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While the job prospects for engineers are healthy in 2018, job-seeking engineers must still put in a lot of time and energy if they want to find a job opportunity that best suits them.

In addition to finding a good opportunity, candidates must still compete with one another, as companies rarely hand out an engineering job to the first person who puts in an application. If you’re looking to step up your search for a good engineering job this year, check out the following tips below.

Tip #1: Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam

If you aren’t a licensed Professional Engineer, 2018 should be the year you become one.

First and foremost, holding a license shows you’re a serious professional who is dedicated and skilled. Only a licensed engineer, can prepare, sign, seal and provide engineering plans to a public authority for validation. A licensed engineer can also legally seal engineering documents for public and private clients. For consulting engineers and sole proprietors, licensure is a necessity, a legal requirement of those legally responsible for engineering work.

More and more, government agencies and private companies are being required to hire and contract only with licensed professional engineers. If you don’t think you need to be licensed today, you probably will in the future.

Tip #2: Network like there’s no tomorrow

Most employment experts agree that most of open positions in any industry are not posted publicly. These job opening might be filled through internal job postings or via talent acquisition companies like Quanta.

In addition to partnering with a company like ours, job-seeking engineers should always be working to expand their own personal network in the hopes of landing a job through this hidden labor market. Reaching out to old classmates or fellow alumni is a straightforward way to expand your professional network. Since you already have a common bond with these people, building a meaningful rapport is much easier than if you were to attempt it with a complete stranger.

Professional organizations are a great resource for professionals looking to expand their network. The official website of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) has a list of state groups across the country, many of which are looking to add ambitious engineers.

Finally, there’s social media. Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn are the easiest to navigate, but the connections you can form on them are not as strong as the connections you form by meeting people face-to-face.

Tip #3: Research like there’s no tomorrow

Engineering is a very loosely defined field and that vagueness can make job searching a nightmare. Some engineers have a hands-on technical role, while other engineers perform design work, mostly from behind a desk. Conducting a thorough amount of research can help you determine the work environment, skills needed and interests necessary for various engineering positions. Once you’ve done this research, you will have a much better of the prospects that are out there and the many directions your career can take.

Looking for a new engineering job this year?

At Quanta, we help engineers and other technical professionals find the next step on their career path. If you’re looking for new job opportunities in 2018, please contact us today or search for jobs here.