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Entry-Level Engineering JOBs

A basic guide of everything you need to know.

Entry-Level Engineering Jobs

At Job Formula, we know that you want to be a great, professional engineer. In order to do that, you need to find entry-level engineering jobs. The problem is that getting entry-level engineering jobs is difficult. Many engineering graduates struggle and struggle, sending out hundreds of resumes, trying to get that first job offer.

I personally understand how difficult it can be to navigate the entry-level engineering job market. As a professional engineer, I went through the same hardships trying to get my first job after graduation. That is why I am determined to share the unwritten rules behind what it takes to get entry-level engineering jobs. Through the Winning Job Formula blog and book, you can discover everything you need to know about how to propel your career forward with your first entry-level engineering job.

Where New Entry-Level Engineering Jobs Are Being Created

The job growth for all engineering disciplines is not equal. When new jobs are created, they are often in the form of entry-level engineering jobs. For that reason, it is easier to find entry-level engineering jobs in fields where the job growth is higher.

The following information is based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Based on new job growth compared to the number of those currently employed, the average job growth in engineering is 4.2%. Marine engineering and industrial engineering are the fastest growing engineering disciplines at over 8%. Materials engineering and nuclear engineering are the slowest growing engineering disciplines.

The formula we have been taught since we were small children is just not true. Getting a college degree does not guarantee you a great job. If the formula worked, over 49% of college graduates would not report that they found it hard or extremely hard to find their first job.

Universities are failing engineering students because they are not training them on how to go from getting a degree to getting an entry-level professional job.

I personally understand how difficult it can be to navigate the job market. As a professional engineer myself, I went through the same struggle trying to get my first job after graduation. That is why I am determined to share the unwritten rules behind what it takes to get hired in the engineering industry.

New Entry-Level Engineering Jobs

 
 

The Competition Index for Entry-Level Engineering Jobs

The competition index for entry-level engineering jobs is a creation of the Winning Job Formula. The competition index represents how competitive each entry-level engineering job will be.

It is calculated by dividing the total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded for a given year by the number of available jobs. This gives us the total number of engineering graduates there are for any one entry-level engineering job. For the competition index, the lower the number, the less competition there is for an entry-level engineering job.

Industrial engineering is the least competitive engineering market with only 0.4 engineering graduates for every one entry-level engineering job.

Agricultural engineering is the most competitive engineering market with 11.1 engineering graduates for each entry-level engineering job.

Competition Index for Entry-Level Engineering Jobs

The competition index is made to give you a general idea of how competitive your degree discipline will be. There are also other factors affecting how competitive a specific job will be, including:

  • The specific type of job within the industry

  • The location of the job

  • The current job market (economy)
     

You can get an entry-level job in any engineering discipline. The more competitive your engineering discipline is, the harder you will have to work to get that job. The good news is that the Job Formula is here to help you. Learning the formula companies use when hiring entry level engineers greatly increase your chances of winning even the most competitive engineering jobs.

Which Industries Entry-Level Engineering Jobs Are In

Once that last college semester starts, future engineering graduates start scrambling for entry-level engineering jobs. What engineering graduates do not understand is that they do not need just any entry-level job offer; they need the right job offer.

 

Engineering degrees are extremely versatile, and so many different types of entry-level engineering jobs exist. They exist in different cities, different industries, and companies of different sizes and shapes.

 

The entry-level engineering job you choose to work in will determine your salary, stress, work hours, travel, whether you must become a registered engineer, and many other day-to-day aspects of your life. Finding the industry and job that fits your personality is critical to being happy throughout your career.

 

Your first job not just a job; it is the first step in your career path. There are lots of places your career can lead, but it matters where your career starts. Not all starting points are connected to every destination. Not all career paths let you switch from one field to another without starting back over at square one. That is why the first entry-level job you take will very likely play an important role in where you end up as an engineer.

Here is a look at the main industries where you will find entry-level engineering jobs. For each industry, the top three employed engineering disciplines in that industry are included.

Entry-Level Engineering Industries

 
 

Average Entry-Level Engineering Salaries

I am hesitantly providing the average salary for entry-level engineering jobs. When engineers evaluate possible industries to work in, many will only use one criterion: money.

 

They automatically want the type of entry-level engineering jobs that are paid the highest entry-level starting salary. They have put in the hours during school and are now ready to get paid.

You’re probably saying, “What’s wrong with that? The reason we go to work every day is because they pay us to. So why not go for the job that pays the most?”

Because that is a shortsighted approach. You are going to be working for many years, and you want to find a career that you are going to be happy in. Working in an industry you do not like is not worth a few thousand dollars more per year. Your career is long. Like 30 to 40 years long. That is an incredibly long time to do something that does not fit you.

 

No matter what career you choose within engineering, you can eventually make a good deal of money. So instead of thinking about just your salary, pick the career that will lead you to a future that you want. This will make you the happiest in the long run.

Average Entry-Level Engineering Salaries

The starting salary for all entry-level engineering jobs will be affected by where the job is and which industry the job is in. Jobs in high cost-of-living locations will have a higher salary than low cost-of-living locations. Additionally, jobs in the private market will have a higher salary than jobs within the government.

Where to Look for Entry-Level Engineering Jobs

Internet

The place most engineers turn to for entry-level engineering jobs is the internet. The four most popular websites for finding engineering job postings are:

  • Indeed – 68%

  • LinkedIn – 25%

  • Glassdoor – 4%

  • CareerBuilder – 3%

Government

If you are interested in an entry-level engineering job in the federal government, try the following website:

Individual Companies

If you want to find individual companies, try the Engineer News-Record (ENR) Top Companies list. On these lists, you can find the top engineering consulting firms, manufacturing firms, construction firms and many more.

Searching for Entry-Level Engineering Jobs

When searching for entry-level engineering positions, you are typically going to be searching for jobs labeled as “Graduate Engineer,” “Entry level Engineer,” “Engineering Associate,” “Engineer A,” or “Engineer I.”

Besides just being able to apply for jobs, general job websites give you two pieces of great information:

  1. What industries are currently hiring your type of engineering discipline

  2. What companies are located in the city you want to work in

A Better Way to get Entry-Level Engineering Jobs

If you limit yourself to just internet searches when trying to find entry-level engineering jobs, you are going to miss out on a ton of opportunities.

There is an old saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” We like to think that in modern times, this saying is no longer true, however that is just not the case. Companies are scared of hiring unknowns. No matter how many times you read someone’s resume, interview them, and have them come in for on-site visits, you can only gain so much insight.

 

For getting hired, being referred by an existing employee has the highest percentage of chance of leading to a job. Silkroad published data showing a 56% success rate for applications who were referred by an employee. Over my career, I have seen this over and over again. The people who get the jobs are those who were referred by someone.

For an extensive how-to for finding jobs through people you know, check out the How to Find an Engineering Internship Guide. In this guide, we walk you though all the different people who can help you get your first entry-level engineering job.

 
 

How to Get an Entry-Level Engineering Job

The formula we have been taught since we were small children is just not true. Getting a college degree does not guarantee you a great job. If the formula worked, over 49% of college graduates would not report that they found it hard or extremely hard to find their first job.

Universities are failing engineering students because they are not training them on how to go from getting a degree to getting an entry-level professional job.

I personally understand how difficult it can be to navigate the job market. As a professional engineer myself, I went through the same struggle trying to get my first job after graduation. That is why I am determined to share the unwritten rules behind what it takes to get hired in the engineering industry.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to getting entry-level engineering jobs:

  1. Understand the formula companies use when they hire someone. It is not all about grades or degrees. You will need to demonstrate your experience, personality, and preparedness in order to get a job. 
     

  2. Figure out what your “winning job” looks like. Engineering jobs come in all shapes and sizes. The only way you will be happy is if you find the one that matches your personality.
     

  3. Once you are ready, create an awesome resume. Make sure your resume has been reviewed, looks great, and really sells you.
     

  4. Start applying for jobs. It’s a numbers game, so apply to a lot.
     

  5. Most engineers get their first job because of who they know, not what they know. Be sure to build your network and use it when you apply for jobs. Reach out to all your contacts to see if they are hiring entry-level engineers.
     

  6. When you do go into interviews, be prepared. The more prepared you are, the more likely it is that you will get the job. Make sure you present yourself as a happy, positive person.
     

  7. Once you get hired, don’t coast through your first job. Spend the first few years just trying to absorb as much knowledge and experience as humanly possible. Your achievement is directly related to how much effort you put in.

Getting your first entry-level engineering job is not easy, but nothing worthwhile is. If you put in the effort and approach the job process in the right way, I know you can be successful. You are a smart, capable person who is going to get the job they deserve.

Now go get started on your amazing engineering career and change the world!

Free
Entry-level ENGINEERING Resume Guide

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information on Individual Engineering 

Degree Types

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*The information on this page was pulled together from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other various resources. The information is intended for education purposes only.

An engineering degree does not guarantee a job after graduation. Understanding the job formula can.