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Engineers: How long after graduation to find a job?

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by Bishop2Queens6, Oct 23, 2012.

?

How long did it take to find an engineering job after graduating??

Poll closed Dec 7, 2012.
  1. Had a job lined up before graduating

    22 vote(s)
    71.0%
  2. 1 month

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  3. 2 months

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  4. 3 months

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 4 months

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  6. 5 months

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. 6+ months

    5 vote(s)
    16.1%
  1. Oct 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM
    #1
    Bishop2Queens6

    Bishop2Queens6 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey all,

    I am graduating (June 2013) with a double B.S. in Chemical/Environmental Engineering with a focus on water quality and soil physics from an ABET accredited school, and I have passed the FE exam. I call it a double B.S. in chem engr because my Enviro Engineering program is chemical based instead of civil based so at least from my university, environmental engineers can be hired on to chemical engineering jobs.

    My GPA wasn't stellar (below 3.0), but I have a lot of work and field experience on multiple research projects, vetted classified credentials, and I might pick up a minor in math since it's just two more math classes.

    I'm just wondering how difficult it was for you as an engineer to get a job after graduating? I definitely don't want to go to grad school. I want to get out there and make some $$$, but I know I have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

    I do have a refined resume, but I know it can use improvement...
     
  2. Oct 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM
    #2
    scocar

    scocar Not one of the 10,000 Baja Edition Elite Guard

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    Water quality, and especially groundwater quality and groundwater use in general (injection wells, storage, etc.) is getting much increased attention in California. Water conservation measures and water supply reliability issues and laws are driving it. Regional self-reliance and integrated management plans are being emphasized over massive state and federal conveyance projects that are fraught with environmental and water quality issues. it is now becoming cost-effective to pump and treat poor-quality groundwater that in the past would have been too expensive to use. Between water/irrigation districts and consulting engineers, I would think you should have quite a few options open to you.
     
  3. Oct 23, 2012 at 11:15 PM
    #3
    Bishop2Queens6

    Bishop2Queens6 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The issue for me is where do I start to look? My career center is a total joke, and usajobs is a decent location, but slow to respond.

    When I bing searched for enviro jobs, there were a bunch that popped up looking for entry level engineers, but can I trust that source?

    All my past jobs, since HS, including the 3 I have had in college, have been found for me by either professors, mentors, or family friends. I just gave them my resume and 2 days later I started the paperwork.

    I want to get into the natural gas fracking field treating the groundwater contaminated with fracking fluid. I feel its a perfect fit to my background in soil physics and focus on water quality, plus the money is damn good. Would applying at say Bp's or Chesapeake's site be a valid way trying to get into the field??
     
  4. Oct 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM
    #4
    scocar

    scocar Not one of the 10,000 Baja Edition Elite Guard

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    I guess you can trust a bing search as much as a google search....

    Have you done an internship? Start looking up consulting and civil engineer sites under their careers sections, and also things like state and county public works. California DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board are the obvious agencies, but then I just recalled they may still be under hiring freezes. Nevertheless, go look.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM
    #5
    Bishop2Queens6

    Bishop2Queens6 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Internships, yes, but nothing in the real world engineering field. It has all been research or engineering research.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2012 at 12:17 AM
    #6
    ProForce

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    Your first sentence/paragraph got my tongue twisted and made my head hurt. So I stopped reading.

    Does your degree require English classes at all? ;)
     
  7. Oct 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM
    #7
    maxamillion2345

    maxamillion2345 Go home if you don't like guns liquor and whores.

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    Now I'm no English major but I've taken a few college level english classes and I didn't have a problem understanding what the OP said or even really with how he wrote it.

    They have any reading-comprehension classes where you're from?

    Just teasing...

    I'm sure my post is chock (chalk lol) full of grammatical errors, sorry.


    Carrying on...

    Hmm have you considered emailing some of the larger companies' HR departments?

    Halliburton? Weatherford? Schlumberger? Baker Hughes?
     
  8. Oct 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM
    #8
    ProForce

    ProForce Thin Blue Line

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    Yeah I'm no English major either, and I was just messin around too, but come on. We gotta admit those first 2 sentences are LOOOOONNG! Where are the grammar Nazis at? I know we have several on this forum haha. Jk.
     
  9. Oct 24, 2012 at 8:03 AM
    #9
    scocar

    scocar Not one of the 10,000 Baja Edition Elite Guard

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    You guys bring up a good point. Most engineeres don't seem to realize that they will do A LOT of writing. You have technical expertise that someone has paid you to use to figure out their problem. But you need to be able to explain to them what it means, and how they should proceed or what their options are. Often, this boils down to a report or some documentation delivered to decision makers, managers, or boards of directors or city councils who hold the purse strings and are not technically minded.
     
  10. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:26 AM
    #10
    SoCaltaco65

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    Especially if you work in the Medical Device Industry, lots O protocols, reports and such.
     
  11. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM
    #11
    Dave M

    Dave M Well-Known Member

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    I had a job as a civil engineer within a week, but the process took 6 months. Get creative, use LinkedIn, monster, Google, and any other jobs websites. Hell if you know what area you want to live in, look at craigslist!
     
  12. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:46 AM
    #12
    aficianado

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    i am an engineer. civil. i had a job lined up before i graduated. i just blurted out (at the interview) some random date on when i could start. after the interview, when i quit shaking (i got a job!), i pulled out my calendar and realized, "damn damn damn..dec 16th is before finals!". i had just eavesdropped in on a previous interview and heard them deny a position to a man that couldnt start earlier. i was crestfallen. i rallied and called my Dean of engineering. he told me CONGRATS!!! and to not worry. he convinced every single professor to relieve me of my last finals!! win win win...i showed my appreciation by staying with the program and entering the finals season with straight "A's". it was the best feeling to pack my furniture while my friends hunkered down to study. the jealousy was obvious!! :D

    anyways. you have done an internship?
    worry about your writing skills. i suck at writing, but my job is 90% writing. i have improved greatly.
    are you willing to relocate?
    what school are you graduating from?
    any idea what you want to do for a living?
     
  13. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:49 AM
    #13
    98tacoma27

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  14. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM
    #14
    TurboGT

    TurboGT Hmmmm

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    Bishop, I'm not an engineer, but I do work with them (as a CAD Drafter), but I've worked with enough and have met enough engineering students (attempted a Civil degree, failed at Calc 4) to know that an internship in the environment you would like to work in is the best place to start. Knowing that you're graduating this coming spring, however, puts you at least a year behind most in terms of finding a good internship, at least if I put you in comparison to the intern my work brought in over the summer.

    My suggestion would be to check around the local city/county/state websites to see if anyone is offering an internship, and if not, go in and offer yourself for free. It might be a tough swallow to take a job right now without pay, but sometimes getting your foot in the door is the hardest part. If you work at it as if it's a real (paying) job, you could very likely get offered a job. I only suggest looking at the public sector jobs first because, at least as a drafter, it's been the best paying job I've ever had, with benefits that are far better than the private sector. Maybe because my job puts me in a union, but right now, I've got absolutely no complaints.

    Outside of the public sector, the same rules apply... check websites for job postings, internship or not, and some good old cold calling can yeld you some good results. I would suggest though that you actually go into the engineering office and offer up a resume, rather than calling and asking. Find 5 or 6 offices in a specific area, get dressed up like you would for an interview, and go out and offer your cover letter, resume & references.

    If it's a small company (25 or fewer employees), go in and ask if you can talk to the owner or one of the engineers... don't settle for the office manager/receptionist if you can (they just tell you not hiring and will file your resume in a folder that hardly ever gets opened).

    If you have a specific company that you think you'd like to work for, call them up and ask for an informational interview with one of the engineering, preferrably one in the area that you would like to be in (don't schedule an II with a structural engineer if you want to get into that company's civil side). Ask them about their company, their job outlook, and ask the engineer if he has any non co-worker colleagues that might be hiring or that work in a similar company.

    Craigslist, job fairs, and the good old fashioned newspaper are also good links. I've gotten a job from each of them.

    Do you participate in some sort of an organized team sport? I got a job through a soccer teammate's wife who worked in an engineering firm's marketing department. That job didn't last very long unfortunately, but I ended up making a contact at the city's engineering department that ended up fleshing out a future job that I found.

    Finding a job is all about getting yourself out there. It's not a great time to be looking for a job in the Engineering field (at least not where I'm at)... There's more people looking for them than there are spots to fill, and those spots are not going to come looking for you.

    Best of luck to ya though :)
     
  15. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:55 AM
    #15
    Pugga

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    I'm a Civil Engineer and had my first job lined up before I graduated. I also graduated in 2005 so times were a lot different and companies were eager to hire. The experience you gain by doing internships will help you decide what you like and dislike as well as look good on your resume. Build your network also. Who you know can be just as important as what you know.
     
  16. Oct 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM
    #16
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    OP I'm in the same boat, graduating in may with a BS in MechE and hoping to have a job lined up by then. What I've learned from friend's experience is to start applying NOW. Attend career fairs and really try to impress them with your internship experience. Lots of companies will have a hard time looking past that GPA if you don't impress with experience.
     
  17. Oct 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM
    #17
    Redfox1

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    This. And x2 on the indeed site. And start asking around if you know anyone working at a company you are interested in. Good luck.
     
  18. Oct 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM
    #18
    Bishop2Queens6

    Bishop2Queens6 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have to take 3 quarters worth of english classes as a major requirement.

    Yes, the first 2 sentences were rather long, and I was missing a comma in there, but overall the syntax is correct.

    I do understand how to write a report and convey technical data so that a non-engineer can understand. It was actually apart of my professional development class. I have written several undergraduate research papers which have won awards.

    Thank you.

    I hope my internships will pay the bills. Not that many people have a strong background in soil physics, so anything with ground water or fate transport I feel like I would have an advantage in.

    Also,
    -I am willing to relocate
    -Graduating from a UC
    -I have done 5 internships so far. 2 have been engineering research, 3 have been soil research.
    -I was hoping to get into ground water remediation, like some sort of insitu or outsitu with a petroleum company in the natural gas field.
     
  19. Oct 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM
    #19
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    my first job offer was Halliburton. i turned them down because the position was in Midland, tx.

    i'll keep my ear open. my bro-in-law is in that industry in Denver.
     
  20. Oct 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM
    #20
    scocar

    scocar Not one of the 10,000 Baja Edition Elite Guard

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