Taking Your Engineering Qualifications Freelance


An engineering degree virtually guarantees you some sort of job with great benefits. Or at least it did in the last few decades. It’s not certain that it will continue to be that way, but the flexibility of the many different areas of engineering provides you ample opportunity to refine your craft as an engineer and keep yourself well employed for years to come. The current hot trends seem to be software engineering, but your other specialties could be the hot thing tomorrow.

Don’t be surprised to find a lot of engineers working as contractors or freelancers. Every profession has this group of practitioners, off on their own, making their own path and finding their own way. Engineering is no different. You don’t need to be in one particular branch, either. This is a career that does not require the deep pockets of big business to keep you employed. You can do it on your own.

The government is one of the biggest employers for freelance and contract engineers. They’re always looking for people take on all sorts of crazy projects with our tax payer dollars. You may be asked to work on accident-proof cars or alternative fuel engines. You may be hired to develop an application or to build a bridge in a rural community. The thing that ties these jobs together is engineering and the freelance contractors that will help complete them.

Your contracts will be of varying lengths – some will be for weeks, others years. You can find contracts of any length of time between those two. The arrangement is mutually beneficial – not only do you get the ultimate freedom of choice, but the employer also gets to sidestep many tax burdens associated with payroll employees.

The interaction between you and the hiring firm will likely start on job hiring boards or the newspaper. There is a lot of competition – but as an engineer you will be vetted and well used to competition. You made it through college, after all.

While freelancing is exciting it’s not all romance. You have to take full responsibility for ensuring your next meal and a recession could crush your finances into mush. Furthermore, the largest corporations can pay obscenely offensive sums of money to their best paid engineers. You might like the idea of driving to work in a Ferrari on Tuesdays, but an Aston Martin on Friday. Don’t freelance if that’s what you want.

If you decide to be a freelancer in Engineering, there are so many possibilities that open up to you. It’s just important that you realize the potential downfalls and plan accordingly. Consider your options carefully before taking a final plunge – it’s ultimately your journey and you are responsible for the path you take.