Top Skills That Engineer Consultants Should Have
Whether you’re a fresh engineering graduate or a seasoned engineer, consulting firms have something for everyone. Engineering consultants are exposed to a variety of projects in a short time. This provides learning opportunities for junior designers and a dynamic environment for senior engineers.
If you’re a new graduate looking to become a consultant engineer, be sure to check out the top 5 things every junior engineering consultant should know.
Skills needed to succeed as a consultant engineer
Corporations often hire engineering consultants for their specialized knowledge and expertise.
Engineering consulting firms need to have both the depth and breadth of technical expertise to support all their various clients effectively. This expectation also extends to their team.
In university, you likely specialized in one or two focused areas. In the world of engineering consulting, you will need to dip your toes into areas you’ve never covered at school. It can be daunting for new engineering graduates, but there is nothing to worry about. All engineer consultants start somewhere, and the workplace a great teacher.
You will be thrown into projects you’ve never seen before. It’s wise to keep an open mind about what you’re working on because it won’t always be familiar. These situations can be stressful, but they are also a valuable learning experience.
Corporations hire engineering consultants because it’s more cost-effective than hiring, training, and paying additional in-house staff.
As a consultant, you’re selling your time. The more hours you work, the more you charge your client. While it may seem like you are in control of how much you work, that is not the case.
Clients often have expectations of how much they can pay their consultants. If the time you charge goes over their budget, it will certainly raise questions.
Because of this, consultants need to be aware of how much time they are charging to projects.
When consultants plan projects and prepare quotes, they need to estimate working time and cost accurately to avoid complications down the road.
If you overestimate your quote, then you might lose your bid and a potential client.
If you underestimate your quote, then you might not be making any profit.
A good consultant understands the needs of their clients and market demands.
Good engineer consultants are also good collaborators, and thus you need strong communication skills to perform well.
As a consultant, you will run into people with various technical backgrounds. When getting ideas across, an expert consultant caters their communication style to their audience’s expertise level. Different audience expertise level calls for a different communication style.
Whether you’re describing a solution to another engineer or pitching an idea to a client, you need to be aware of how you express yourself.