Career Advice

How To Make a Career Change to Engineering: Ultimate Guide  

career change to engineering can be a fruitful venture for you, no matter where you are in your career or life. The United States’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that more than 140,000 new engineering jobs will be available by 2026.

Thus, a career change to engineering will be a journey into a demanding field. You might wonder how you can make such a huge change. This piece will discuss the types of jobs you can get and what you need to do to kick-start your new career.

What qualities do good engineers have?

Aside from obtaining the required educational degrees and experience, you’ll need certain personality traits and qualities to succeed. First, you must be creative enough to develop innovative ideas, take risks, and travel uncharted roads.

You must also be an analytical person who likes to solve problems. Those qualities will come in handy if your prototype ever glitches or you need to develop upgrades for your products.

Diligence, patience, and reliability are also crucial qualities. People will count on you to take the time to fix errors, teach concepts, and ensure all your projects run smoothly.

Successful engineers are leaders and go-getters who can make things happen without always having guidance or supervision. Thus, you must be a self-motivated person as well. You’re off to a great start if you have the qualities mentioned above.

What types of engineering jobs are available?

A wealth of engineering jobs is available, and the database grows daily. Electrical, mechanical, chemical, and civil engineering jobs are the most common categories of such occupations. These are some popular engineering jobs you may be interested in pursuing:

Mechanical Engineer

As a mechanical engineer, you could be in charge of designing and developing an array of products. You might create automotive parts, airplane controls, generators, air conditioning systems, and the like. You might also be responsible for developing blueprints, testing products, and developing effective marketing strategies.

To qualify as a mechanical engineer, you will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in mechanical engineering. The salary for this type of position is in the upper $88,000 range, and you will have the skills to thrive in a variety of industries.

Read More: What Are the Types of Jobs for Mechanical Engineering? 

Computer Engineer

As a computer engineer, you will build network systems for data transfer. You’ll also perform analysis and testing on prototypes and update computer equipment as needed.

According to Indeed, your salary as a computer engineer can range from $93,000 a year to well over $100,000. To obtain a computer engineering job, you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in computer sciences, computer engineering, or electrical engineering.

Environmental Engineer

An environmental engineer’s job focuses on finding solutions that will protect the environment more effectively. In this role, you might develop technology that can reduce automobile emissions or become involved in studying and measuring climate change.

These types of engineers earn roughly $83,000 a year, and you will need a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering to obtain work. The plus side is that it can be a rewarding job because you’ll assist people with making the earth a much better place.

Software Engineer

As a software engineer, you will create software programs and computer applications. You’ll also be heavily involved in assessing their performance and making them more convenient and productive for users.

A software engineer can earn $90,000 to $100,000 annually, and the job requirements include a bachelor’s degree in software engineering with a heavy focus on math and science.

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers have salaries of approximately $81,000 a year. They work with pharmaceutical companies and healthcare companies to develop equipment and software for their use.

For example, you might be responsible for developing equipment such as diagnostic machines, artificial organs, and other health-related products. You will also be responsible for training newly-introduced people to use your creations, and you may play a role in repairing them.

You must obtain a four-year degree to get a job as a biomedical engineer, and the course must be heavy on science and chemistry. This occupation is another type of career that might give you great joy because it relates to helping humans improve the quality of their lives.

The list of available engineering jobs is virtually endless. That’s one of the reasons making a career change to engineering is a fantastic choice. Some of the skills you obtain for one job can cross over into another if you find the career you chose is unfulfilling.

Can I make a career change to engineering at 30?

Thirty years old is still young enough to take your time getting your education and exploring apprenticeships, volunteer work, and entry-level jobs. There should be nothing hindering you from making a career change at this time if you are not happy where you’re at currently.

Engineering might be the right fit, and it’s worth a try if you believe you can enhance your life with it. You should absolutely start researching what you need to do and get in the right mindset to obtain the appropriate tools.

Is it wise to make a career change to engineering at 40 or 50?

At 40 years old, you still have 27 years to work before you reach full retirement age. At 50, you have 17. Therefore, you have enough time to get the training and experience you need, search for jobs, get hired by an open-minded employer, and give your best until your last day.

Many people become discouraged and hear negative commentary as they get older. But the truth is that a business will hire if you have the qualifications, credentials, and the drive to succeed. Have you ever heard that you can do anything you set your mind to? It’s true, and you should go for it if you desire it.

Your journey to find employment may be more challenging than someone 20 years younger, but persistence and perseverance can secure your success. Focus on gathering the skills, degrees, and licensing you may need and keep your eyes on the goal of landing a quality engineering job.

Is engineering a good career choice?

Reddit users seem to believe engineering is a good choice. More importantly, the proof is in the retention. Many engineers keep their jobs for years, and it isn’t just about the high pay. Former and current engineers say they chose to stay in their jobs because of their sense of purpose, feeling of empowerment, and the high value their employers placed on them.

A good software engineer may only stay in a job for three years, but software is more versatile than many other engineering sub-fields. This job will be an excellent career path for you if you enjoy creating things and putting smiles on other people’s faces.

How Do I Change My Career Into Engineering?

Changing your career to engineering is a five-step process that includes the following:

1. Choose your niche.

The beginning part is when you need to be honest with yourself about your interests, skills, qualities, etc. Because there are so many available engineering positions, you must take the time to find a work position you feel you can stay in for the long term. Try to choose three positions out of the many options.

2. Research the industry-specific requirements.

The next step in the process is discovering all the industry-specific requirements. Take the three job titles from your list and research the pay rates, educational requirements, licensing requirements, and other expectations employers might have.

Then you will know exactly what you need to do to pave your way to that particular job. Start working on it immediately. In other words, sign up for schooling if you need to. It’s best to start working on your education as quickly as humanly possible because it will take you approximately four years to secure a bachelor’s degree.

3. Find relatable work.

The next step is to look for relatable work while you’re in the process of going to school to earn your degree. You might be able to grab an apprenticeship if you’re going for electrical engineering, for example.

An electrician or another engineer can teach you a lot while you get the textbook knowledge you need. By the time you get your required degree, you’ll already have some experience and the credentials to show prospective employers.

4. Obtain your licensing.

You may need to acquire a professional license, depending on which type of engineering you intend to work in. Take all of your necessary exams so that you don’t need to rely on the company to forward the funds.

You can take all those items with you when you attend your first interview and show them to the prospective employers. The employer will love that they don’t have to send you to school or pay for your licensing. You’ll be a “ready to start” asset, and you might move ahead of the rest of the bunch because of it.

5. Perform your job search.

Start doing your ob search after you’ve acquired everything you need: engineering skills, educational degrees, licensing, etc. It might be to your greatest advantage to hire a company to assist you with creating a desirable resume as well. Many companies are out there to help applicants by putting their most productive profiles in front of the right employers.

Make a whole full-time job out of searching for your dream job. Keep at it, and don’t get discouraged by situations that seem like obstacles. Some situations come up to test your resilience. Keep at it daily, and you will eventually land a career in engineering and change for the better, no matter how aged you are at the time.

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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