How To Get a Job as a Consultant Engineer in 5 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Consultant engineers help their clients conduct engineering projects by offering their expertise and engineering knowledge. They understand how to listen to each client and meet their needs effectively. If you're interested in becoming a consultant engineer, learning more about what they do and what the field is like can be beneficial.

In this article, we explain what a consultant engineer is, define how to get a job as a consultant engineer and list six consultant engineer jobs.

Related: 8 Key Consulting Skills Valued by Employers and Clients

What does a consultant engineer do?

A consulting engineer is a professional who uses their engineering experience and expertise to help clients improve their operations and find success in engineering projects. Their clients can include engineering firms, government agencies and companies. Many clients hire engineering consultants when they don't have team members skilled enough to lead the engineering project. These are some responsibilities a consultant engineer may manage during a normal day:

  • Lead and design efficient engineering projects

  • Advise collaborators and make decisions

  • Assess systems and find solutions to issues

  • Provide insight into various engineering techniques

  • Perform troubleshooting for technical issues

  • Ask the client questions about their project

  • Educate project collaborators on procedures

  • Create project budgets, schedules and objectives

Related: What Is Industrial Engineering? Career Guide for Engineers

How to get a job as a consultant engineer

These are some steps you can follow to get a job as a consultant engineer:

1. Determine if it's the best career for you

The first step to getting a job as a consultant engineer is determining if it's the best career path for you. Consulting engineers are great communicators and work with many types of people, so if you're extroverted and enjoy solving problems with others, becoming a consulting engineer may be a great option for you. Those who want a position with more creativity or who prefer to work alone may pursue alternative careers.

2. Pursue a bachelor's degree in engineering

To become an engineer, you earn a bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited university. Consider choosing a school that has classes focusing on your preferred specialty, such as chemical or electrical engineering. Many engineering programs include internships you can complete to gain experience and make connections in the field.

Related: 41 Engineering Degrees To Explore

3. Gain professional engineering experience

After earning your degree, you can begin gaining experience as an engineer. You can take your Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to gain the licensure for working as an official intern or entry-level engineer. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering or Surveying (NCEES) is the organization that offers the FE exam. Consider gaining a few years of experience as an engineer so you can gain full licensure.

4. Consider earning a master's degree

You can earn a master's degree in engineering or another related subject before earning full licensure or gaining experience. The specific path you take can depend on your career goals and professional opportunities. Earning a master's degree can help you improve your engineering skills, make professional connections and improve your credentials when applying for consultant engineer positions.

5. Apply for consultant engineer positions

To apply for consultant engineering positions, you can use an online job board website to find listings that work for you. Prepare your resume, cover letter and portfolio for each position you apply to. When preparing for consultant engineering interviews, you can practice answering questions and using confident gestures and posture.

Related: Guide to Consulting: Definition and Skills

6 engineering and consulting jobs

As an engineering consultant, you can work in many specialties and focus on specific clients. These are some positions in consulting and engineering you can consider as a consultant engineer. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries from Indeed, please click on the links below.

1. Industrial engineer

National average salary: $74,547 per year

Primary duties: An industrial engineer is a professional who assesses the operations and processes within a company and develops methods for improving them. Industrial engineers can use mathematics and project management to create new and more efficient systems within a company. Industrial engineers aim to improve productivity and profits for the organization they work with.

Read more: Learn About Being an Industrial Engineer

2. Mechanical engineer

National average salary: $82,213 per year

Primary duties: Mechanical engineers work with equipment and complex machinery that can perform specific tasks efficiently. This type of engineer designs, creates and improves machines like steam turbines, air-conditioning systems, elevators and combustion engines. The specific type of machine an engineer works with can vary depending on where they work.

Read more: Learn About Being a Mechanical Engineer

3. Chemical engineer

National average salary: $82,785 per year

Primary duties: A chemical engineer works with substances and compounds to design products like adhesives, lubricants, medicines and fuel. They design processes for creating products and improving the manufacturing of products. Many chemical engineers work with a team to develop products and solutions to problems, design prototypes and create substances.

4. Civil engineer

National average salary: $82,897 per year

Primary duties: Civil engineers are professionals who design projects for public and private use such as buildings, bridges, dams and tunnels. They can work with cities to design water and sewage systems and plan major infrastructure plans. A civil engineer understands how the public uses structures like airports, roads and transportation services and strives to consistently improve them.

Read more: Learn About Being a Civil Engineer

5. Electrical engineer

National average salary: $82,885 per year

Primary duties: An electrical engineer has a thorough knowledge of electrical components and how electricity functions within devices. They manage the process for manufacturing new electric equipment, installing new systems and overseeing the production of schematics. An electrical engineer creates technical drawings and documents product development.

Read more: Learn About Being an Electrical Engineer

6. Consulting engineer

National average salary: $99,537 per year

Primary duties: Consulting engineers are experts in their field and use their knowledge to advise others on projects and developments. They can help companies evaluate their systems and suggest new systems for improving them to increase efficiency and boost profit. Consulting engineers can specialize in many areas and work with both private and public clients.

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