2015 Guide to Getting an Engineering Job

Every year, we take our best engineering career and employment writing on EngineerJobs and roll it into a massive, comprehensive Guide. Whether you’re picking your major or eyeing the corner office, you’ll find expert counsel from working engineers and hiring managers to help you achieve your goals.

This Guide contains interviews, articles, and relevant data for every phase of your career. Check back as you advance – we’re always developing new engineering-focused content – and maybe you’ll have counsel of your own to offer your fellow engineers.

We’ll see you then!

-  The Staff and Contributors of EngineerJobs

Engineering Students

With forty or fifty working years ahead of you, it’s easy to feel you’ve all the time in the world. Engineering careers are very sensitive to initial conditions, however, and the choices you make now will shape your career.

5 Steps to Winning Your First Engineering Job Little Mechanic Engineer Jobs Oleg

Credit: Oleg

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Which Engineering Discipline is Right For You?

Using survey data and internal jobs numbers, we ranked engineering disciplines by competitive outlook, salary, and degree completion rate.

Starting College? Start Your Job Search Now

Six months after graduation, over 50% of college graduates will be unemployed or in a job that doesn’t require a degree. To avoid this fate, start your job search as soon as you get to college.

How Important is Your Senior Engineering Project?

Your senior engineering project often makes the difference between an employer taking a second look at your resume and tossing it on the reject pile.

Consider an Engineering Co-Op

An engineering co-op puts classroom theory to real-life, real-market use. Graduate with the same degree, a year of experience, and money in your pocket.

Is a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Worth It?

As you near the end of your mechanical engineering Bachelor’s, you’ll inevitably be faced with the decision to pursue a postgraduate degree or move into the workforce. Is a mechanical engineering Masters worth it?

Job Search Tips and Tactics

Your first forays into the job market can be seriously intimidating. Keep a cool head and a eye on personal connections to get yourself in the door.

Resume and Interview Tips Engineer Jobs

Credit: Michael Sheehan

You will get the most value from this section by first registering with EngineerJobs. As a registered user, you may post your resume, set job alerts, and determine whether your resume is visible to employers and recruiters.

Why You Should Care About Networking

You’ve heard it hundreds of time: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Is it just an old saying, or the most important advice you ever received?

Your Engineering Internship Can Make Your Career

One of the most common questions we get from students is whether an engineering internship is worth it. Does it really make a difference when landing that first job?

5 Steps to Winning Your First Engineering Job

Congratulations, graduate! You’re a qualified engineer! Now get a job and start paying back those student loans.

Engineering Competitions Can Get You Hired

Top schools and employers scout engineering competitions for talent. Even if you don’t win, it’s worth your time to be there.

Application and Interview

You’ve found the engineering job you want – now, how to earn it? Industry experts and hiring managers take you through the application and interview process.

Credit:  George Doyle

Credit: George Doyle

Engineering the Perfect Cover Letter

Sooner or later, your career may turn on a single piece of paper:  the infamous cover letter. How can yours avoid being filed under Recycling without a second glance?

Engineering Resume and Interview Tips (from the Experts)

All too soon, many veteran engineers and fresh graduates will enter the job market in earnest. We asked HR and engineering managers how you can rework your resume, master the interview, and secure competitive advantage.

6 Memorable Engineering Interview Questions

Congratulations, you got an interview! But the sense of accomplishment is short-lived. The next thoughts that come to mind are visions of sweaty palms, dusty suits, and uncomfortably long silent pauses.

9 Questions to Ask on an Interview

In a job interview, asking focused, intelligent questions of your interviewer demonstrates initiative, thoroughness, and careful analysis of your options – qualities every engineer should have.

4 Perfect Follow-Up Letters

Working on your follow-up game? These four schematics take the stress out of follow-up letters.

How to Negotiate Salary in Your First Job

You’ve aced the interview, and they want you! Now it’s time to hammer out the details. Engineers and managers weigh in on when and how to negotiate salary.

9 Reasons to Turn Down a Job

Our mission is to help you find and land engineering jobs – but there really are times when you should just say no.

Your Early Engineering Career

The engineering workforce is nothing at all like school. How do you navigate the corporate world and thrive in your new job?

Your First Week as an Engineer kids in hard hats USACE

Credit: USACE

Here’s How to Make it As a New Hire

Making your way as a new hire isn’t always easy. Taking charge of your own onboarding, professional networks, and career development will help smooth the transition.

Your First Week as an Engineer

How do you make the transition from student to professional engineer? What can you expect? Ford engineers give their advice.

9 Ways to Avoid Losing Your Job

You got your first job. You’re officially an engineer. It’s time to enjoy the rewards of all your hard work and start paying off those student loans … while avoiding these nine rookie mistakes.

Career Positioning for Engineers

When you decided to become an engineer, you probably had some ideas about what you wanted to do. But are you thinking about your career, or are you only concerned with your next job?

Moving Up the Ranks

The new hires are getting younger every year and you’ve forgotten more than they learned in school. It’s time to advance, move up the ranks, and guide the final shape of your engineering career.

5 Steps to Winning Your First Engineering Job businessswoman stretching at laptop Annie Sullivan

Credit: Annie Sullivan

Becoming the Indispensable Engineer

Being the heart of your team – the truly indispensable engineer – is a less of a stable state than an ongoing commitment to professional development, integrity, and excellence.

When and How to Quit Your Job

Few engineers stay with the same company throughout their working lives, anymore. It’s perfectly normal to change jobs every few years. Is it time for you to move on?

Stuck In A Rut? Here’s How To Move Up

You know you’re better than this. You know you have potential. But what do you need to do to get noticed and get your career moving?

Management vs Subject Matter Expert

At some point in your career, you will be faced with a decision: should you stay as an engineer and become an expert in your field, or should you make the transition to a management role?

Starting Your Own Engineering Company

Some engineers chafe at working for others and need to be their own boss. Here’s what you need to know before striking out on your own.

Working as a Consulting Engineer

If you don’t want to run an engineering firm, or retire working for one, consider working as a consulting engineer.