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Become A Consulting Engineer

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Working As A Consulting Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $89,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Consulting Engineer Do

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Duties

Mechanical engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve a particular problem
  • Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems, using analysis and computer-aided design
  • Develop and test prototypes of devices they design
  • Analyze the test results and change the design or system as needed
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for the device

Mechanical engineers design and oversee the manufacture of many products ranging from medical devices to new batteries.

Mechanical engineers design power-producing machines, such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines, as well as power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators. They also design material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations.

Like other engineers, mechanical engineers use computers extensively. Mechanical engineers are routinely responsible for the integration of sensors, controllers, and machinery. Computer technology helps mechanical engineers create and analyze designs, run simulations and test how a machine is likely to work, interact with connected systems, and generate specifications for parts.

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How To Become A Consulting Engineer

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineers who sell services publicly must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.

Education

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineering programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. They may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative plans combine classroom study with practical work, enabling students to gain valuable experience and earn money to finance part of their education.

ABET accredits programs in engineering and engineering technology. Most employers prefer to hire students from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery. A creative mind is essential for this kind of work.

Listening skills. Mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists. They must listen to and analyze different approaches made by other experts to complete the task at hand.

Math skills. Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems.

Problem-solving skills. Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific discoveries and use them to design and build useful products.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a mechanical engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education to renew their licenses every year. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Several professional organizations offer a variety of certification programs for engineers to demonstrate competency in specific fields of mechanical engineering.

Advancement

A Ph.D. is essential for engineering faculty positions in higher education, as well as for some research and development programs. Mechanical engineers may earn graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology, broaden their education, and enhance their project management skills. Mechanical engineers may become administrators or managers after obtaining the requisite experience.

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Consulting Engineer Jobs

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Consulting Engineer Career Paths

Consulting Engineer
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Software Engineer Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Member, Technical Staff Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Design Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Product Development Engineer Electrical Engineer Service Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Contracting Engineer Application Engineer Product Development Engineer
Lead Product Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Consultant Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Senior Engineering Team Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Specialist Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Unit Manager Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Consulting Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Staff Engineer 4.2 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Consulting Engineer
Engineer 9.1%
Consultant 7.1%
Internship 3.1%
Top Careers After Consulting Engineer
Consultant 10.5%
Engineer 8.4%

Do you work as a Consulting Engineer?

Consulting Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.2%

Female

10.2%

Unknown

9.6%
Ethnicity

White

55.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Asian

13.2%

Black or African American

9.8%

Unknown

6.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.6%

French

11.3%

Arabic

9.5%

German

7.7%

Carrier

5.4%

Russian

3.8%

Chinese

3.8%

Japanese

3.8%

Hindi

3.3%

Mandarin

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Portuguese

2.3%

Korean

2.1%

Urdu

1.3%

Turkish

1.0%

Romanian

1.0%

Bengali

1.0%

Dutch

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%
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Consulting Engineer Education

Schools

Northeastern University

8.6%

Pennsylvania State University

7.5%

Purdue University

7.3%

University of Phoenix

6.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.5%

University of Texas at Austin

6.1%

Texas A&M University

6.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

5.1%

Arizona State University

4.6%

University of Houston

4.4%

University of Florida

4.3%

San Jose State University

4.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

3.6%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.5%

Ohio State University

3.5%

North Carolina State University

3.4%

Texas Tech University

3.4%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

22.2%

Electrical Engineering

18.1%

Civil Engineering

10.0%

Business

8.8%

Computer Science

5.4%

Engineering

5.3%

Chemical Engineering

4.9%

Computer Engineering

3.1%

Industrial Engineering

3.0%

Management

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Project Management

1.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

Physics

1.9%

Biomedical Engineering

1.7%

Finance

1.7%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.5%

Industrial Technology

1.4%

Petroleum Engineering

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.9%

Masters

29.2%

Other

12.7%

Doctorate

6.7%

Associate

4.1%

Certificate

2.3%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$89,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$63,000
Min 10%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$126,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Alcatel Networks
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Consulting Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Consulting Engineer in the United States is $89,977 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $64,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $126,000.

Real Consulting Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Real-Time Testing Consulting Engineer The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Sep 18, 2015 $169,550
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. (DBA Nokia) Miramar, FL Sep 14, 2016 $165,000
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 31, 2015 $165,000 -
$202,675
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 05, 2015 $165,000
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Hillsborough, NJ Sep 20, 2016 $160,000 -
$184,250
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. (DBA Nokia) Orlando, FL Aug 29, 2016 $160,000
Engineering Consultant 2 Gibson Applied Technology & Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $155,000
Consulting Engineer Cavium, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 24, 2016 $154,939 -
$174,939
Consulting Engineer Cavium Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 12, 2016 $152,131
Consulting Engineer Cavium Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 30, 2016 $152,131
Engineering Consultant Gibson Applied Technology & Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $151,000
Engineering Consultant Gibson Applied Technology & Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $150,000
Consulting Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Frisco, TX Jan 09, 2016 $148,824 -
$150,500
Consulting Engineer Dominion Technical Solutions, Inc. Richmond, VA Feb 01, 2015 $112,121
Petroleum Engineering Consultant III Baker Hughes Incorporated Oklahoma City, OK Sep 15, 2015 $111,300
Petroleum Engineering Consultant III Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Sep 02, 2015 $111,300
Consultant, Infrastructure Engineering Nationwide Insurance Columbus, OH Jul 15, 2016 $111,000 -
$125,000
Consulting Engineer Polycom, Inc. San Jose, CA May 13, 2016 $110,000 -
$125,000
Consultant Engineer Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Los Angeles, CA Mar 16, 2016 $109,200
Stress Engineering Consultant Class A Surfacing LLC Warren, MI Jun 15, 2016 $109,000
Consultant Engineer-Regulatory REQ. and Testing Medical Intertek USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 09, 2015 $90,022
Consultant Engineer Process Systems Enterprise, Inc. Cedarville, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $90,000
Scheduling Engineer Consultant Warner Construction Consultants Inc. Rockville, MD May 01, 2015 $90,000 -
$110,000
Consulting Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Delran, NJ May 07, 2016 $88,899 -
$154,000
Engineer Consultant Hughes Systique Private Limited Rockville, MD Sep 26, 2015 $88,776
Engineer Consultant Hughes Systique Private Limited San Diego, CA Jan 06, 2016 $88,320

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Top Skills for A Consulting Engineer

  1. Business Development
  2. Procedures
  3. Engineering Department
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and cultivate senior level customer relationships through capability introductions, contract negotiations, and subsequent business development.
  • Developed Standard Documentation procedures for HRSG Functional Control Specifications, Signal Exchange Lists, and Power Consumption Documentation.
  • Participated in and guided the development and implementation of the Engineering Department's first Total Quality Management system.
  • Provided engineering design and project management services on $6MM project along with smaller projects for industrial and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Directed interconnection facility network specifications to ensure economic development that facilitated rapid response to present and future services.

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Top 10 Best States for Consulting Engineers

  1. Colorado
  2. Washington
  3. Virginia
  4. New Mexico
  5. Ohio
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Rhode Island
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Texas
  10. Alaska
  • (1,437 jobs)
  • (1,637 jobs)
  • (3,158 jobs)
  • (258 jobs)
  • (1,442 jobs)
  • (460 jobs)
  • (140 jobs)
  • (513 jobs)
  • (3,786 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)

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