locations. If you are looking for an engineering career path that provides you with variety and flexibility, considering becoming a project consultant.
Project consultants typically have one very narrow area of expertise. Rather than bringing on new staff, engineering companies reach out to these consultants to help them manage projects, and then terminate their services once the project is over. Project consultants work in every area of engineering, and on a wide variety of projects. The specifics of their workday are entirely dependent on the type of specialty they have and the company they are consulting for.
- Unique engineering expertise
- Strong communication skills in all forms
- Willingness to travel and to work in changing environments
- Ability to collaborate with unfamiliar team members
- Flexibility to meet the requirements of changing and potentially unusual projects
- Talent for marketing and networking
A bachelor’s degree in engineering is the minimum requirement to be a project consultant. However, engineers with advanced degrees and a narrow area of specialization will have a much better chance of finding work. These consultants will also typically need to have significant amounts of demonstrable experience as they are being sought out for their unique expertise.
According to the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, engineering consulting is bouncing back after undergoing a difficult period at the start of the recession. According to their research, the number of job ads for project engineers has been steadily improving over the last few years, and the rising number of new construction projects is always a strong indicator that qualified consultants will be in demand. This bodes well for not just the number of available positions, but also for the compensation being offered.
If you love the challenge of engineering and want to be able to apply your skills in lots of different settings, becoming a project consultant is an exciting prospect. It is important to remember, however, that this is rarely an entry-level position. Qualified consultants only gain the experience and expertise that companies value by working in the field for years, but if you take steps early, you can angle your career path in the direction of a consulting position. Learn what it takes and find current consulting vacancies by working with Selectek, staffing experts that specialize in engineering.