10 Options for an Entry Level Engineering Job
Every engineer starts somewhere. These options will get you started on the right path.
There is more competition in the workforce than ever before.
Companies still need quality people to make their businesses successful, but they won't hire anyone. Even those fresh out of university need to show they are worthy of being hired.
For those wanting to be engineers the road can be difficult.
Many companies are looking for immediate assistance from new hires. They look at experience when choosing between candidates. This makes it difficult for those with little to no experience.
If you're looking to get your engineering career off to a good start you'll likely start with an entry-level position. It ideally would be at the firm where you would work your way up to becoming a regular engineer working on great design and construction projects.
But the path will likely take a few turns before you get there.
At Design & Construct, we've worked with professionals and companies in the design and construction industry to place the best jobseekers with the best companies.
For jobseekers at all levels of employment in the design and construction industry we know what companies seek from candidates.
Here are ten potential options to get your career started with an entry-level engineering job.
1. Engineering Maintenance
Maintenance jobs in the engineering and construction industry involve working with equipment usually handling issues that arise.
In this position, you would learn how to solve problems that occur. It's an opportunity to learn the inner workings of the job.
Maintenance could also include fixing issues with any buildings or sites the company is working. Depending on your experience, a company could put you in charge of handling a major task for a large client where your success could lead to more advanced work in the field.
2. Engineering Sales
A job in sales is another common entry-level position.
As the engineering expert you would often travel with the sales team to be the expert on-site when prospects have specific questions about the service or product they would receive.
Entry-level jobs can sometimes require this type of travel. For those less restricted by ties at home or for those that want to travel this position can be a great opportunity to work with clients first hand. You can gain an understanding of exactly how clients work and what they expect.
You can use this knowledge later in your career as you advance through the industry to a position where you ultimately would like to be.
3. Production Management and Oversight
Production of equipment and other processes need oversight and management in the design and construction industry. Some entry-level job positions require the candidate to manage the process and the people working while looking for ways to improve things.
This position can be challenging. You'll learn to deal with people including those working with you and those working above you in higher management positions. You'll have to learn to delegate tasks, fix problems and report back to superiors on progress.
It's a position that offers challenges, but it offers a great education in how to deal with people and problems, which are important skills for any job you would want as an advanced-level engineer.
4. Office Assistant or Apprenticeship
If you're looking for an office job there are plenty of options including an assistant or apprentice. This usually allows you the opportunity to work with a boss who has a position you covet.
You'll have the opportunity to shadow him or her and learn how the position is handled in the company. You'll be assisting and providing basic work for the person, but you'll also likely have opportunities to work on projects including some large projects that may require you to get involved creatively.
Many people in the design and construction industry start in assistant-type positions.
5. Office Data Entry and Oversight
Another office job is oversight of a small team or simple data entry. This job requires basic, but important processes and procedures. It gives you the opportunity to learn and comprehend how the business works from the most basic level.
As you master the processes you can work your way up to managing a team that looks for ways to improve the processes to make things more efficient for the company. It's a great chance to increase profits for the company, which always gets attention and opens doors.
6. Research and Development
An engineering job in research and development won't usually be quite what you would expect. You might work on high-level projects, but you'll more likely be doing market research and other research work to collect information.
Those in higher positions will take your findings and use it to make decisions for the future of the business. Yours would be an important job and once again it would allow you to gain and understanding of how the process works. It's a great place to start if you have aspirations to work in development positions at a company.
Change is one thing that's constant in all industries including the construction industry. If you're involved in the R&D portion of the business you'll be on the front end of new products and solutions. It gives you and advantage over others in the industry. This position can lead to great advancement.
7. Quality Assurance and Testing
As new construction projects are completed there is testing and quality assurance. This is a critical component of the process because it makes sure the buildings or structures are safe and prepared for use by the client.
This position would allow you the opportunity learn what to look for providing you with a knowledge you would need as you advance to higher-level design and engineering positions in the industry.
You'll also learn how to deal with frustration. While the position can be stressful at times you'll prove to superiors that you know how to manage frustration – both your own and that of your team members – to assess issues and find solutions. It's a great skill to possess.
8. Small Team Management
Management positions are an option for many entry-level engineers. It's a challenging position to enter, but you get the chance to work with a team or crew designing, constructing and preparing products for clients. It's a great opportunity to again work with people and gain an understanding not only of what it takes to be an engineer, but also what it takes to work with people.
The management positions might not include managing people. You could be the manager of a specific area of the business where you work with others in the company to achieve results. As the manager you would be responsible for organisation. It would be your job to make sure things get done. It's a great position to find yourself in as an entry-level engineer.
If you strive to be a top-level manager at an engineering firm this is a good route to take. It's important to have an understanding of people and office culture if you're looking to advance in this fashion.
9. Design Team Member
If there aren't management positions available at firms you can still usually find a position where you are a team member. It might be working on a design team or similar team where you work on various projects for the company.
This type of position provides the opportunity to work with others to complete tasks and solve problems. Those two things may seem simple, but they are actually the foundation of a good career. If you possess the skills to work with others to solve problems and make things more efficient you will be seen as an asset not only for your engineering knowledge, but also for someone that could potentially be in a leadership position within a company.
10. Customer Service and Support
Customer service and support are common entry-level positions. You can get right to work discussing issues and problems customers are experiencing. You'll learn how to listen and communicate with customers.
You'll also learn how to take information and communicate it to the team at your company that will use it to find a solution.
Entry-level candidates often look down customer service on, but it should be seen as an opportunity. You can learn all about the business and speak directly with the client. It's a chance to learn how the company works and what you could potentially improve.
If you're in a service position your superiors will be looking for your input in improvements
The biggest takeaway from this article is to have a vision for your future. You may not know exactly what you want to do, but if you have a vision for a life that will make you happy you can map your way to getting there.
Entry-level jobs are great opportunities for people of all ages and experience to start on a path toward success. It always starts somewhere, but starting in the right place will get you to where you want to be.