What It Takes to Become an Engineer

When it comes to in-demand career specialties, engineers are some of the most highly sought professionals today. Engineers are critical in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, technology, construction, and more. Plus, they often receive very competitive compensation, which can make engineering an attractive choice for candidates.

However, like many professions, you need to take the right steps if you want to become an engineer. If you want to begin on that journey, here are some key requirements you need to keep in mind.

Complete the Required Education

In the vast majority of cases, you can’t launch an engineering career without first completing a relevant college degree. Different types of engineering roles may favor specific majors. For example, the pharmaceutical industry may prefer chemical engineering degrees, while manufacturers may have a greater need for mechanical or electrical engineers.

Additionally, roles may require different levels of education. Broadly, a Bachelor’s degree is often viewed as the minimum. However, specific positions could make a Master’s degree a necessity, based on it being a standard job requirement in that niche or a must if you’re going to qualify for a compulsory license.

When you examine engineering programs, make sure they’re properly accredited and recognized by key engineering organizations that handle licensing. That ensures your educational journey provides you with the appropriate experience to secure other qualifications in the future.

Secure Any Relevant Licenses

Whether you’ll need a license before you start working as an engineer depends on your niche and whether you intend to serve the public directly. However, even if it isn’t explicitly required, obtaining a Professional Engineer (PE) license can be valuable. That shows companies that you have the needed experience and understanding to secure the credential, which can potentially help you stand out from the crowd.

It is important to note that licensing requirements for engineers do vary by state. Additionally, licenses aren’t typically valid outside of the state where they’re issued. As a result, you’ll want to review the requirements based on the state where you intend to work, allowing you to ensure that you have the proper licenses in place.

Additionally, some engineering licenses – including the PE – require on-the-job experience before you’re eligible. In that case, review the rules regarding what’s considered relevant experience, ensuring you can target the correct jobs when you launch your search.

Land Your First Engineering Position

Once you have your education and licenses, it’s time to land your first engineering position. Before you begin crafting a resume, spend some time learning what’s commonly requested by employers. Find the keywords they use to outline any must-have skills, as those can help you determine what to highlight.

However, it’s also critical to target your resume to an individual role when you apply. Adjust the content of your resume to ensure it addresses that specific hiring manager’s need. In the end, that approach positions you as a stronger match, and that can make all of the difference.

Contact Selectek Today!

If you’re ready to land your first engineering job, the team at Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us to learn more about our open positions today and see how our services can get your career started on the right foot.