The US Department of Labor reports that engineering occupations will grow by 3 percent from now until 2029. Over 70,000 jobs will be added to the workforce. The median annual wage for engineering occupations was $81,440 in 2019.
Want to know more on how to become a part of this growing field? Check out this guide to determine what it takes to become a great engineer in this thriving industry.
How to Become a Great Engineer
Becoming an engineer is no overnight task. It takes years of education and field work to reach the level of expertise employers are looking for. Here’s a breakdown of the education and job training you’ll need to become a successful engineer:
Engineers must first complete a bachelors’ degree program. This degree can be in a discipline such as construction or civil engineering. Standard courses will include:
- Ethics in engineering
- Principles of mechanical and electrical systems
Some students may decide to pursue a post-graduate degree to expand their skills. Examples of these Masters’ programs include:
- Electrical engineering
- Computer science engineering
- Civil engineering
Engineers in all US states must have a professional license to work. There are two exams that engineers need to pass to become licensed in the US. These exams include:
The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE)
This exam is for students who recently graduated or are close to graduating from college. The exams test students in seven engineering concept areas. These areas can range from mechanical to industrial systems.
The Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE)
After four years of on-the-job training, students are now eligible to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE.) This exam tests a candidate’s level of competency in their chosen engineering field. Once a candidate passes this exam, they become a licensed professional engineer.
Once you’ve passed the FE test, you become an engineer in training (EIT) or engineer intern (EI.) EITs need four years of work experience before they can take the second professional engineering exam. This work experience should be in a verifiable engineering discipline.
Certification is a great way for good engineer to prove their expertise. They also show that you’re interested in learning the latest advancements in your field. There are many certifications to choose from.
For example, construction engineers understand lead-based paint safety. The US Environmental Protection Agency requires these professionals to have Lead Abatement certification. This certification shows that you know how to remove lead paint in a facility built before 1978.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) training is also desirable. The US Department of Labor manages this training program. This training prepares construction engineers for safety management on the job site.
Are you ready to start a rewarding career as an engineer? The good news is that you can start today.
If you are a college graduate, check out the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying site. This organization administers the FE and PE exams. They have a bundle of resources to help you prepare for the exams.
Don’t forget to check out our website. We have more helpful advice on how to become a great engineer. Your next best career move could be waiting for you right around the corner.