Career Definition of an Engineering Consultant
Engineering consultants are engineers with the experience and training needed to provide guidance on engineering projects. Engineering consultants may work in all engineering fields and provide expert insight on electrical engineering projects or mechanical products. They may also focus on infrastructure and be hired by the government, community groups or construction firms to work on projects and help with a variety of tasks.
Engineering consultants may perform the typical duties of civil engineers, electrical engineers or mechanical engineers and be involved with all phases of a project, from developing design plans to overseeing production or construction. Their duties can include things such as having soil tests completed and ensuring that all permits are secured for the project if they are working on infrastructure. They may also produce a project budget. Engineering consultants may also be brought in to deal with repairs to existing structures or projects that are underway. They may be hired to test how effectively a mechanical device operates or develop design solutions for a flawed product. It's also possible that they may be utilized during feasibility studies to help determine things like whether or not a particular building site is a viable option for specific types of structures. Engineering consultants may also assess the designs produced by architects and evaluate them for clients.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Communication, interpersonal interaction, analysis, problem-solving, attention to detail, computer skills, mathematics, leadership, design, budgeting|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$80,876|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||6% (engineers, all other)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Engineering consultants must have a relevant bachelor's degree. It's common for engineering consultants to study civil engineering, although they may also opt to pursue mechanical or electrical engineering degrees. A Professional Engineer (PE) license may be an asset and there may be more opportunities for individuals with a master's degree in civil engineering.
Engineering consultants must have design skills so that they can produce effective design plans. Sharp computer abilities are essential to work with computer design software programs. Budgeting strengths are important for providing cost estimates for projects. They use analytical skills to evaluate building locations, design plans and regulations. These consultants also benefit from having strong problem-solving skills to effectively deal with design issues or any problems that arise during planning or construction.
Career Outlook and Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the average rate of job growth for all occupations will be 7% from 2016 to 2026. The BLS reports that 'engineers, all other' will see comparable job growth of 6% during this ten year period. Civil engineers should see faster job growth of 11% during that time. PayScale.com indicates that as of 2018, engineering consultants took home a median annual income of $80,876.
The work that engineering consultants do is closely related to the work of engineers, engineering technicians and architects. If you're considering a career as an engineering consultant you may want to use the links here to learn more about these similar occupations.