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Become A Consulting Engineer

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Working As A Consulting Engineer

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

  • $96,814

    Average Salary

What Does A Consulting Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Consulting Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. 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
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Do you work as a Consulting Engineer?

Consulting Engineer Jobs

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Consulting Engineer Career Paths

Consulting Engineer
Test Engineer Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Contracting Engineer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Manager, Systems Engineering
Director Of Systems Engineering
12 Yearsyrs
Architect Design Drafter Electrical Designer
Electrical Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Lead Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Contracting Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Engineering Manager Sales Engineer
Technical Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Technical Director Research And Development Director
Vice President Of Research And Development
13 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
Advisory Engineer 6.9 years
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Senior Engineer 4.2 years
Plant Engineer 4.0 years
Lead Engineer 3.3 years
Project Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 8.3%
Consultant 7.2%
Top Employers After
Consultant 11.4%
Engineer 7.8%

Do you work as a Consulting Engineer?

Consulting Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

85.3%

Female

10.8%

Unknown

3.9%
Ethnicity

White

54.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Asian

13.6%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

6.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.1%

French

12.0%

German

9.0%

Arabic

8.1%

Carrier

5.7%

Russian

3.9%

Chinese

3.9%

Italian

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Mandarin

3.3%

Hindi

2.4%

Portuguese

2.4%

Korean

2.1%

Turkish

1.2%

Romanian

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Dutch

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Hebrew

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.6%
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Consulting Engineer Education

Schools

Northeastern University

9.2%

University of Phoenix

7.7%

Pennsylvania State University

7.2%

Purdue University

6.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.7%

University of Texas at Austin

5.2%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

5.2%

Arizona State University

4.7%

Texas A&M University

4.5%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.2%

Cornell University

4.2%

University of Florida

4.1%

University of Houston

4.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.9%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.9%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%

Iowa State University

3.8%

Stanford University

3.6%

New York University

3.4%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

22.0%

Electrical Engineering

19.2%

Business

8.9%

Civil Engineering

8.1%

Computer Science

5.9%

Engineering

5.6%

Chemical Engineering

4.8%

Computer Engineering

3.2%

Industrial Engineering

2.8%

Management

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.1%

Physics

2.1%

Project Management

2.0%

Finance

1.5%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.5%

Computer Information Systems

1.5%

Biomedical Engineering

1.5%

Industrial Technology

1.4%

Aerospace Engineering

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.4%

Masters

29.7%

Other

13.7%

Doctorate

6.8%

Associate

4.2%

Certificate

2.3%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.2%
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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. 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. (DBA Nokia) Miramar, FL Sep 14, 2016 $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
Scheduling Engineer Consultant Warner Construction Consultants Inc. Rockville, MD May 01, 2015 $90,000 -
$110,000
Consultant Engineer Process Systems Enterprise, Inc. Cedarville, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $90,000
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

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  1. Test Plans
  2. Product Development
  3. Computer
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Interfaced with hardware and software engineering personnel to resolve issues related to specification and associated test plans and procedure.
  • Designed and implemented New Product Development Process and Engineering Change Control process for a client with multiple manufacturing locations.
  • Executed and validated changes in application software for the optimization of a computer-controlled manufacturing process.
  • Present Health, Safety and Environmental related presentations and/or training as requested Assists with Change Management at existing operating locations.
  • Directed interconnection facility network specifications to ensure economic development that facilitated rapid response to present and future services.

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Top Consulting Engineer Employers

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Jobs From Top Consulting Engineer Employers

Consulting Engineer Videos

Careers in Consulting Engineering

Consulting Engineering - A Career That Matters (ACEC New York)

Why you should become a Consulting Engineer

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