7 Great Entry Level Careers in Engineering
Engineers design and build new products and improve existing ones. Engineers work in all kinds of fields, from the environment to space exploration to healthcare and more, and they always have an impact on the world around them. At the entry-level, engineers focus on learning the skills and developing the skills that will help them succeed as they move into more advanced positions in their field of expertise.
Get Started in Engineering
Engineers are sought after in all types of industries and jobs, and they can provide solid careers with great benefits and opportunities to move up in the future. Read on to learn about seven entry-level jobs for engineers that are just starting.
1. Engineering Analyst
The role of engineering analyst is an entry-level job that offers a unique opportunity to learn about and explore various engineering disciplines. Analysts may conduct time studies, recommend safety measures, and do cost estimates for different projects. Projects can include everything from cost analysis on new products to the construction of a new building.
The analytical skills you develop as an engineering analyst translate well into other areas of engineering. This role is a great choice for engineers looking to gain some experience before starting their own company or applying for higher-level positions within an existing firm.
2. Field Engineer
Field engineers are responsible for making sure projects are completed correctly. They are usually sent to job sites by their company, but they are sometimes hired independently. They may be responsible for building or repairing things like machinery, computers, power lines, elevators, railroads, and bridges.
To become a field engineer you should have at least an associate’s degree in engineering or three years of experience. If you have a bachelor’s degree or four years of experience you might get promoted faster.
3. Product Development Engineer
Product development engineers act as both designers and analysts. They may help conceptualize new products but will usually specialize in a certain stage of development. For example, a product design engineer might work to create a prototype before handing it off to a prototype tooling engineer.
Once a prototype is complete, a testing engineer would test its functionality and safety before presenting it to marketing or sales staff. In some cases, all of these steps are handled by one person—the product development engineer. To have success as an entry-level product development engineer, you’ll need great communication skills and strong problem-solving abilities. You’ll also likely need experience with 3D modeling software or another prototyping program.
4. Information Security Engineer
Information security engineers protect sensitive information from unauthorized access and use. This could mean ensuring that employees don’t leak trade secrets or commit fraud, or it could mean monitoring a network for evidence of intrusion or attack. While it does require a technical degree, many IT professionals can enter into security roles without an engineering background because they learn on the job.
5. Mechanical Design Engineer
A mechanical design engineer will typically work with a team of other engineers and designers. Their job is to turn a project from an idea into a working machine or piece of equipment. This process typically involves researching potential materials, cost analysis, and determining how to solve engineering problems.
6. Software QA/Test Engineer
A Software QA/Test Engineer will work on a product from its early stages through to shipping. In addition to working with developers, testers, and engineers, they’ll have a chance to work closely with sales and marketing teams as well as figure out what features need to be created next. This person will need to know a little bit about everything, but their job is essentially making sure that whatever gets shipped works as intended, so they have to have an eye for detail and a passion for perfection.
7. Project Engineer
Project engineers oversee construction projects, carrying out specific tasks as assigned. They report to project managers and contribute to designing and developing new products. Project engineers must be comfortable working both independently and as part of a team. They also need excellent communication skills and basic math skills, as well as an understanding of computer-assisted design (CAD) programs, statistics, and other engineering software.
Entry-level positions usually require a bachelor’s degree in civil or mechanical engineering; however, some firms will hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in another field who can demonstrate solid programming or mathematics skills.
If you’re looking to become an engineer, but you don’t have the college degree or the advanced technical training, you can still make your dream come true. Keep these seven jobs in mind as you grow in your engineering endeavors.