Engineering is a profession that will always be in demand.
This is a problem-solving profession, and the contractors in it contribute to the creation of everything from homes, buildings, and roads to consumer products and industrial equipment.
Going the independent contractor track can serve you if you’re an engineering professional. You’ll have more control over your career and can take on any number of jobs.
But how can you succeed in this career venture? Consider these tips so you can become a contract engineer on your terms.
Acquire Education and Competency at the Subject and Profession
Education is essential in the engineering field.
Get the degrees and certifications that allow you to accept the jobs you’re seeking. The more educated you are, the more you can show your proficiency in the field.
Many engineers seek higher-level degrees to get extensive experience in the subject. There are several online degree programs you can also look into that will provide you the education that you need.
Figure out some goals and where you see your career headed. Engineers in a variety of fields get paid between approximately $70,000 per year and $130,000 per year.
When you know the position that you’re seeking, you can go after the credentials that you must have to explore that path.
Get Your Business License and Insurance
Make certain that you get properly licensed and insured. You can’t operate as a professional without both an engineering license and a business license, in addition to liability insurance.
This is a field that is rife with liability possibilities, and engineers often work on big-budget projects. Search for an insurance policy that will cover you with any job that you have.
Start With Your Personal and Professional Network When Getting Leads
You have the invaluable benefit of being your own boss as an independent contractor. However, you’re also responsible for finding your own jobs to generate your own revenue.
This requires you to hustle and find leads. Start with both your personal and professional network when you’re looking for projects.
Let everyone in your circle that you can think of know that you are open for business. Put together a brief video presentation that leads people to your site and portfolio.
Encourage them to share it with their circle, and the next thing you know you can put together your first few jobs.
These jobs will help you get your next few gigs, so make sure to do your best work.
Open a Business Bank Account and Set Up Your Financial Situation
Treat yourself like a business by handling financial matters. Open a separate checking account that you only use for your contract gigs.
You can also link your bank account to a bookkeeping app or software platform that lets you classify each expense. This helps you keep clean records over the years.
Hire a Tax Professional or Get Some High-Quality Software
Do yourself a favor and hire the help of a certified public accountant (CPA) or another professional for your tax needs.
Leaving this work to experts lets you do your best engineering work while knowing that your taxes are handled correctly. Investing in a tax software platform is also useful since it allows you to pay estimated taxes each quarter.
Working as an independent contractor will also help you get all of the tax breaks that you’re eligible for.
Join Professional Organizations
You’ll always stay in the loop with your field when you join professional organizations. There are several professional membership organizations you can join, such as the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and the Society of Women Engineers.
These organizations are excellent for networking opportunities and can give you an inside track on job postings. You’ll also get access to professional publications and members-only networking events.
Joining these organizations lets you build your toolkit as a professional, which is essential for any independent engineering contractor.
Build Your Web and Social Media Brand
Since you’re an engineering entrepreneur you need to work on your brand.
Make sure that your professional brand represents you as a person and what you contribute to the engineering field. Take advantage of social media outlets, keep your site up to date, and author your own blog.
Consistently put together a portfolio that lets you showcase your talent and what you’re capable of.
Sign up for job sites that will help you get leads on some projects. Having not only a resume but a body of work that showcases your brand will allow you to always shine and get interviews.
Keep Up With Your Certifications and Credentials
Engineers need to also stay up to date with their continuing education. These professionals open themselves up to new job opportunities every time they attain new certifications.
This helps you also increase your salary potential and show yourself to be more capable in the field. Stay up to date with the industry so that you can learn which certifications are the most important and needed at the moment.
Learn All About Becoming a Contract Engineer
If you’re interested in becoming a contract engineer, the points in this article will help you out.
You’ll need to ramp up your certifications and put together a portfolio that makes you the most shining job candidate possible. We’d love to help you with your pursuit as an engineer.
Take the time to sign up for an account with us so you can get leads on the best engineering projects.