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How to Become a Calibration Engineer: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a calibration engineer. Learn about the job duties and explore the step-by-step process to start a career in calibration engineering.

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Should I Become a Calibration Engineer?

Calibration engineers make adjustments to different types of machines, instruments and related components using measuring and diagnostic software; they ensure that precision settings are in alignment with an established standard. They coordinate operations, perform tests and resolve any issues related to calibration. They also document results and prepare technical reports.

Mechanical engineers, of which calibration engineers are a type, often work in manufacturing environments; while office work is typical, they may also carry out tasks on-site.

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Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree required for most positions
Degree Field Mechanical engineering preferred
Licensure Professional Engineer license.
Experience Up to 3 years in a related position
Key Skills Strong interpersonal, organization and communication skills, ability to meet project goals and deadlines. Experience with chassis dynamometer testing, knowledge of emissions regulations; basic engine and electrical engineering, diesel engine and turbo charger experience a plus MS Office and ETAS/INCA software
Salary The Average Salary is $75,500 (July 2015)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015), Glassdoor.com

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree program in mechanical engineering program can help prepare aspiring calibration engineers for their careers. Mechanical engineering programs typically focus on math and physical sciences, as well as analysis, design and manufacturing. Coursework might include fundamentals of mechanical engineering, thermodynamics, computer aided design, machine shop practice, statics, energy and thermal systems analysis and lab classes. Most schools require candidates to have a high school diploma or GED for admission.

Success Tip:

  • Join an internship or apprenticeship program. Some schools and companies offer internships or apprenticeships for mechanical engineering students or graduates that provide hands-on experience in the field. This experience can be beneficial to candidates looking for employment.
  • Learn how to use ETAS/INCA software. Most employers prefer candidates with ETAS/INCA software experience. It's commonly used in a variety of applications in engine development, calibration, testing and diagnostics.

Step 2: Get Licensed and Registered

It is a requirement for any practicing engineer in the United States to be licensed. Getting a Professional Engineer's license can be acquired through passing the FE exam ('Fundamentals of Engineering'). After gaining actual work experience, an additional test is given which grants complete authority to practice. Keep in mind that it is required that calibration engineers renew their licenses every few years.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

Most employers require calibration engineers to have some experience in their area of interest, such as in automotive engine development, diesel engine testing and chassis dynamometer testing. Some calibration engineering jobs may require travel for development testing. Job duties might include resolving issues with the design of systems, engine components and functional behavior, calibrating, performing development testing and preparing presentations for status reviews.

Step 4: Further Your Career Through Education

Calibration engineers have a few options as far as advancing in their careers, yet these options all require graduate degrees. Going to graduate school can allow a calibration engineer to become well versed in managing larger projects and tasks. Thus, a graduate degree allows the engineer to pursue management or administrative positions.

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