Jobs for Engineering Majors Other than Engineering
Engineering pays a higher average wage than most fields. However, engineering is often seen as an overhead expenses or long term investment by management and targeted for reduction when money is tight. What jobs for engineering majors exist when they cannot find engineering work?
For Mechanical Engineers
- Work as a project cost estimator for a machine shop.
- Work as a project cost estimator for a construction company.
- Write test plans and test procedures for the products or related technologies you helped design or support.
- Create 3-D mechanical drawings and models, the modern equivalent to drafting.
- Become a project scheduler for a job shop or construction firm.
- Work as a technician in a failure analysis lab.
- Sign up as a maintenance engineer or facilities engineer, planning maintenance schedules, rotating equipment, determining repair costs and updating records of maintenance and repairs.
- Work on an oil rig. The work is hazardous, but the pay is high. For those working offshore, pay rates are even higher.
- Work for construction consulting firms. These businesses take the drawings and models provided by different contractors and look for problems. Is someone planning to install pipes where someone else will be placing a window? Will the wiring outlet for an insert fail to line up with the holes someone else is drilling?
- With a little training in local building codes, mechanical engineers can work as code inspector.
- Teach computer aided drafting and real world skills to blue collar students like how to read blue prints and estimate the time for a job. Or teach basic engineering concepts at a trade school.
For Industrial Engineers
- Risk management and contingency planning are a natural fit for industrial engineers.
- Become a six sigma or lean consultant. An industrial engineering degree is essentially four years of training in this arena.
- Work in management performing process mapping.
- Become a logistics planner. Optimize the flow of goods for the lowest possible cost. The most obvious employers for this skill is a trucking company or airline.
- Traffic analysts monitor and document traffic flow. This work includes identifying bottlenecks and root causes of congestion for automotive traffic, pedestrian traffic, trains and even stores.
- For those with a Six Sigma Black Belt or Lean Black Belt, get a job teaching others six sigma principles. One of the major sources of employment in this area today is the medical field. Medicare reimbursement requires hospitals to adopt process improvement and cost containment measures, and they are hiring Black Belts to train their staff as yellow belts, black belts and black belts.
- Industrial engineers are uniquely trained to perform time studies, whether working for non-profits like Goodwill or setting production standards at unionized manufacturing plants.
- Move into change management, tracking change requests to documents and ensuring all changes are made to all related documents. Industrial engineers are especially qualified to move into CMMI.
For Electrical Engineers
- Work as a hardware tester in an assembly shop.
- Perform IV&V or Integration, Verification or Validation testing for hardware integration labs or electronics manufacturers. Or work as a hardware tester.
- Assist in the programming of machine tools like CNC machines.
- Manage power loads and monitor electrical demand in power centers.
- Teach electronics assembly at the manufacturer’s site.
- Perform basic troubleshooting of common electronic devices like eBook readers or Apple iPhones.