If you’re considering becoming an engineer or are already further along in the engineering track, it’s important to start making the right decisions early on. The choices you make at the start of your education and career will pay off later on, so you should be considering these factors as early as possible.
While it’s impossible to predict exactly how each decision will impact your future earnings potential, there are some considerations you should keep in mind. These are some of the most valuable tips for young engineers looking to get ahead in their career path.
Choose the Right Specialty
Engineers generally have the ability to bring in high salaries, but this is dependent on your specialty within the larger field of engineering. Moving into a lucrative specialization can make you significantly more attractive to hiring companies, and it’s often easier than you might expect to pursue further education or add to your existing skill set.
Although demand for any given engineering skill can be highly variable, it’s still important to keep up with industry trends. These are a few of the most lucrative engineering subfields (statistics from Glassdoor):
- Petroleum engineers: $84,000-$153,000
- Security engineers: $93,000-$155,000
- Sales engineers: $68,000-$185,000
Regardless of your focus, growing your earnings potential takes time, and more experienced engineers generally demand a higher salary. While engineers in their first year make an average of $67,368, that rises to $80,024 for those with 4-6 years of experience, and $95,239 for those with 10-14.
Improve Your People Skills
While your engineering abilities are obviously the most important thing for your career, people skills and business acumen are often just as important. This includes networking, which can help you connect with other engineers and find new career opportunities.
Becoming a better team player makes you a more attractive hire for companies that value teamwork and collaborative problem-solving skills. Never underestimate the importance of strong communication skills and a positive attitude—businesses are always looking for people who can contribute to their company culture.
Acquire Professional Liability Insurance Coverage
No matter how well you develop your engineering skills, you’ll never be able to completely eliminate the risk of something going wrong. Without insurance coverage, engineers can be found liable for massive damages, making even a single mistake extremely costly for you and your business.
Engineer professional liability insurance covers legal costs, settlements, and verdicts in the event that you are sued for professional negligence. Check out BizInsure for more information about acquiring coverage and why professional liability insurance is such an important form of protection for any engineer.
No matter where you are in your journey as an engineer, there are always ways to improve your skill set and increase your earnings potential. These are a few of the best methods for young and aspiring engineers to grow as professionals and put themselves in a position to succeed.