Whether you’re contemplating career options or you’re currently working as an engineer and are looking for something new, becoming an engineering consultant could be a great idea. This can be a very fulfilling field and one where you can choose your own hours and work autonomously. You do have to know some of the challenges that come with the position and how to get there, however. Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to become an engineering consultant.
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Get the Right Education and Certifications
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If you’re new to engineering, you will first have to consider a specialty. You can be a civil engineer, computer engineer, chemical engineering, environmental engineer, etc. Either way, you’ll have to get a bachelor’s as an engineer before you can start specializing yourself further so you can get the skills and qualifications needed to be a consultant.
Once you finish your bachelor’s, you could go for a master’s, but it could be a good idea to start working right away. This is because you’ll need to get your PE license as it will often be a prerequisite for you to work independently as a consultant in your state, and you can only get it after four years. Consulting jobs are also not given to people fresh out of college in most cases so getting experience early will allow you to get in the field faster.
You could get a master’s while you start working, however. Getting a master’s is also a good idea for practicing engineers who want to make themselves more attractive as candidates and become more apt as consultants.
Start Applying with Consulting Firms
If you have experience, you could start looking for a job with a consulting firm right away. This will prepare you for a job as an independent consultant. You’ll also get the chance to learn about the job and decide if it’s made for you. It will allow you to refine your skills and beef up your resume as well.
Once you’ve worked with a firm for long enough, you’ll be able to decide if you want to work independently. If you do, then you could start looking for certifications either for your desired field or to become more well-rounded. You could get a Project Management Professional certification, for instance, or a Six Sigma Green belt. Whatever you feel could push you further and make you a better candidate.
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Invest in Top-of-the-Line Equipment
As an independent consultant, the quality of your equipment will affect how fast you can do work, how well you perform your work, and how professional you’ll come across when doing things like troubleshooting issues with clients in real-time.
Your laptop computer will be the cornerstone of your setup, so you have to choose it wisely. One thing you could do is look for high-end workstations marketed toward engineers and design professionals. This way, you’ll be almost certain to get a machine that can do everything you need. If you’re looking for a great place to start your search, you can check out these Lenovo Solidworks laptops.
This is all you need to know to get on the road to becoming an engineering consultant. You first have to make sure that you know what the job entails and are ready to do the work necessary to get to the position you want.