Engineering Job Options: Technical Specialist

As an engineer, your interests are wide ranging and your curiosity is relentless. If you’re interested in a career path that doesn’t force you to focus on one narrow discipline or project type, consider becoming a technical specialist. These professionals utilize wide-ranging expertise to help diverse clients overcome technical challenges in the pursuit of complex goals. If you want to add some flexibility to your future, learn more about this unique engineering job opportunity.

Job Description

The exact duties of technical specialists depend almost entirely on the field in which they are employed – IT, manufacturing, construction, etc. – and the company that they work for. But in a general way, their primary responsibility is to employ their unique skill set to anticipate problems, improve planning, increase productivity, promote efficiency, and troubleshoot the problems that get in the way of those objectives.

Necessary Skills

Again, the necessary skills to become a technical specialist will vary widely, but some are universal:

  • Ability to work in diverse settings and with changing teams of professionals
  • Knowledge of complex systems and the ways they relate to and affect congruent systems.
  • Ability to plan and execute projects in accordance with strict goals and metrics
  • Flexibility to travel and work unusual schedules as necessary
  • Desire to stay on the bleeding edge of technology
  • Understanding of how technology affects business objectives

Educational Requirements

The vast majority of technical specialist positions will require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science or engineering. Employers will also be looking for certifications that prove the applicant has more specialized expertise. As with most disciplines in engineering, the more education the better. And since specialization is so important in this discipline, the focused research necessary to complete master and Ph.D programs looks particularly appealing to employers.

Occupation Outlook

With the growing complexity of computer networks, enterprise software, and commercial systems in general, the need for technical specialists is greater than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for computer support specialists – a broad category that encompasses a number of technical specialists – is expected to grow 17% by 2022, faster than the national average. In 2012, 722,400 professionals were employed in this capacity, and the field is predicted to add 123,000 more. Median pay in 2012 was estimated at $48,900 per year or $23.51 per hour.

Job Opportunity

A company in Atlanta, GA is looking for an entry-level industrial engineer, mechanical engineer, or construction technology graduate to transition into a role as a technical specialist. Project management experience is also desired. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.


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