Three Jobs for Ex-Engineers

Greg Wheeler
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Engineering can be a stressful profession, and many professionals experience burnout. After a number of years on the job, many engineers opt to switch careers. By utilizing your engineering skills and outside interests, you can identify the types of jobs that will be the most fulfilling and exciting for the next stage of your career.

For engineering professionals, the demands of school and work are intense. Over time, they can become overwhelming. Plus, according to a recent story in “The Telegraph,” engineering companies are looking for young, exciting engineers. Instead of looking for a new engineering position in a tough economy or soldiering on, many engineers opt to look for other types of jobs that are equally challenging and more fulfilling.

Engineers often have a wealth of knowledge in the areas of math and science, making them well suited for jobs in teaching. This is particularly true in an era where schools are making an effort to prepare students to STEM jobs early on. In order to be an effective teacher, you must be a strong communicator. You must also have the ability to take a concept and break it down to its most basic elements; for engineers who have been working on high-level projects, this can be a challenge. To help students who don't understand, teachers should also be skilled in communicating concepts in many different ways. Degree requirements for different types of jobs in teaching vary by level and institution, but you're likely to need a teaching certificate or a master's degree to get started.

After a number of years in an engineering position, most professionals have in-depth knowledge of the industry. Instead of letting that knowledge go to waste in non-technical types of jobs, you can parlay it into a technical sales position. Technical salespeople are responsible for selling complex products to business clients; they might work with large machines or even special materials. They must be able to explain the benefits of the product and help clients understand how it will fit into their existing operations. As a former engineer, you can use your ground-level knowledge of operations and common industry problems to help sell products effectively.

If you’re a skilled communicator, you can use your engineering experience to secure a job in technical writing. Most people in similar types of jobs have a degree in technical communication; they gain experience in engineering, science, and technology on the job. With a strong background in engineering, you will be particularly marketable to employers. Because you already have a knowledge base, you'll be able to write insightful, in-depth pieces.

Whether you're interested in STEM jobs or non-technical types of jobs, an engineering background can be highly beneficial. By expanding your search, you're more likely to find a position that is both personally and professionally fulfilling.


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